Social Marketing and Behaviour Change
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Social Marketing and Behaviour Change

Models, Theory and Applications

Linda Brennan, Wayne Binney, Lukas Parker, Torgeir Aleti and Dang Nguyen

This book provides a concise overview of the behaviour change models that are relevant to social marketing in order to assist academics and practitioners in social marketing program development. The book features a review and analysis of the most validated models of behaviour change, together with a number of case studies from international researchers that illustrate these models in practice. The models covered include cognitive, conative, affective, social-cultural and multi-theory models, consumer behavior decision models and social change models.
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Chapter 20: ‘Buying’ or ‘consumer’ behaviour decision models

Linda Brennan, Wayne Binney, Lukas Parker, Torgeir Aleti and Dang Nguyen


Despite its name, social ‘marketing’ has neglected the field of consumer or buyer behaviour, principally because the theories established there are about commercial marketing strategies. While consumer behaviour theories do not ‘cut-and-paste’ directly into social marketing, they can provide insight into how people behave when it comes to consumption decisions and related behaviours (which may or may not be decisions). Consumer behaviour models are relevant to the idea of social marketing in that many social marketers are attempting to ‘sell’ in the same way that commercial marketers are, notwithstanding Wiebe and Rothschild’s cautions about brotherhood and soap (Wiebe, 1951; Rothschild, 1979). The majority of what follows is synthesized from the following sources: Schiffman and Kanuk (1994); McCarthy et al. (1997); Solomon et al. (2010); Armstrong et al. (2011); East et al. (2013). These books were selected in order to provide a wide range of time periods, perspectives and possible theories that could be applied to the social marketing setting. What follows are exemplars only and will not provide the reader with an exhaustive list of possibilities. There are two main categories of theory in this chapter. Both types of theories are framed in the choice literature – that is, people make choices about the way they behave. The first category of theory is that of choice models – how people make and can be persuaded to make decisions in favour of the sellers’ product or service. The second category is that of buying decision-making process models.

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