Social Marketing
Nutrition and Physical Activity


Definitions of Key Terms*

Throughout this course you will frequently encounter certain key terms used in social marketing. Review the following definitions to familiarize yourself with these terms:

Primary target audience:
Also called target audiences, a group of individuals whose behavior needs to change to positively impact the problem. They could be directly affected by the problem themselves, or those who can make policy or environmental changes (i.e., voting behavior, approval of policies).

Secondary audience:
A group of individuals who exert influence on the primary target audience's behavior.

Formative research:
Research conducted during the development of your program to help you choose and describe a target audience, understand the factors which influence their behavior, and determine best ways to reach them. Also called formative assessment, market research, consumer research, or audience research.

A complete list of terms and their definitions can be found in the glossary.

*Definitions adapted from CDCynergy: Social Marketing Edition
The terms formative research and formative assessment refer to the same process. The purpose of both is not to conduct generalizable research, but to gather information to inform program planning.