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Bringing social marketing closer to the disability field

Jose Manuel Gil Guzman (Department of European Projects, Valencian Institute of Social – Health Care, Valencia, Spain)
Asuncion Hernandez-Fernandez (Department of Marketing, Faculty of Economics, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain)
Pedro Canales-Ronda (Department of Marketing, Faculty of Economics, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain)

Journal of Social Marketing

ISSN: 2042-6763

Article publication date: 27 July 2021

Issue publication date: 23 November 2021




This paper aims to show the advantages that social marketing training programs for disability professionals can play in improving the approach to the problems faced by people with disabilities, offering a necessary mutual understanding between both sectors. So, describing what are the training needs in social marketing expressed by disability professionals and providing an initial shared theoretical framework of both fields that could contribute to implementing social marketing strategies in the field of disability as an inducer of quality of life.


This is a mixed-method approach combining: a quantitative analysis with a web-based self-administered questionnaire completed in six European countries and a qualitative analysis: interviews to experts pre and post questionnaire.


Quantitative data has identified that: front-line professionals working directly with people with disabilities have high social marketing training needs; these needs are mostly related to the assessment and modification of clients’ behavior and the development of interventions according to the concept of value co-creation. Qualitative data has shown that: both fields share some similar theoretical frameworks. Therefore, it is stated that social marketing has the potential to be better implemented in the disability field.

Research limitations/implications

Considering public policy; stigma and discrimination; regulations; other models and improving the sampling method.


Sharing theoretical framework of both fields, social marketing strategies into the disability field as an inductor for quality of life. No research has analyzed the needs of disability professionals when they have to face a problem and find a solution that social marketing strategies could offer into the disability field.



This work was supported by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. “Social Inclusion Marketing Project” (Referenced 2019–1-PT-01-KA204-060716).


Gil Guzman, J.M., Hernandez-Fernandez, A. and Canales-Ronda, P. (2021), "Bringing social marketing closer to the disability field", Journal of Social Marketing, Vol. 11 No. 4, pp. 321-341.



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