Social Marketing in Nutrition and Health Promotion

– The same basic principles are behind both commercial and social approaches to marketing.
– The aim of both approaches is to strengthen the fit between the products, services, and programs offered and the needs of the population.
– Pervasive
– How can we leverage this widespread messaging to get people interested in nutrition (ie. lead to behavioural change)
– Process by which individuals and groups get what they need and want by creating and exchanging products and values with others.
– Find a niche and fill it (show people what they want).
– Purpose = to find a problem, need, or want and to fashion a solution to it.
– Proposed solution(s) to the problem, need or want is outlined in the marketing plan.
– Must be structured: goals and objectives are outlined in advance; also include cost.
Social Marketing
– Draws on the techniques and technologies of commercial product marketing to increase the acceptability of an idea, a practice, a product, or all three amongst a target population.
– Strategy for changing consumer behaviour that combines elements of behaviour theory with product marketing strategies.
– Social marketing: may have exchange for things that are less tangible (ex. choosing foods that are lower in sugar is better).
– Our eating behaviour is NOT solely dependent on our knowledge (ie. it is also dependent on social issues, emotions, etc).
– When you ask people to change behaviour, you ask them to give up something that is comfortable to them to pursue something that is “unnatural” and difficult.
Developing a Social Marketing Plan
A social marketing plan outlines the steps for achieving the goals and objectives of the overall intervention strategy and program plan.

Ex. What the nutrition problem is, who it impacts, the desired outcome, and how you will achieve it (ie. delivery)

– Must have a CLEAR and MEASURABLE outcome (ie. SMART goals). This is imperative for evaluating the effectiveness of a program.

– Give evidence that there is actually a problem (ie. evidence-based practice).

Steps in Developing a Social Marketing Plan
1. Determine needs and wants of target population.

2. Identify benefits of the products or service to the target population.

3. Conduct a situational analysis.

4. Developing a marketing strategy (product, place, price, promotion).

5. Develop a budget and timeline.

6. Implement the marketing strategy.

7. Evaluate the marketing plan.

1. Determine the Needs and Wants of the Target Population
– Marketing always starts with the customer.
– Age, level of education, income, health issues, etc.
– Community needs assessments
– Focus group sessions
– Additional info can be collected by asking questions of the target group.
2. Identify Benefits to Target Population
– Specify the benefits of the product or service to the target population.
– Must be SPECIFIC (HOW is it good for them?)
-“What’s in it for me?”
– Need to identify the specific benefits of adopting new behaviours, practices, habits.
– These benefits need to be greater than the benefits of the existing behaviours, practices and habits.
– If this isn’t made clear, willingness to adopt the program is much weaker.
– “Lost brain messaging” – scare tactics?
– Get people to question their behaviour choice, then offer them an alternative and support.
3. Conduct a Situational Analysis
– Analyze the target audience, environment in which your program or service will be positioned, and the competition.
– Select a target audience which will be the primary, distinct customer group for your product, program or service.
– May need to split target population into smaller groups at this point in time.
– One size fits all approaches are often ineffective.
4. Developing a Marketing Strategy
a) Product
b) Price
c) Place
d) Promotion

– This must demonstrate good fit between goals and resources of the program/service and the needs and wants of the target population.
– Requires setting goals and objectives to indicate what the marketing strategy is expected to accomplish (must use these to evaluate success of program).
– The 4 elements of the marketing strategy are usually referred to as the marketing mix.
– The marketing mix should result directly from the analysis of the consumer, environment, and the competition.
– Successful marketers get the right product, service or program to the right place at the right time for the right price (successful social marketers need to do the same things)
– Endpoints: Knowledge, awareness, beliefs, behaviour change, attitude change.

4. a) Product
– The “product” is the change you want to see.
– Increased health or nutrition knowledge, or new behaviours or attitudes (we need the knowledge to lead to behaviour change)
– The product or service is viewed as a collection of tangible and intangible attributes that may be offered to a market to satisfy a want or need.
– In community nutrition, the product is often a service to be delivered (these services should be of high quality, tailored to fit the needs of the target market, and adapted to meet the consumers’ social characteristics).
4. b) Place
– Actual location where the exchange takes place (ex. where is the session/advertisement hosted?)
– Accessibility, convenience and comfort for the client are criteria to consider.
– Also includes the channels of distribution required to deliver the product or service to the consumer.
– Distribution channels vary depending on the the target market and service provided.
4. c) Price
– Both tangible costs and intangible commodities that the consumer must bear in the marketing exchange.
– Tangible costs: fees for service, increase cost of healthy foods.
– Intangible costs: time, effort required to change behaviour (we often underestimate how much effort is required) and inconvenience.
– If people don’t have self-efficacy, change is hard (especially because people don’t want to publicly fail).
– You MUST persuade the consumer that the benefits to be received outweigh the perceived costs.
– Incentives can be offered to increase motivation and facilitate consumer participation.
– Costs can be reduced (less waiting time) or prices can be discounted to certain groups).
– It doesn’t matter if the perceived cost is irrational; it is still a barrier.
4. d) Promotion
– The organization’s informative or persuasive communication with the target market.
– How you draw the target audience towards your product.
– Promotion has 4 objective:
1. To inform and educate consumers about the existence of a product or service and its capabilities.
2. To remind present and former users of the product’s continuing existence.
3. To persuade prospective purchasers (or adopters of a new behaviour) that the product is worth buying.
4. To inform consumers about where and how to obtain and use the product.
Types of Promotion
1. Advertising: any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods or services by an identified sponsor.

2. Sales promotion: coupons, free samples, point-of-purchase materials, and trade catalogs.

3. Personal promotion: can be done through small group meetings, counselling sessions and nutrition classes, displays and booths at health fairs, and telephone conversations with the public.

4. Public relations: used to create a positive image of an individual or organization.

Public Relations: Tools
1. Articles in newsletters or newspapers
2. Informational brochures
3. Radio and television interviews
4. Internet websites
5. PSAs
6. Direct mail
7. Word-of-mouth.
3. Conduct a Situational Analysis Part 2
– Detailed assessment of the environment including an evaluation of the consumer, the competition, and any other factors that may affect the program or business.
– SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats).
Getting to Know Your Market
1. Primary audience: intended users or purchasers of the product or service

2. Secondary audience(s): Referral sources that include physicians, social workers, teachers, and former clients, other decision makers such as family members

– Each target audience should be viewed as separate and different from the others (ideally, develop a specific marketing strategy for each target audience).
– Actual and potential markets should be divided further into distinct and homogenous subgroups, which is a process called market segmentation.

Market Segmentation: The 45+ Consumers
1. Two career, no children couples
2. Singles
3. Post-menopausal women
4. Retirees
5. Frail elderly
6. First-time parents
Market Research: Target Markets
Market segmentation offers several advantages:
1. A more precise definition of consumer needs and behaviour patterns.
2. Improved identification of ways to provide services to population groups.
3. More efficient utilization of nutrition and health education resources through a better fit among products, programs, services and consumers.
Variables Used for Market Segmentation
1. Geographical segmentation: grouping of people according to the location of their residence or work.
2. Demographic segmentation: grouping based on variables such as income, age, sex, occupation, family size, religion, marital status, life cycle stage.
3. Psychographic segmentation: based on criteria such as personal values, attitudes, opinions, behaviour, lifestyle and level of readiness for change.
4. Behaviouristic segmentation: based on such criteria as purchase frequency and occasion, benefits sought, and attitude toward the product.
Steps in Market Segmentation/Target Marketing
Market Segmentation:
1. Identify bases for segmenting the market.
2. Develop profiles of resulting segments.
3. Develop measures of segment attractiveness.

Target Marketing:
4. Select the target market(s).
5. Develop positioning for each target market.
6. Develop marketing strategy for each target market.

Market Research: Market Segmentation
A strong situational analysis takes time to develop and requires a significant amount of market which includes the use of both primary and secondary data.

Primary Data: New data collected for the first time through random sampling surveys, questionnaires, and qualitative methods such as focus groups.

Secondary Data: data gathered by government agencies, private market research companies and nonprofit organizations.

Market Segmentation: Sources of Secondary Data
– Government
– Published scientific and grey literature
– Private market research companies
Analyzing the Environment
1. Analyzing the Competition
– How are existing competitors positioned in the marketplace? Strengths/weaknesses.
– Find a market niche for your program or service in which your strengths can be matched with the needs of your particular target market.
– Improve your competitive edge (ex. expertise, professional reputation, size, location, customer service).
Monitor and Evaluate
1. Evaluation is the key to the success of all community nutrition programs.
2. Methods:
– Tracking changes in user uptake, behaviours, attitudes and knowledge.
– Referral sources
– Customer satisfaction
3. Funding for PPHM programs is often tied to outcomes. Without a strong monitoring and evaluation strategy you will not be able to describe your outcomes.
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