Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Is there a role for marketing in community development?

Collins, Katie

Is there a role for marketing in community development? Thumbnail


Katie Collins


© Oxford University Press and Community Development Journal. 2014. All rights reserved. Social marketing is the application of marketing theory to social issues. A significant drawback, though, is that practitioners are encouraged to assume high levels of agency among their target audiences, often while developing programmes aimed at very disadvantaged groups. However, some social marketers work openly and collaboratively at neighbourhood level to co-create change with the people who would usually be cast in the much more passive role of an audience. This article describes a project that adopted these principles, working with people in two deprived neighbourhoods to co-create strategies to reduce risky drinking. Locals used alcohol to cope with feelings of being trapped, emotionally and socially isolated with limited access to employment and facilities. A mobile services hub with a street cafe was piloted for 4 days. This project is an example of the potential for overlap between social marketing and community development and suggests that practitioners could learn from each other's expertise. The article concludes with a review of social marketing's role in situations where structural barriers to behaviour change are high, finishing with a call for social marketers and community developers to open themselves to collaboration.


Collins, K. (2015). Is there a role for marketing in community development?. Community Development Journal, 50(1), 153-167.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2015
Deposit Date Sep 16, 2014
Publicly Available Date Jan 1, 2017
Journal Community Development Journal
Print ISSN 0010-3802
Electronic ISSN 1468-2656
Publisher Oxford University Press (OUP)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 50
Issue 1
Pages 153-167
Keywords alcohol, community development, participation
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Community Development Journal following peer review. The version of record Collins, K. (2015) Is there a role for marketing in community development? Community Development Journal, 50 (1). pp. 153-167. ISSN 0010-3802 is available online at:


Downloadable Citations