Social marketing is an increasingly popular means of Travel Demand Management (TDM) for promoting non-car modes of travel that has proven to be effective, in particular if combined with structural improvements. Successful social marketing is based on a thorough understanding of targeted people’s needs, wants, and perceived barriers. It uses a combination of means to create an attractive offering tailored to these needs, wants, and perceived barriers. It applies established marketing techniques for catching attention to the offerings. However, there are limits to what social marketing can accomplish. In particular, social marketing is limited to cases where only perceived and not real barriers prevent people from using alternative travel modes. A review is given of research on and practical experiences of social marketing in TDM as a basis for evaluating its usefulness.
Handbook of Sustainable Travel: People, Society, and Transportation Systems, 2013, p. 113-129