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What is Health Marketing?

Health Marketing is a multidisciplinary area of public health practice. This innovative approach draws from traditional marketing theories and principles and adds science-based strategies to prevention, health promotion and health protection. Drawing from fields such as marketing, communication, and public health promotion, 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.

Definition:

  • Health Marketing involves creating, communicating, and delivering health information and interventions using customer-centered and science-based strategies to protect and promote the health of diverse populations (CDC, 2005).

Health Marketing is:

  • A multidisciplinary practice that promotes the use of marketing research to educate, motivate and inform the public on health messages
  • An integration of the traditional marketing field with public health research, theory and practice
  • A complex framework that provides guidance for designing health interventions, campaigns, communications, and research projects
  • A broad range of strategies and techniques that can be used to create synergy among public health research, communication messages and health behaviors.

“So how is Health Marketing different from…?”

is a question we are often asked. The answer is complex because Health Marketing draws from many other disciplines, such as Health Communication, Social Marketing, and Health Promotion. Here are some points that may help put the term in perspective:
  • Health Marketing is not a term that is meant to exclude other foundational disciplines. Instead, Health Marketing incorporates the theories, strategies, and core elements of other disciplines into its framework, as well as adds elements to other disciplines.
  • Health Marketing’s strategies and techniques are based in part on traditional marketing theories. The basic elements of Health Marketing reflect years of evidence-based research that analyze the needs, values and methods of exchange for different markets.
  • Health Marketing is an integration of many disciplines and functions to meet the health needs of diverse populations. This integration is why marketers refer to terms such as the “marketing mix”
  • Health Marketing is a new area of practice that is still being refined. As the National Center for Health Marketing and other experts around the world continue to research and use this framework, new information, examples and theories will be added to this growing field.
 
 
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  • Page last reviewed: February 2, 2011
  • Page last updated: February 2, 2011
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