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Minimal Waste, Maximum Impact

  • October 4th, 2017

How can we build more effective campaigns that reduce waste and maximize impact?

Here are 5 tips from Jeff Jordan’s Keynote at the World Social Marketing Conference called Minimal Waste, Maximum Impact: Using Psychographic Segmentation in Social Marketing.

  1. Build brands for people, not topics.

At the end of the day, we’re all trying to convince people to change their behaviors. However, we limit our ability to drive change by creating many different programs, interventions, and campaigns to reach the same people. By finding opportunities to achieve multiple goals with the same brand, we can build brand equity with our audiences and benefit from the trust built with past efforts. For example, rather than have separate campaigns to promote drinking water, eating healthier, and cooking at home rather than eating out, combine these efforts under a single brand with multiple messages. This will maximize resources while increasing the strength of your brand. This will also ensure that you don’t put the burden of reconciling disparate and disconnected brands on your audience.


  1. Segment Like Your Life Depends on it

If you’re trying to reach everyone, you’ll probably won’t reach anyone. Creating segments based on lifestyles, values, interests, and behaviors, will help you not only figure out who to target but also what influences their behaviors. This in turn drives messaging. Good segmentation helps you understand your audience on a deeper level, which leads to brands and messages that communicate more effectively. Well targeted brands also build stronger brand equity with their audience, which can become an asset for future needs. Just like commercial brands introduce complementary products under the same brand name, your program can address multiple behaviors that are relevant for your targeted audience with the brand name.


  1. Target Culture Instead of Behavior

People are afflicted by multiple interconnected behaviors. To address the underlying issues that are causing high-risk behaviors, stop looking at each behavior as a separate issue. Talk about multiple issues together and focus on a people-centric vs. topic-centric approach to change culture. For example, many young people who are at-risk for smoking cigarettes are also at risk for binge drinking, marijuana use, and other risky behaviors. Building a well-targeted brand that is relevant to them and their values allows you to address the underlying norms and attitudes that are driving multiple risk behaviors.  


  1. Put Your Reasons Aside

Forget about the reason you want your audience to change or why your funder wants them to change. This reasons are for grant applications. Your campaign and messaging should instead be all about your audience. Focus on who they are, what they value, and who they want to be. You don’t have to convince them to agree with you to convince them to change. For example, while you may want people to be physically active for cardiovascular health, your audience may be more interested in the aesthetic rewards of being physically active. By focusing on what they care about, you increase the likelihood they will change their behavior.


  1. Share Resources

There are thousands of public health campaigns and programs out there, many with proven results. Despite this, we continue to create new, often duplicative programs. This presents a huge disadvantage to public health. While alcohol, tobacco, fast food, and soda brands have built reputations over decades, public health brands come and go, sometimes never even reaching their first anniversary. This limits our ability as a public health community to challenge the marketing of unhealthy behaviors. Instead, look for opportunities to share resources to sustain brands over time and help us build bigger and longer-lasting people-centric brands.



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