What is Social Marketing?

A simple answer is “Solving a social problem with a product, service, or behavior change strategy that benefits individuals and communities for the greater social good.” Social marketing uses techniques and approaches developed in commercial marketing to sell products—to achieve socially beneficial ends. It can be used to motivate uptake of healthy behaviors, change social norms, or advise policymakers.

About the USF Social Marketing Conference

The University of South Florida Social Marketing Conference is the first social marketing conference dating back to 1991.

An in-depth training academy that provides an introduction to social marketing proceeds the main conference. The Main Conference offers a blend of plenary presentations by internationally recognized social marketing experts on topics of interest to learners at all levels. Concurrent sessions, both invited and selected from responses to the ‘Call for Abstracts,’ supplement the agenda with case studies of social marketing applications in a variety of settings and new developments in the field. These sessions are balanced between introductory and more advanced audiences. The specific topics and speakers are selected to elaborate on key elements of the social marketing approach and to illustrate opportunities to apply social marketing.

Following the success of the 25th Conference, we will offer keynotes followed by “hatch labs” to enable participants to discuss ideas with each other and invited experts. Poster sessions and concurrent breakout groups will be competitively selected from abstracts to supplement the agenda.

CLICK HERE for highlights from the 25th USF Social Marketing Conference!

Target Audience

This conference meets the educational needs of the public health workforce and anyone working in the field trying to make the world a better place. It is structured to offer continuing education credits for the Certified in Public Health credential and the Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES) credential. (Details below.)

Prerequisite knowledge of social marketing is not a requirement to attend. If you are new to the field, you are encouraged to attend Social Marketing 101 in addition to the USF SM Conference.

Networking is Key

The conference offers numerous informal opportunities for networking with some of the country’s best social marketers, so be ready to mingle!

Upon completion of the Training Academy, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the core elements of a successful social marketing initiative; (CHES/MCHES competencies: 1.1.3, 1.4.1, 1.4.2)
  • Select the behavior which will have the greatest impact on the problem; (CHES/MCHES competencies: 1.4.2, 1.4.3)
  • Select and prioritize the target audience; (CHES/MCHES competencies 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3)
  • Understand the importance of formative research and how to analyze data; (CHES/MCHES competencies: 1.3.1, 1.3.2, 1.3.3) and
  • Develop a marketing mix based on insights. (CHES/MCHES competencies: 2.3.3, 3.3.5)
  • List at least three new professional contacts. (MCHES/MCHES competencies: 2.1.3)

Upon completion of the Main Conference, participants will be able to:

  • Critically comment on the role of social marketing in fostering equity; (CHES/MCHES competencies: 1.1.3, 1.4.1, 1.4.3)
  • Discuss three examples of advanced application of social marketing practice; (CHES/MCHES competencies: 2.3.4)
  • Explain at least five programs in which social marketing was used as a tool for development and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of those particular applications; (CHES/MCHES competencies: 2.3.4, 2.1.3, 2.4.2)
  • Suggest at least one new collaborative project or application; (MCHES/MCHES competencies: 2.1.3) and
  • List at least five new professional contacts. (MCHES/MCHES competencies: 2.1.3)

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Accreditation Requested

Stay tuned for more information on accreditation requested for the 2021 Conference.

The College of Public Health at the University of South Florida is an approved provider of Certified in Public Health Continuing Education Credit (CPHCE) by the National Board of Public Health Examiners.

Sponsored by USF Health, a designated provider of continuing education contact hours (CECH) in health education by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. This activity is designated for Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES ®) and/or Master Certified Health Education Specialists (MCHES®) to receive up to 23 total (entry-level) Category I contact education contact hours.

The 26th USF Social Marketing Conference and Training Academies

Health Education Specialist Practice Analysis (HESPA); Competencies and Sub-competencies

Area I: Assess Needs, Resources, and Capacity for Health Education/Promotion

1.1 Plan assessment process for health education/promotion

1.1.3 Engage priority populations, partners, and stakeholders to participate in the assessment process

1.3 Collect primary data to determine needs

1.3.1 Identify data collection instruments

1.3.2 Select data collection methods for use in the assessment

1.3.3 Develop data collection procedures

1.4 Analyze relationships among behavioral, environmental, and other factors that influence health

1.4.1 Identify and analyze factors that influence health behaviors

1.4.2 Identify and analyze factors that impact health

1.4.3 Identify the impact of emerging social, economic, and other trends on health

Area II: Plan Health Education/Promotion

2.1 Involve priority populations, partners, and other stakeholders in the planning process

2.1.1 Identify priority populations, partners, and other stakeholders

2.1.2 Use strategies to convene priority populations, partners, and other stakeholders

2.1.3 Facilitate collaborative efforts among priority populations, partners, and other stakeholders

2.2 Develop goals and objectives

2.2.5 Develop specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-sensitive objectives

2.3 Select or design strategies/interventions

2.3.3 Apply principles of evidence-based practice in selecting and/or designing strategies/interventions

2.3.4 Apply principles of cultural competence in selecting and/or designing strategies/interventions

2.3.7 Tailor strategies/interventions for priority populations

2.3.8 Adapt existing strategies/interventions as needed

2.4 Develop a plan for the delivery of health education/promotion

2.4.2 Identify the resources involved in the delivery of health education/promotion

Area III: Implement Health Education/Promotion

3.3 Implement health education/promotion plan

3.3.5 Implement marketing plan

Area VII: Communicate, Promote, and Advocate for Health, Health Education / Promotion, and the Profession

7.1 Identify, develop, and deliver messages using a variety of communication strategies, methods, and techniques

7.1.4 Pilot test messages and delivery methods


Provided by:

USF Health