Two-stage taxonomy for measuring success in social marketing practice
|Akbar, B., Amoncar, N., Cateriano, E. and Lawson, A.
Purpose – Given the lack of understanding of social marketing success in theory and practice, this article investigates how social marketing experts (academics and practitioners) conceptualize success.
Design/methodology/approach – In this qualitative study, we conducted an open-ended online questionnaire with 48 social marketing worldwide experts, most of them with more than 20 years of experience in the field. We analyzed data using topic modeling, a machine-learning method that groups responses/terms into cluster topics based on similarities. Keywords in each topic served to generate themes for discussion.
Findings – While behavior change is mentioned as paramount to conceptualizing success, participants prefer to use more tangible and less complex forms to define/measure success, such as campaign recall uptick. In addition, lack of funding was considered an important factor in measuring success. We provide a two-stage taxonomy to better understand success in social marketing as a process.
Originality/value – This article is one of the first to conceptualize success in social marketing practice.
|Success; Social Marketing; Behavior Change; Two-Stage Taxonomy
|Journal of Social Marketing
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
|Web address (URL)
|Accepted author manuscript
File Access Level
|31 Oct 2023
|Publication process dates
|09 Oct 2023
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