Social Marketing
Nutrition and Physical Activity

CDC

Definitions of Key Terms

Primary vs. Secondary Audiences
photo of a father and son playing soccerThe topic of who is a primary audience and who is a secondary audience can be a source of confusion. The important point is to determine whose behavior change will be your central focus, and, therefore, who you will need to conduct formative research with to understand potential intervention components and strategies.

For example, if you wanted children to get more physical activity by walking to school each day, children would be your primary audience. They need to change their behavior to impact the problem (lack of physical activity). But, the majority of your program activities may be designed to intervene with parents who play a significant role in influencing the behavior of their children.

Even though, in this situation, parents are a secondary audience because of their influence on children, you may need to think of them as another primary audience because their behavior needs to change to support behavior change in their children. Regardless of how you choose to categorize them, you'd need to conduct formative research with parents because they will require unique strategies in your intervention design.