Craig Lefebvre and June Flora introduced social marketing to the public health community in 1988, where it has been most widely used and explored. They noted that there was a need for "large scale, broad-based, behavior change focused programs" to improve public health (the community wide prevention of cardiovascular diseases in their respective projects) and outlined eight essential components of social marketing that still hold today:
Win-win-win. The advertiser wins because they only pay when a purchase is made (as opposed to the shotgun approach of paying to advertise to the masses and waiting for a small percentage to actually buy). The affiliate wins because they make money while providing helpful advice. The customer wins because they get a trusted recommendation for something they might not otherwise have known about.
Don’t exhaust all the information about the product with your link. Offer enough information to your readers so they know what the link is, but I don’t recommend giving too much detail on your own site for a two reasons. First, product information, like price, often changes. If you mention the price on your site and someone clicks over and finds a different price, it’s confusing. Second, many times, the product details and features are better explained by the makers of the product. It’s best to stick to your own experience on your site.
Social marketing is sometimes seen as being restricted to a client base of non-profit organizations, health services groups, the government agency. However, the goal of inducing social change is not restricted to this narrow spectrum of organizations. Corporations, for example, can be clients. Public relations or social responsibility departments may champion social causes such funding for the arts, which would involve social marketing.
As digital sources of health information continue to proliferate, people with low income and low education will find it more difficult to access health information. This “digital divide” affects a large proportion of people in the United States and other Western nations. Thus, creating effective health messages and rapidly identifying and adapting them to appropriate audiences (which are themselves rapidly changing) is essential to achieving the Healthy People 2010 goal of reducing health disparity within the US population.8
Affiliate marketing has grown quickly since its inception. The e-commerce website, viewed as a marketing toy in the early days of the Internet, became an integrated part of the overall business plan and in some cases grew to a bigger business than the existing offline business. According to one report, the total sales amount generated through affiliate networks in 2006 was £2.16 billion in the United Kingdom alone. The estimates were £1.35 billion in sales in 2005. MarketingSherpa's research team estimated that, in 2006, affiliates worldwide earned US$6.5 billion in bounty and commissions from a variety of sources in retail, personal finance, gaming and gambling, travel, telecom, education, publishing, and forms of lead generation other than contextual advertising programs.