Social Marketing
Nutrition and Physical Activity

CDC

Definitions of Key Terms

photo of a girl walking to schoolPrimary vs. Secondary Audiences
Sometimes, the groups that you are working with are more distant from the individuals who are affected by the health problem. For example, you could be trying to get city council members to approve funds for construction of sidewalks. The end goal is still getting children to walk to school, but in this case, the city council members would be your primary audience. You are trying to change their voting behavior. Secondary audiences in this situation would be people who influence the city council members, such as parents, school board members, or the media. You would probably want to conduct formative research with (and develop intervention strategies for) both the city council members and an influencing audience.

You can sometimes get frustrated thinking about who influences whom, and who needs to act. If that happens, take a step back. What's important is that you know what audiences you need to understand to design the best program to support behavior change.