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A Refereed Monthly International Journal of Management Indexed With Web of Science(ESCI)
ISSN: 0974-438X
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RNI No.:RAJENG/2016/70346
Postal Reg. No.: RJ/UD/29-136/2017-2019
Editorial Board

Prof. Mahima Birla
(Editor in Chief)

Dr. Khushbu Agarwal

Dr. Asha Galundia
(Circulation Manager)

Editorial Team

A Refereed Monthly International Journal of Management

A Review on Effect of Social Marketing during COVID – 19 in India


Mr. Sudip Basu

Assistant Professor,

School of Business & Management Studies,

NSHM Knowledge Campus - Durgapur,

 Paschim Bardhaman, West Bengal, India


Dr. Md. Razi Anwar

Assistant Professor,

School of Business & Management Studies,

NSHM Knowledge Campus -Durgapur,

Paschim Bardhaman, West Bengal, India


Dr. Indrajit Ghosal

Assistant Professor,

Poornima University, Jaipur


Dr. Rituparna Ghosh

Assistant Professor,

Institute of Management Study,

Kolkata, India



In the view of Philip Kotler, Nancy Lee, and Michael Rothschild (2006) “Social Marketing is a process that applies marketing principles and techniques to create, communicate, and deliver value in order to influence target audience behaviours that benefit society as well as the intended audience. Social Marketing does not work to exploit turnover or sales; rather the aim of Social Marketing campaigns is to change the activities in the society that will support the overall public of a country to use only competent lighting to preserve the energy or persuading more individuals to use seat belts. Our study is based on only India and this chapter explored how Social Marketing can bear a significant impact during COVID - 19 pandemic and with the help of various reviews we will catch out the positive and negative effects of Social Marketing in COVID – 19 in India.

Methods: A systematic review conducted on the recent COVID situation for the last one-year (i.e. published papers along the last one year) in Scopus, Web of Science, Science Direct and Sage. For this, we have searched digital marketing, restricted to the title, "Interest" and "Market", COVID lockdown.

Results: Since the COVID has broken down for the past one year only and there are very few papers are published based on the very contemporary title considered for the article hence this study identified45 articles in the scientific literature, but only 17 articles were classified as eligible according to the previously established criteria.

Discussion: This methodical review highlight the positively association between COVID on Social Marketing in digital era.

Keywords: Social Marketing, Positive Effects, Negative Effects, COVID -19 pandemic, Marketing, Society.




Marketing, being a social and managerial method, it must have social environmental attitude, unfortunately very few business organizations be concerned for it. Social Marketing came into being as a distinct discipline in the 1970s, because of the recognition of environmental attitude by the western countries. Social Marketing is a process of changing behaviour and attitudes of the public (target group) for achieving social, economical, political and business objectives. Social Marketing refers to the development of awareness among consumers, organizations (i.e. social, political, business etc.) and general public regarding long term interests of the business world. Philip Kotler and Gerald Zaltman defined Social Marketing as “the design, implementation and control of programmes calculated to influence the acceptability of social ideas and involving considerations of product designing, pricing, statement, delivery and Marketing research”. Commercial Marketing convinces purchasers to purchase various kinds of items and administrations on a similar line, individuals can be persuaded to embrace social showcasing items, for example, medical care, training or social changes. Andreasen defines Social Marketing as “the application of commercial Marketing technologies to the analysis’ planning, execution and evaluation of programmes designed to influence to voluntary behaviour of target audiences in order to recover their personal happiness and that of their society”. In today’s world, social showcasing ways of thinking are being utilized as beneficial outcome in developing nations in regions like wellbeing advancement, populace control, and climate protection, financial turn of events, bigotry and human rights. The philosophy of India has been distributing with issues, for example, poverty, populace blast, and lack of education, lower capital arrangement and other social issues as adverse consequence in COVID – 19 pandemic times. The growth strategies so far accepted brought about corruption in social, ecological and medical services, so the need of utilization of social advertising standards is felt promptly to improve the existence Indian resident. The concept SM is very oldest as its beginnings can be found in development strategies, social restructuring campaigns in olden days. One prominent social reforms development, for example, annulment of sati (Self-immolation) system, elimination of untouchability, stoppage of child marriages and girl child education were effectively coordinated during Pre-independence period in India.

            This paper is to find the adaptation for Social Marketing in India, particularly in COVID-19 Pandemic and also its optimistic and destructive consequence with esteem to the same. It may help the marketer to understand the new scenario of Social Marketing(SM) in a new wonder.


Review of Literature

  1. Based on Social Marketing

Maximum customers did not acknowledge the information received from government publications and food labeling on food safety as reliable. Rather people relies more on the information available in cookbooks rather Social Marketing (Buzby and Ready, 1996). The purpose of Social Marketing, according to McKenzie-Mohr and Smith (1999), becomes to encourage societies to change through interferences aimed at people and to achieve significant behavioural change. The Social Marketing drives are custom-made to target people that share mutual interest and who were expected to adopt the anticipated behaviour through the use of incentives and elimination of barriers. Social Marketing programs must target to manage a difficult adaptive socio-monetary system like taking care of a baby. Taking care of a baby is in our hand, but it does not guarantee success. Each baby is unique, in the similar way each community is unique (Glouberman and Zimmerman, 2002). Hence, research at the formative degree of a marketing campaign design is vital to recognize the values, attitudes, and beliefs of the target market. Social advertising is growing as autonomous discipline with application to widespread social goals. It needs innovative and better-adapted method to the Social Marketing mix (Keller, 1998). According to Stead et al. (2007) suggested that a theoretically sound framework, combined with the use of consumer research to help translate theoretical constructs into acceptable and persuasive interventions, is an important pre-requisite for the effectiveness of Social Marketing.




  1. Positive Effects of Social Marketing

Social Marketing (SM) should not be viewed as an unbiased tool for influencing individual behaviour; rather, it should take into account the social and physical elements that influence that behaviour (Hastings and Donovan, 2002).It can be said that the positive effect of Social Marketing in public health comprise programs like rise in physical activity, increase in fruit and vegetable consumption, smoking cessation, and sexually spread disease prevention etc. For success of social advertising, several business advertising strategies may be applied. These may be social exchange idea, audience segmentation, the 4 Ps of the marketing drive (Grier and Bryant, 2005).As per Rose and Dade (2007), the environmental actions the effect of values in dynamic behaviour and rising awareness were successful, which consider the local circumstances. Success of programs planned for considering the local conditions are more in contrast with international explanations. According to Storey et al. (2008), in Social Marketing price is intangible that comes in form of making change in behaviour. The product is the advantage that comes in shape of improved fitness or reduction in disease. The benefit of Social Marketing is individuals who need to change their behaviour for the wellbeing and welfare of self and the society. Behavioural change in Social Marketing is done through the creation, communication, transport and change of an aggressive social advertising  that induces voluntary change in the target audience, and outcomes in the benefit to the social change campaign’s recipients, companions and society at large (Dann, 2010).


  1. Negative Effects of Social Marketing

Social Marketing can have a significant negative impact on public behaviour if Social Marketing campaigns were deployed keeping in view traditional marketing strategies and plans. The majority of those who said that Social Marketing has a significant impact on people's voluntary behaviours constituted nearly half of the population (Bach and Alnajar, 2016).According to Zeng, Juanjuan, Xiaochun, Yuan and Wang (2017), the increasing complexity of social networks and user behaviour, it was very challenging for advertisers to formulate their strategies of selecting proper initial seed users in their Social Marketing efforts. In this study, they tackled this challenge by proposing an agent-based propagation model and injecting it into typical social networks with three types of structures, i.e., Erdos-Renyi random graph, Watt-Strogatz small world graph, and Barabasi-Albert scale-free graph. They instantiated this agent-based model with demographic characteristics extracted from real-world census data collected in China. By investigating the diffusion process of advertising, information in these social networks, was compared with the performance of advertisers’ targeting and influencing strategies. In an investigation on fault appeal, the author determined that raising guilt might lead to shameful responses in the target audience. This may give rise to negative consequences. According to author, guilt appeals are more likely to result in positive responses whereas shame appeals may result in negative responses. Hence, to make a guilt appeal effective, disgrace messages need to be eliminated (Bennett, 1998).


  1. Social Aspect

According to Wansink (2006), when one person eats with another, consumption increases by 35%. When a group of seven or more people eats together, however, food consumption increases by 96 percent. To advertise their products and services, all social marketers must grasp how individual behaviour differs from that of a group. According to Laasch & Conaway (2014), researching the concept of Social Marketing in the 1950s, mass media channels including television and radio can prove to be an effective means of promoting social ideals. Services marketing thinking has been positioned as a mid-stream method to Social Marketing. To realize sustainable behavior drive between policy makers and people need to be assisted (Russell-Bennett et al., 2013).

Very little work is done on these areas as in this pandemic situation, and effects on SM (Social Marketing) for the same is not discussed so far. Even the paper are done on social effect of marketing are fully based on snowball sampling caused a complete different outcome. Moreover, if the research was done based on random sampling scenario might be better and fruitful. This paper will give more elaboration and exposure to Social Marketing strategy into a new phenomenon, and will help more to the vendor to understand the emerging market.

As warned by world health organization, continuous exposure news and reports about the outbreak could cause people to feel anxious and upset. It seems that the anxiety was more common in those who were frightened on listening the news about COVID-19 cases and deaths (n=458) than in those who were not affect by the news and updates. A solution to this could be seeking updates only at certain times and only from health professionals and world health organization and avoiding rumors. Due to the lock-down, transportation facilities are suspended and people who stayed away from their families for various purposes aren't capable of returning to their families. These people are more likely to experience psychological distress, and our findings back up Sood's research. People who appealed that outlay time along with their family makes them unhappy and furious, as well as those who said that they devote less time with their friends, were more likely to suffer from depression and stress.

Rubin et al. (2009) proved a parallel study in the swine flu outbreak in the United Kingdom. There was much match like illness among swine flu and COVID-19 infection. Both illnesses were viral in origin relating the respiratory system and spreading by droplet infection. Similar safeguards have been frequently encouraged for the stoppage of swine flu and COVID-19 contamination. Unluckily, there was no particular treatment or vaccine available for COVID-19 infection, although both treatment and vaccines are present for swine flu.


  1. COVID-19 and its Correlates in Indian Community

According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), a total of 1071 COVID-19 positive cases (including 49 abroad individuals) were recorded in 27 states/union territories in India as of March 30, 2020. There were 99 instances that were treated and discharged, one individual who relocated, and 29 deaths among them. All confirmed cases will be isolated in hospitals, and the contagion will be traced and quarantined domestically. In India, unfold of the early disorder can be traced mainly to the foreign nationals who visited the country as tourists from the disease affected countries and secondly due to the mass immigration of Indian nationals from overseas. As the pandemic outburst in India turned into on-going, the Government of India took appropriate measures to limit the cases by way of introducing a major lockdown pan-India and additionally through moving the immigrants to the quarantine facilities organized by using the Indian Military without delay from the airports and seaports for at the very least 14 days. Community health teams were also promoted to spread awareness about the chances of spread and protecting measures that one can use to defend themselves and others.


Research Methodology

This study concentrated categorically on extensive study of secondary data, which were composed from different government and private reports, publications from various websites, books, newspapers, journals, and magazines.

Search Criteria

Article searching was performed electronically to locate peer-reviewed articles from various Scopus, sage and web of science by means of the subsequent search terms Social Marketing and COVID-19 stress and benefits, restricted to the title, "Social" and "Customer", COVID lockdown.

Selection Strategy

For incorporation of the article in the study, electronic medium was used. The study has to be published after COVID-19 pandemic situation and covered at least one of the above conditions or variables that has been consider for the current article. Those articles must also use the term quality of Marketing in Society and Customer.

Narrative reviews, non-peer reviewed articles, and such article with very less information and area has not covered that is required for the current study are mainly excluded from the review.




Web of Science


Science Direct




20 were removed because of duplicity, insufficient data, objective not covered

25 were examined article


17 were eligible


To make the criteria more authentic and reliable, database blind review was conducted with the proposed inclusion criteria, and in order to eliminate possible publication, result were navigated and if the one review do not agree with another review, the methodological quality of all included studies were assessed.

Data Extraction

With articles properly selected, data were extracted using a format that included author’s name, publication year, population studied, used instruments and main results.



  1. 33.90% had moderate or high levels of awareness, negatively related with quality of Marketing (p<0.01).
  2. Sales Difficulties are there, 22% and 21% of the difference in the physical and psychological sides of sales.
  • The normal perceived stress scale showed no major difference in the effect ofSocial Marketingamong male and female.
  1. Being male, living with family and day-to-day physical movement were significantly associated with greater psychological component values and mental score (p<0.001). The mean quality in all was significantly lower in male customers.
  2. Value of product was said to be "as bad as could be" or "any way bad" by respondents;
  3. News about COVID-19 on mass media was found to be associated with awareness. Customers who reported an increased in the sales of domestic product in their locality were found to have a statistically significant association with COVID and awareness.
  • No significant associations of gender, frequency of awareness and sales in COVID-19.



Epidemics and pandemics are not new to humans. Such diseases besides bringing loss to human lives also bring many adverse impacts on persons and the society. COVID-19 being one such pandemic, has terrifically affected the lives of people. As a measure to contain it, governments are imposing lock-downs and this study aimed at assessing the psychological impact of the lock-down on the Social Marketing, which is known to have an active social life.

In a study by Buzby and Ready (1996),where n=1000and depression and stress levels were greater in males and anxiety in females. But in our study, we found no association between gender and the negative aspect of Social Marketing. However, in our study, we have not found any relationship between genders and sales; it may be because of different age groups.

McKenzie-Mohr and Smith (1999), where n=662, has defined that whenever there is symptom of behavioural changes one has to isolate him/herself, but as per the study 96% people has quarantined themselves socially because of psychological effect or lack of awareness.

As against the positive aspects of lock-down mentioned by Saha and Dutta (2020) and in our study it is found that quarrel and fight happen more than the common days in lock down. It very well might be on the grounds that they are isolated from their friends or might be on the grounds that they have not spend that much time along with their family.

Saha and Dutta (2020),found that in lock-down period people started indulging in new leisure activities like reading books, art, cooking, writing, learning musical instruments, etc. but in our study we found that book reading and learning music and other stress reduced activity was less due to unavailability of facility and connectivity which caused more stress and anxiety among customers.

Mobile phone use for longer time was found to be associated with insomnia and depression in a study among Japanese adolescents but using mobile phone for watching videos and talking to friends and relatives may not be associated with the negative emotional states.



Market has become a general issue across nations, societies, and ethnic gatherings(Wong, Wong and Scott, 2006). The current study brought into light that market stress actually keep on being a staggering issue influencing a client's emotional well-being and prosperity. The study found that female customers are more concerned about their academic activities, and that customers aged 18 to 25 years are more vulnerable to the impact of lockdown. They are stressed because of the inability to accept the paradigm shift in market activities and prolonged period of COVID-19 restrictions. This study showed high to moderate levels of stress among customers in India during the COVID-19 outbreak.

This is most likely due to the mandatory curfew and online shopping. The Covid-19 related interruptions highlight key challenges and provide an opportunity to further evaluate alternate measures in the marketing sector.


Managerial Implications of Social Marketing

In current years, Social Marketing is fascinating the interest of non-profit organizations like educational institutions, hospitals and Government organizations and non-Govt. organizations for selling their services. Social advertising strategies are also used positively in fitness advertising programmes together with family welfare, coronary heart care, human organ donations, physical fitness, and immunization, consciousness towards AIDS, smoking and drinking. Social Marketing methods are being applied in significant regions including provision of secure drinking water, soil conservation, upkeep of untamed life existence, forestation, protection of surroundings and so forth.

Social leaders had been put on Social Marketing strategies in regions like safety of human rights, abolition of caste-ism and racism. From 1970s the western countries have acknowledged environmental attitude towards developing strategies. Business corporations had been applying Social Marketing methods for application in their business rules satisfying clients, long term welfare of the society, attracting buyers, motivating and education the people.

The developing strategies adopted to this point are accountable for all sorts of pollution (air, water, sound) imbalanced ecology and have endangered the very presence of human beings. For instance, detergents used for cloth washing is liable for water pollutants and lack of aquatic lives. Popular plastic products aren't disposable and create environmental glitches. All forms of motors upload to air and sound pollution.  On the contrary, the govt. has to spend crores of rupees on oil import bill. A wide variety of studies have shown that consumables like tobacco products, some of the cosmetic products are injurious to health. Still these products are being sold in the market. Mcdonalds and Kentucky, the pioneers of ‘Fast meals Culture’ are making huge earnings at the cost of consumer health. The uncaring approach of marketers has brought irreversible loss to human being and the universe. Incorrect advertising strategies are creating huge health troubles, pollution and ecological imbalance. Thus the remedial measures and the cost of it must be borne by the organizations who are making huge profits out of it.



Future Prospect Directions of Social Marketing

In the 21st century, social advertising standards could positively benefit the organization, for example social, medical wellbeing, political and business issues. The customers can change the financial and a natural framework, Information Technology has made correspondence frameworks enthusiastic, conveying and compelling. So the whole world has become a ‘Global Village’. In the word of Marshal Goldsmith “new technologies, new organizations and the rise of global village will have a yield effect on our sense of community in the years ahead. Two trends stand out: the explosion of our potential to communicate instantaneously and enormously across the globe and, closely aligned with our ability to create communities of our choice”. In days to come, social marketers should acknowledge data innovation to fabricate relationship with target gatherings, acquiring backing of the majority to social change crusades, wellbeing advancement in health care sector and establishing awareness in regards to environment protection for themselves and for future generations.





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