Social Marketing for Health

Source - PSI. Pharmacy workers discussing the various commodities available.

Social marketing is a widely used and effective approach to changing behavior largely through promoting the use of healthy products and services.

Social marketing interventions can help achieve many goals: 

  • Improved healthy behavior
  • Increased availability of public health products and services
  • Increased range of available products and services at a variety of prices and variations
  • Reduced burden on the public sector by shifting clients with some ability to pay to the private sector
  • Increased program sustainability
  • Improved targeting of donor funding

This course will help you understand the key principles of social marketing, clarify misunderstandings, outline under which circumstances it is best used, and how social marketing, when employed effectively, can improve health outcomes.


By the end of this course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Define social marketing and its fundamental attributes
  • Describe the social marketing process and how it is applied to program design and implementation
  • Understand the importance of using consumer insights to achieve effective social marketing programs
  • Identify the ways social marketing has been proven to improve health outcomes


The course authors would like to acknowledge and thank the following experts for reviewing and providing input to the course:

  • Jim Shelton, USAID
  • Elaine Menotti, USAID
  • Kimberly Cole, USAID
  • Marguerite Farrell, USAID
  • Clancy Broxton, USAID
  • Denise Harrison, USAID
  • Caroll Vazquez, USAID
  • Zarnaz Fouladi, USAID
  • Margaret D'Adamo, USAID

The course authors would also like to express their gratitude to Yasmin Madan (PSI), Olivier LeTouze (PSI), Beth Skorochod (PSI), Pierre Moon (PSI), and James Ayers (PSI) for helping to develop the course and Abt Associates, DKT, and MSI for providing content. 


  • 2 hours


  • Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Course Authors: 

  • Donna Sherard, Consultant

  • Christine Bixiones, PSI, SIFPO2

Course Managers: 

  • Lisa Mwaikambo, CCP
  • Helen Tzow, PSI

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