National Social Marketing Centre

Our history

Formerly the National Social Marketing Centre, The NSMC was originally set up by the UK Government.

Now a Community Interest Company (CIC), we have a global reach, applying social marketing skills, knowledge and experience from around the world to solve behavioural challenges. 

Our unique history, and our status as a CIC, means that we're not just here to deliver great social marketing programmes, but to develop resources and share expertise to spread social marketing best practice as widely as we can.

Established by government 

The UK National Consumer Council's 2006 report It’s our health! confirmed the potential of social marketing to improve behavioural interventions. One of the report’s main recommendations was to establish a ‘National Social Marketing Centre’ to build national and local capacity and skills in social marketing.

Minister for Public Health, Caroline Flint, formally launched The NSMC in December 2006, alongside its founders Ed Mayo, Chief Executive of the NCC, John Bromley of the Department of Health, and Professor Jeff French.

Learning demonstration sites

When The NSMC was launched in December 2006, the field of social marketing was just emerging in England. The NSMC's three-year National Learning demonstration sites scheme, funded by the  Department of Health (DH), England, aimed to capture learning and best practice across a range of health issues and target audiences. 

Ten NSMC-supported pilot projects, based in primary care trusts and local authorities across England, addressed a range of health issues and audiences. Two independent organisations were commissioned to conduct process and outcome evaluations for the projects. 

As well as overall management and coordination of the scheme, The NSMC provided direct guidance and support to the ten project teams throughout the entire planning process, particularly around scoping, development and evaluation. 

You can find out more about the projects, including evaluation methods and outcomes for each site  on our online case study database, ShowCase

Health equity

In 2010 The NSMC provided technical input to the Marmot Review of the Social Determinants of Health, and worked with the Department of Health (England) and UCL's Institute of Health Equity to identify ways in which social marketing can be used to address the social determinants of health (SDH). 

Find out more about our work on Health Equity, including reports, project case studies and video.

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  • Talk to us

    How can we help your social marketing project? Call us on 020 7799 1900.

  • Improving effectiveness...

    The NSMC continues to play an important role in improving the effectiveness of governments' and national organisations' behaviour change programmes.

    Mary Newman, Head of clinical strategies, Department of Health


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Latest News & Events

30 March 2016

The NSMC Level 4 Social Marketing Award Course

We are currently planning the date of our next Level 4 Social Marketing Award. Keep on eye on our website for details of this course, or alternatively contact us directly and we will then let you know when the date has been organised.

The course is the only introduction to social marketing course accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and has been created from The NSMC's nine years' experience of delivering social marketing training courses with input from the accreditation unit at the CIM.

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12 April 2015

NSMC is commissioned by SNV Netherlands to evaluate a water and sanitation programme in Cambodia

The NSMC has just won a major contract with the Netherlands Development Organisation SNV to evaluate one of their major water and sanitation programmes in southern Cambodia.  The WASH programme is aiming to reduce the incidence of infectious diseases through a combination of institutional capacity building and behaviour change interventions.  The evaluation project will begin in late April and will be conducting both qualitative and quantitative research in the southern part of the country to evaluate the impact of the WASH programme on rural communities.

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23 February 2015

NSMC wins new project in Kent to develop a social marketing plan to reduce the number of expectant mothers who smoke

The NSMC has just been awarded a new project helping Kent County Council to develop a social marketing plan to reduce smoking rates in pregnant women.  We will be working over the next months to co-develop a behaviour change intervention that resonates with our target audience and helps them to quit smoking for good.  We will keep you informed of how this exciting project is developing throughout March and April. 

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18 March 2014

Guest blog - Best practice for research programmes by Rachel Cope of MRUK

With a trend towards social marketing increasingly being used to inform policy and development of strategy, the need for actionable research has never been more important.  Here, I outline best practice to ensure that your research programmes can be put into action.

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21 February 2014

The Chartered Institute of Marketing New Social Marketing Award


What do young people crossing railways safely, stopping smoking for October, voting for a country to join FIFA, not using accident and emergency services and enrolling more students on a course have in common?


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