Advancing use of norms for social marketing: Extending the theory of normative social behavior

Amanda Mabry, Michael Mackert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As social marketing campaigns are developed for more precisely defined target audiences, it is important for practitioners and scholars alike to utilize a wide range of theoretical frameworks in order to create campaigns that are best suited to meet the needs of diverse audiences. The purpose of this paper is to offer the Theory of Normative Social Behavior as an innovative theory of communication that is a useful framework for designing social marketing campaigns, as well as propose an extension to the theory that incorporates indirect and direct media effects as well as media involvement. Explicitly incorporating media effects into the Theory of Normative Social Behavior enhances existing theory and knowledge regarding how internal (i.e., cognitive) and external (i.e., media) mechanisms function in the context of normative influence and norms-based communication campaigns. Further, such an extension improves the practical utility of the theory so social marketers can more effectively utilize it as a framework for developing persuasive normative messages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-143
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Review on Public and Nonprofit Marketing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Social marketing
  • Social norms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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