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Competition as an Effective Tool in Developing Social Marketing Programs: Driving Behavior Change through Online Activities

Author(s): Corina ŞERBAN

Journal: Economia : Seria Management
ISSN 1454-0320

Volume: 14;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 553;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: competition | social marketing program | online environment | non-profit organization | social marketing | consumer behaviour

Nowadays, social marketing practices represent an important part of people’s lives. Consumers’ understanding of the need for change has become the top priority for social organizations worldwide. As a result, the number of social marketing programs has increased, making people reflect more on their behaviors and on the need to take action. Competition in social marketing can bring many benefits. The more programs initiated, the more people will start to involve in society’s problems, hereby contributing to beneficial causes. However, social organizations are in the search for competitive advantages to differentiate them on the market. This paper aims to present the role of online communication in driving competitive advantage for social organizations. Using the structural equation model, the paper describes the relations between four characteristics of the online communication: credibility, attractiveness, persuasion and promotion and then presents the correlations between these variables and website competitiveness. The resulting model shows that owning a competitive advantage in social marketing can bring many advantages to both the non-profit organization and the consumer. Therefore, the online environment can be considered a good solution for better serving consumers’ social needs. Its contribution is significant especially in programs for children and adolescents, since teenagers spend more time on the Internet than adults and are more open to using the online channels of communication. In conclusion, this article opens new opportunities for social marketers to address society’s problems and supports the integration of the online communication tools in the competition strategy.
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