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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Michael C Fagen, PhD, MPH (University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health)
Description: This book presents case studies of public health-oriented social marketing initiatives in 15 countries.
Purpose: Providing practical examples of successful social marketing initiatives that have been implemented internationally is a worthy goal because case examples are critical to understanding and influencing practice in social marketing and are hard to find in fully developed write-ups.
Audience: This book is written for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students in multiple disciplines that study social marketing, including public health, public administration, communication, and marketing. The authors are certainly credible authorities. Indeed, Philip Kotler is considered the "inventor" of social marketing and, along with Lee (and others), has written many seminal books and articles in this field.
Features: The first chapter provides an excellent summary of the social marketing framework and its historical use in public health. Each subsequent chapter provides a case study of a country-specific social marketing initiative that highlights particular environments, strategies, barriers, and lessons learned which are tied into the overarching framework provided in the first chapter. The case studies are written in plain language and augmented by figures and photos highlighting notable features of each social marketing initiative.
Assessment: This excellent book contributes to our understanding of social marketing in public health. The editors succinctly summarize the social marketing framework at the book's outset, and each chapter provides a rich example of how this framework is being used to promote health around the world. As a result, the social marketing field now has a uniquely practical resource that will be prominently featured on my bookshelf.