Use the arts of persuasion to good purpose, says Elizabeth Benomran

Commercial marketing unleashes an extensive repertoire of marketing techniques on the consumer every day. With branded beauty enhancements to designer sportswear, consumption habits are significantly influenced by the power of marketing. The author recognises the strengths of commercial marketing and this, with a mixture of social theory, marketing techniques and practices, offers a valuable resource to support readers in effective social marketing.

With social marketing seen by some as the panacea for health improvement, this text provides practical support in achieving a true social marketing intervention. It delves into the components of an effective process and is supported throughout with case studies and practical examples. As a commissioner in public health, leading on social marketing, Gerard Hastings has produced a text whose strengths lie in the clarity of discussion and the wide coverage of all essential criteria, as well as clear signposting to where each element fits within an intervention.

He discusses the principles, including concepts underpinning behaviour change. Chapter four offers a comprehensive toolbox, followed by insights into the concepts of a social marketing intervention and an exploration of relational thinking. The theoretical aspects conclude with a review detailing the importance of research and an exploration of the ethics.

This insightful text is an essential tool for the public health field. It is also suitable for people studying social marketing and those who want to explore the concept in a user friendly format.

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