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Social marketing interventions: insights from a system dynamics simulation model

Stephen Graham Saunders (Department of Marketing Monash Business School, Monash University, Frankston, Australia)
V. Dao Truong (Tourism Research in Economic Environs and Society, North – West University - Potchefstroom Campus, Potchefstroom, South Africa and Tourism and Hospitality, National Economics University, Hanoi, Vietnam)

Journal of Social Marketing

ISSN: 2042-6763

Article publication date: 25 July 2019

Issue publication date: 20 August 2019




The purpose of this paper is to explore the dynamic nature of behaviour change over time and to gain insights into the effectiveness of social marketing efforts at three different intervention points under three different delay time conditions.


A system dynamics simulation modelling approach was used.


The findings showed that the effectiveness of social marketing interventions at different points of intervention and delay times is dependent on complex dynamic system interactions and feedback loops.

Research limitations/implications

As the dynamic simulation model was an abstraction or simplified representation, it was only useful to gain insights into generalised patterns of behaviour over time.

Practical implications

The paper provided practical guidance to social marketers’ intent on gaining insights into “where to do” and “when to do” social marketing rather than “how to do” social marketing.


The paper provided theoretical and practical insights into the temporal nature of behaviour change and the effectiveness of social marketing interventions in influencing behaviour over time.



Saunders, S.G. and Truong, V.D. (2019), "Social marketing interventions: insights from a system dynamics simulation model", Journal of Social Marketing, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 329-342.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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