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Social Needs and Planting Seeds

The basics and benefits of social marketing and an example of the beauty it can promote

What is Social Marketing and how can social entrepreneurs benefit from it? 

Social Marketing could be defined as the use of marketing to spread the word about the needs of society. Philip Kotler (2008) defined social marketing as "the design, implementation, and monitoring of programs that seek to increase the acceptance of a social idea or cause among certain target groups".

How social entrepreneurs can benefit from Social Marketing? 

Nowadays, companies seek to promote themselves externally to customers or potential users through the digital tools available to them, such as social networks, websites, blogs, and inbound marketing. 

In social marketing, two aspects are beginning to converge: on the one hand, the interest of business organisations in incorporating social issues into their marketing strategies, and on the other hand, non-business organisations are being incorporated into the design and implementation of marketing strategies (Rozano, 2008). 

Social marketing starts and develops from the transmission of information, the core of it’s activity is focused on achieving behavioral change, for example, by raising awareness to reduce alcohol consumption (Pascual et all, 2011). Therefore, social marketing has clear importance for social entrepreneurs, both through the transmission of their socially responsible products and services and, on the other hand, because of the need for the economic sustainability of their companies. 

One example of social marketing is the Spanish company SHEEDO: 

At Sheedo we have replaced throw-away paper with use-and-plant paper. Our product is a unique paper handmade in Spain from reused cotton fibres from the textile industry. We do not use cellulose, so we do not cut down trees or use toxic chemicals for bleaching. The result is a 100% sustainable paper with a very special touch: it has seeds in its composition, which allows it to be planted after use and thus close the consumption cycle”.

The example of this company stands out for its mission to raise awareness of the need to be close to nature and to take care of it, through sustainable consumption alternatives in the world of advertising and packaging. They want to be the benchmark company for sustainable merchandising and paper, not only in Spain but also in Europe, where they are already establishing their first alliances.

This example illustrates how Social Marketing can influence change by applying sustainable actions generating economic growth. 

To learn more about this company, visit their website:


Pascual, C. O., Lara, E. M. R., & Vázquez, M. S. (2011). Marketing de las causas sociales. In Herramientas para el diseño de proyectos sociales (pp. 103-116). Universidad de La Rioja.

Kotler, P. and Lee, N. (2008), Social Marketing: Influencing Behaviors for Good 3rd Edition, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 

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Erasmus Plus KA2 Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices

Project No: 2020-1-DE02-KA202-007564

Project title: Collaborate learning of alternative finances and funding for social entrepreneurs

The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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