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  • Writer's pictureMIKE'S MASTERMIND

Healthy New Year PResolutions

Each January, roughly one in three Americans resolve to better themselves in some way. At the top of the list usually is a health related goal such as lose weight, join a gym, eat better but only a small percentage of people actually make good on those resolutions. While about 75% of people stick to their goals for at least a week, less than half (46%) are still on target six months later, research suggests. It's hard to keep up the enthusiasm months after you've swept up the confetti, but it's not impossible. This year, pick one of the following worthy resolutions, and stick with it. So, nudge marketing is popular in the UK how can public relations and other influencer tactics work to help create the context for healthier behavioral change? Lets explore the dimensions to learn how it's done. Here’s to your health!

What is health marketing?

Health Marketing is a multidisciplinary area of public health practice. It draws from traditional marketing theories and principles and adds science-based strategies to prevention, health promotion and health protection. Health marketing provides a framework of theories, strategies and techniques that can be used to guide work in public health research, interventions, and communication campaigns.

Health Marketing Basic

Health Marketing and communication draws from traditional marketing theories and principles. Health Marketing is defined as creating communication, and delivering health information and interventions using customer-centered and science based strategies to protect and promote the health of diverse populations.

Read on for some basic marketing terms.


Marketing is a process to meet human or social needs. The fundamental aspects of marketing are the same whether they meet the need for a commercial product or a public health service. Therefore, health marketing is a form of traditional marketing.

For both traditional marketing and health marketing, the end user of a product or service is called a ‘consumer’ and a group of consumers is referred to as a ‘market’. Characteristics of the market are considered at every stage in the marketing process, including the initial development of a product.

Marketing Mix

Marketing mix is a term used to describe the integration of four fundamental marketing elements, which are sometimes called the ‘four Ps’: • Product: the item, good or service that is being provided that delivers benefits to those who consume it; includes quality, packaging, design and brand name • Price: monetary and non-monetary costs to the market • Place: channels and locations where the product can be obtained • Promotion: direct communication, publicity and advertising

Each of these four components should be present in a marketing plan. The science of correctly using these elements in combination with one another that provides the effective ‘marketing mix’. To be effective a “product must be tailored to customer needs, priced realistically, distributed through convenient channels, and actively promoted to customers.”

What Are Health Communication & Social Marketing?

Health communication and social marketing may have some differences, but they share a common goal: creating social change by changing people’s attitudes, and/or modifying or eliminating certain behaviors.

Generally, a person in social marketing or health communications will create and use products, programs, or interventions as means to the same end: to promote health changes in individuals and communities. Sometimes you may hear the term “Health Marketing.” In this context, health marketing is a blending of multiple disciplines: the theoretical underpinnings of social marketing with the outreach communication strategies found in health communications.

For my client campaigns, I use both social marketing and health communication practices, which are both overlapping and complementary, in its approach to promoting or “marketing” healthy behaviors to the public.

Health Communication

As stated, Health Communication is the study and use of communication strategies to inform and influence decisions and actions to improve health. It can take on many forms: written, verbal, and visual. Here are some essential strategic planning steps for effective health communication and social:

• Review background information to define the problem (What’s out there?) • Set communication objectives (What do we want to accomplish?) • Analyze and segment target audiences (Who do we want to reach?) • Develop and pretest message concepts (What do we want to say?) • Select communication channels (Where do we want to say it?) • Select, create and pretest messages and products (How do we want to say it?) • Develop promotion plan/production (How do we get it used?) • Implement communication strategies and conduct process evaluation (Getting it out there) • Conduct outcome and impact evaluation (How well did we do?)

Social Marketing

Take a look at these sentences. What do the bold words have in common? • Fasten your seat belt. • Eat more fruit. • Pull over to use your cell phone. • Don’t litter. • Get a mammogram. • Talk to your doctor

These are action words describing problems to be addressed by changing behavior. Research may help describe what your audience is currently doing or thinking. Then, based on research findings, communicators can develop realistic goals for behavior change. Social marketing is about identifying the specific target audience segment(s), describing the potential benefits, and then creating interventions that will influence or support the desired behavior change.

It is important for health communicators to understand and incorporate the “The Four ‘P’s of Marketing,” into our program planning. Social marketing is critical because it looks at the “Four P’s” from the viewpoint of the consumer. The “Four P’s of Marketing” are:

1. PRODUCT represents the desired behavior you are asking your audience to do, and the associated benefits, tangible objects, and/or services that support behavior change. 2. PRICE is the cost (financial, emotional, psychological, or time-related) of overcoming the barriers the audience faces in making the desired behavior change. 3. PLACE is where the audience will perform the desired behavior, where they will access the program products and services, or where they are thinking about your issue. 4. PROMOTION stands for communication messages, materials, channels, and activities that will effectively reach your audience.

Sometimes there is a fifth “P” – Policy. POLICY is the laws and regulations that influence the desired behavior, such as requiring sidewalks to make communities more walkable, or prohibiting smoking in shared public spaces.

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