Evidence of Strategic Marketing in Social Enterprises: Lessons From a Developing Nation

Evidence of Strategic Marketing in Social Enterprises: Lessons From a Developing Nation

Debbie Ellis (University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa) and Evelyn Derera (University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 31
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7859-8.ch008
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Social enterprises represent a unique form of organization with both commercial and social objectives. As such, the application of strategic marketing to these organizations is not clearly understood. Chapter 1 developed a framework for analyzing strategic marketing, which is applied in this chapter to three South African social enterprises to assess the evidence of the application of strategic marketing in the social enterprise context. The results of the study reflect rich qualitative data providing evidence of the application of elements of strategic marketing as well as adaptations more appropriate to the social enterprise context. From these lessons, recommendations are made for social enterprises applying a more systematic approach to strategic marketing in their organizations.
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Social Enterprises In South Africa

South Africa gained its independence in 1994 (Magombeyi & Odhiambo, 2018). The first democratic elections gave the African National Congress (ANC) the mandate to govern the country (Littlewood and Holt, 2018). However, more than two decades after the end of the apartheid era, progress on socio-economic transformation is receiving mixed reactions (Littlewood & Holt, 2018). “The triple challenge of high poverty, inequality, and unemployment persists” (World Bank, 2018, p. vii). Poverty remains high (Lilenstein, Woolard & Leibbrandt, 2018; World Bank, 2018) with more than half (55 percent) of the population regarded as poor, surviving at a poverty line of ZAR 992 per person per month according to 2015 prices (World Bank, 2018). South Africa is one of the most unequal countries in the world (Lilenstein et al., 2018; World Bank, 2018) with a consumption per capita Gini coefficient of 0.63 in 2015 (World Bank, 2018). The economy is currently not generating sufficient jobs. The unemployment rate for the last quarter of 2018 was 27.1% (STATSA, 2019). The youth and unskilled workers bear the blunt of the problem (World Bank, 2018). Youth unemployment rate for the last quarter of 2018 was 38.9% (STATSA, 2019). In addition, South Africa has a high HIV/AIDS prevalence estimated at 19%, with approximately 6.3 million people living with HIV and more than 2.4 million AIDS orphans (UNAIDS, 2016). There are high crime rates (Grabrucker & Grimm, 2018), and limitations in the provision of basic services such as access to clean and safe drinking water, access to basic health care facilities, etc. (Wasserman, Chuma & Bosch, 2018). All these challenges put pressure on the government to improve the lives of its citizens, yet the government has limited capacity to address these pressing issues. It is these gaps or institutional voids that are often filled by social enterprises (Littlewood & Holt, 2018). In recent years, there has been increasing interest in social entrepreneurship as a mechanism to address these challenges.

Key Terms in this Chapter

CSI: Corporate social investment; for-profit organization spending on social causes.

Positioning Statement: An organization’s statement of how it wishes to be positioned in the mind of target markets.

Promotion: All forms of communication by the organisation about the organisation or its offering.

Target Market: Group of customers that the organisation targets with an offer designed to satisfy their needs.

Beneficiary: The recipient of the social enterprise’s product or service.

Shack: A small room or few room homes built from scraps of corrugated iron and wood that act as houses for inhabitants of informal settlements or urban slums.

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