BlessWorld Foundation International

Affecting the World Through Health
A Global Health Initiative

Health and Marketing



Marketing is the promotion and selling of products or services and includes activities such as market research and advertising. It is also the process of creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging valuable materials to customers, clients, partners, and the society at large. Marketing can be commercial, which is strictly business for profit, or social, which is used in promoting healthy behaviors for public health. Communication is an essential part of marketing and health promotion, this makes the media a popular option amongst marketers and health promoters. The media in this context includes all non-personal channels of communication, from pamphlets to television commercials to education. These channels can be employed directly using consciously designed media materials or indirectly by stimulating interest and opinion on particular topics.
In health promotion, social marketing is often employed to inspire behavior change, especially because human beings are social beings. Social marketing is defined as the application of known concepts and methods obtained from the commercial sector (behavioral theory, persuasion psychology, and marketing science) to promote changes in socially important and health related behaviors. Behaviors such as drug use, smoking, family planning, recruiting blood donors and sexual attitudes can be influenced or changed using this type of marketing. The “marketing mix” or “four Ps” of marketing are factors that are involved in marketing and must be present for marketing to occur, they include, place, price, product, and promotion. Social marketing must be voluntary and should underscore the benefit of the consumer. It involves the following:
Activities that use behavioral theory to influence behavior that affects health
Assessing factors that influence the way individuals receive, understand and use messages such as the credibility of the subject matter and
Strategic marketing of messages that are aimed to change the behavior of target audiences using the four Ps
To put all these in perspective, we can use a health behavior such as physical activity to illustrate how a heath product can be socially marketed with the four Ps:
Product: Physical activity, being our product is what we have to market and sell to our audience. We need to use the benefits associated with physical activity to effectively market our product and attract our audience. Benefits may include weight loss, meeting people, recreation and beauty from toned muscles.
Price: These are all the costs and barriers that our audience will overcome to be able to perform the physical activity. Individuals weigh the benefits and costs/barriers of physical activity and will be more likely to participate if the benefits outweigh the costs. Barriers may include competing activities, transportation, interest and cost,
Place: This represents the location or facility the physical activity will take place. It must be close enough, available at convenient times and easily accessible so that individuals will be more encouraged to participate in the physical activity.
Promotion: These are communication strategies and adverts used to reach the target audience and show them the benefits of the health behavior. Promotion goes a long way in determining if our audience will buy the product by choosing physical activity or not.

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