50 years of Social Marketing: Looking Back and Looking Forward

Call for papers for: Journal of Social Marketing

This special issue will be open for submissions from 1 May 2021.

Guest Editor Michael Basil, University of Lethbridge, Canada

2021 marks 50 years since Philip Kotler and Gerald Zaltman threw down the challenge that marketing techniques can be used for positive social change. Despite some challenges, and at time setbacks, social marketing strives to be a means to achieve a better world for the planet’s 7.6 billion people.

To help us understand where we have been and where we are going the Journal of Social Marketing would like to publish a special issue on the topic of looking back and looking forward. How have schools of thought evolved in social marketing thus far and where do they need to go next?  What were our opportunities, challenges and successes? What perils and potentials do we face as a field facing forward? What learnings from the past can we draw on to cement success to extend social marketing’s footprint as an approach that can be applied to protect people and the planet? 


To quote from Maya Angelou:

“I have great respect for the past. If you don't know where you've come from, you don't know where you're going. I have respect for the past, but I'm a person of the moment. I'm here, and I do my best to be completely centered at the place I'm at, then I go forward to the next place.”

We are inviting well-known scholars who are working inside and outside social marketing to contribute. This special issue also calls on new and emerging scholars to reflect on where we have been, what challenges we have faced, where we currently are and where social marketing should be headed in the future.

We are seeking a wide range of contributions, both shorter and longer, opinion-based, theoretical and even empirical to provide a better understanding of the field itself.

Submission information

All submissions will be subject to double blind peer review. Submissions for this issue will be available from 1 May 2021 – 1 July 2021

Please submit via the journal’s online submission system at https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/jsocm

During submission please select this issue from the drop down menu provided. Prior to submission please consult the author guidelines at https://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/journal/jsocm#author-guidelines


For further information please contact the Guest Editor, Michael Basil, at [email protected]