Summary of Up and Out of Poverty

The Social Marketing Solution

Wharton School Publishing, more...

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Up and Out of Poverty book summary
Helping people escape poverty requires more than money. It needs a new, social marketing approach.


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Sound marketing can push products and services through sales channels. But can donors successfully apply the same marketing techniques to poverty reduction programs? That’s the bold recommendation of authors Philip Kotler and Nancy R. Lee. They build a solid case, linking social marketing strategy with actual case studies worldwide. As the authors note, developed nations spent an estimated $23 trillion on foreign aid packages over the past five decades, but their money has done little to reduce poverty. The missing factor is a social marketing strategy that changes local behaviors and helps people work their way out of poverty. While this is a noble goal, Kotler and Lee’s argument reads like a dry textbook, with too many lists and bullet points. Still, getAbstract found it to be an instructive guide for NGOs, governments and social activists who seek advanced strategies to bolster their poverty reduction programs.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why most anti-poverty initiatives fail
  • How social marketing techniques can promote communities, health and education
  • Why it is important to integrate public and private sector resources to address poverty


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Poverty is a worldwide epidemic. About one-sixth of the world’s population makes less than $1 a day and another two billion people, or one-third of the world’s population, make less than $2 a day. Poverty wastes lives, encourages crime, fosters illness and builds political instability...
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About the Authors

Philip Kotler teaches at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. His books include Marketing Management, Principles of Marketing and Kotler on Marketing. Nancy R. Lee, president of Social Marketing Services, Inc., teaches at the University of Washington and Seattle University. She and Kotler co-authored four books, including Social Marketing.

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