Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options
CDC Home

Case Studies

CDC's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity provides technical assistance in social marketing for nutrition and physical activity. Real-life examples are particularly helpful to organizations that are going through the social marketing planning process. These case studies are meant to provide detailed information on the "how" of planning a social marketing intervention by people who actually went through the process. They are written about programs and interventions that are currently in the field, and thus are works in progress, always undergoing revisions and changes. They will be updated with new information as time passes.

Georgia (PDF-1.3Mb)
Georgia has used the entire social marketing process, step-by-step. Their case provides an example of how the social marketing process can be used to design a new intervention. They are working to influence African American tweens’ behaviors around active play outside of school and choosing healthy snacks and beverages.

Kentucky (PDF-1.3Mb)
Kentucky adapted a national media campaign to influence tweens’ physical activity. This case emphasizes their social marketing process and how they tailored national resources to develop their VERB Summer Scorecard program.

Missouri (PDF-1.1Mb)
Missouri used creative formative research strategies to inform their intervention development. They focused on fruit and vegetable intake and physical activity for middle- to older-aged women. This case describes the process Missouri used to develop their intervention strategies and their commitment to assuring the target audience was heard.

Washington (PDF-1Mb)
Washington used social marketing principles to develop community action plans in two local communities — Moses Lake and Mount Vernon. This case shows how they used social marketing’s guiding principles, especially in getting coalition members to participate and obtaining community input.

Wisconsin (PDF-1.1Mb)
Wisconsin conducted some preliminary formative research on healthy eating and physical activity with elementary aged children, and then changed their target audience to parents based on the results. This case describes the initial formative research that led to the change in target audience as well as additional formative research focused on family meals and physical activity to inform the intervention.

How to Use the Case Studies

Throughout the cases are boxes with additional information on the following topics:

  • Apply it. Practical advice on how to apply a certain principle of social marketing to an intervention.
  • Lesson Learned. Examples of lessons learned while going through the social marketing process.
  • Challenge. Examples of difficulties with a particular part of the process, along with the methods used to overcome these difficulties.
  • Saving Money. Tips for more efficient use of funds.
  • Creative Ideas. Creative and/or innovative ideas for formative research or other parts of the social marketing process.

At the end of each case is a summary table that explains each organization’s process and contact information for additional information. Because each organization went through the process in a different manner, the table is not complete for all cases. Grey boxes indicate places where information either didn’t apply or is not available.

An important note: The term "formative research" within the cases is used to describe a process for the collection of information and insights from a potential target audience for program planning purposes. The results obtained are not meant to be generalized or extrapolated to any other population.

PDF Document Icon Please note: Some of these publications are available for download only as *.pdf files. These files require Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to be viewed. Please review the information on downloading and using Acrobat Reader software.

Contact Us:
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    1600 Clifton Rd
    Atlanta, GA 30333
  • 800-CDC-INFO
    TTY: (888) 232-6348
    24 Hours/Every Day
  • Contact CDC-INFO The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC-INFO