A key social marketing concept is understanding the role of barriers. These are hindrances to the achieving behavioral change, and they may be internal or external in nature.
Examples of common barriers include lack of modern facilities for healthcare and a lack of education on basic health issues. Social marketing seeks to overcome such barriers by identifying the benefits to the target audience that can be realized by changing behavior and effectively communicating these benefits.
An example is to educate new mothers on the fact that breastfeeding for the first 1 to 2 months will create a loving bond between themselves and their newborns. Effective social marketing must also address the perceived benefits of the competing behavior choices. For example, formula feeding offers convenience and can be done by other family members, so it directly competes with the healthier breastfeeding alternative.