5 Ways Social Marketing Influences the Public Health

The world has encountered an ever-growing risk of health problems for a long time now. Hence, the need for promoting and creating awareness for healthy practices.

Social marketing has been implemented in solving various  public health problems such as;

  • Prevention of smoking
  • Reduction of AIDs risk behaviors
  • Prevention of drug abuse
  • Promotion of healthy nutrition
  • Promotion of family planning

Today, social marketing is applied in public health campaigns and programs to improve and promote healthy behaviors.

Social marketing has also given health professionals practical ways in creating programs to help promote healthy behaviors

What is social marketing?

Social marketing involves the use of marketing ideas or techniques to promote and encourage changes in social behaviors. It makes use of marketing concepts to promote public health. Its objective is to encourage the public to acquire specific actions that are generally accepted to be of benefit to public health.

What is public health?

According to WHO, public health is defined as “the art and science of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts of society.”

Public health centers not only on the elimination of diseases but also focus on the overall health and wellbeing of an individual. Public health services include health advice and behavioral counseling.

How is social marketing applied to health?

Social marketing has been utilized extensively to influence public health. Social marketers disseminate information that helps change social behaviors such as smoking and drug use via the use of communication strategies.

The importance of social marketing in relation to public health is that it seeks to make use of marketing techniques to influence behaviors that benefit the public health for the greater good.

Social marketing has had a beneficial effect on public health and here in this article, I’d be listing the 5 ways it has influenced public health.

  1. Promotion of Healthy Behaviour:

Prevention, they say, is better than cure. Social marketing strategy is preventive rather than curative and here is why. People are already made aware of the dangers and consequences of consuming or making use of a particular product.

Take for instance cigarettes, through social marketing, the public is already made aware beforehand of the effects and dangers smoking cigarettes can cause.

Having made known these effects and dangers beforehand, they could decide against smoking cigarettes hence, preventing the risk of coming down with any lung or heart disease.

Therefore, through social marketing, the public is taught to make healthy decisions and to indulge in good and healthy behaviors that can help promote their overall health.

  1. Prevention of Life-Threatening Diseases:

Social marketing helps to educate and inform the public on the things they need to and need not do to prevent coming down with the life-threatening disease.

For instance, the reason for taking dietary supplements is that they contain vitamins and other nutrients. Therefore, they help in the proper functioning and coordination of the body system.

Taking dietary supplements regularly not only helps in the proper functioning and maintenance of your body system, but it also helps in boosting your immune system thereby eliminating the risk of coming down with a disease.

The public is made aware of this through social marketing and this helps prevent the public from coming down with life-threatening diseases.

  1. Dissemination of Information:

Through social marketing, in line with mass media, the public is well informed and educated.

Take, for example, not all drugs should be consumed without a doctor’s prescription and supervision.

 Antibiotics as a case study are meant to be taken hourly. That is every 6 hours, 8 hours, 12 hours, and 24 hours. If this instruction isn’t adhered to, there is a chance that the antibiotic won’t work. And continual use will lead to your body developing resistance to that particular antibiotic so that next time you’d be using it, it won’t work.

Another example is how antimalarial drugs are meant to be taken. Most people do not know that after taking the first dose of the drug, you’re meant to wait for eight hours before taking the second dose. The remaining doses are then taken every 12 hours. Also, antimalarial drugs shouldn’t be taken with vitamin C. Avoidance of these instructions can lead to a deterioration in the overall health of the individual.

Social marketing helps in disseminating this information thereby ensuring that the public takes the right steps in promoting their overall health.

  1. Creation of Awareness:

Social marketing allows the public to become aware of the activities they carry out that could be of danger to their overall health.

Greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide when present in excess quantities can be detrimental to human health.

Human activities such as deforestation and burning of fossil fuels lead to the production of these gases which can then lead to climate change such as drought, flood, and famine.

The public is made aware of the harmful health effects that the production of these gases can cause so they can try to reduce or stop the activities.

  1. Promotion of A Healthy Environment:

Social marketing encourages the public to be more aware of their environment.

If our environment is not well taken care of, it can lead to us coming down with diseases. How we dispose of our refuse, how we treat the water we drink and use for bathing, how we prepare the food we eat, and little things like washing our hands properly and regularly and so on can have either beneficial or harmful effects on us. Hence, social marketing educates the public on how to care for their environment making it conducive for living. Thus, the risk of diseases is reduced.

Bottom Line

Through social marketing, public health has been influenced tremendously. Social marketing does not only help educate the public, it also allows the public to be always well informed of the activities going on around them that can be either beneficial or harmful to their health. Therefore, eliminating the risk of diseases and death.