Social Marketing
Nutrition and Physical Activity


What Makes Social Marketing Different?

Audience Orientation

Social marketing planners take time to learn what the target audience currently knows, believes, and does. All decisions are made with the audience's perspective in mind. The program is designed to fulfill the audience's needs and wants.

You may already know a lot about your audience and have some ideas about the program's activities. It can be tempting to start planning based on these ideas, but social marketing requires that you test those assumptions with the target audience first. You may be right, but you may also be surprised at what your audience thinks and says.


Sometimes people equate formative research or focus groups with social marketing. Understanding the target audience is a crucial part of social marketing, but is not sufficient on its own. It is good practice in any planning process.