Proactive Vs Reactive Social Marketing and Corona Virus Awareness: A Literature Review

  • Odigbo Ben E., Samaila Mande, Ugwu Ogbu Silk



This paper is a systematic review of pioneer publications on COVID-19 in its first three months of inception as documented by the World Health Organization from Web of Science, Scopus, Social Science Citation collections (December 2019 to February 2020). A systematic analysis technique was adopted in qualitatively analyzing the existing literature. The findings revealed that as at the time of this study, published articles focusing on COVID-19 public awareness/enlightenment were relatively insignificant (28%), and very few studies (12%) focused on social marketing or public positive attitudes and behavior changes toward Coronavirus. However, there is a significant number of articles on the medical areas of Coronavirus, covering: infection prevention and control, epidemiology case studies, medical ethics, virology, and a host of others. The findings call attention to the urgent need of empirical studies in this area, for experts in marketing communications and other communications-related fields to fully come on board in the global war against the Coronavirus pandemic. Being the first of its kind, this review aids the assessment of published literature, highlights the strengths and gaps in the social marketing aspects, and provides directions for future research.