Social Marketing
Nutrition and Physical Activity  


L M O P Q S T  


See Intervention activity.

Audience profile
A formal description of the characteristics of the people who make up a target audience. Some typical characteristics useful in describing segments include media habits (magazines, TV, newspaper, radio, and Internet, etc.), family size, residential location, education, income, lifestyle preferences, leisure activities, religious and political beliefs, level of acculturation, ethnicity, ancestral heritage, consumer purchases, and/or psychographics.
Source: CDCynergy: Social Marketing

Audience orientation
A characteristic of social marketing concerned with making decisions with the audience's point of view rather than the planner's point of view.

Audience segment
A subgroup of people within the target audience who are enough alike on a set of characteristics such as current behaviors, attitudes, beliefs, demographics, and behavioral determinants such that one can develop a strategy and intervention activities that are likely to be equally successful with all members of the segment.
Adapted from: CDCynergy Social Marketing

Audience segmentation
Audience segmentation is the process of dividing a broad target audience into more homogeneous subgroups, called audience segments.


Behavioral determinants
Factors, either internal or external, that influence an individual's actions or behaviors. Behavioral science theories and models list various determinants.
Source: CDCynergy Social Marketing

Behavioral objective
A behavioral objective is a written description of the aim or goal you have for the specific behavior you want the target audience to take. It should be a clear, specific, measurable, and feasible action.

back to top


The routes or methods used to reach the target audience.
Source: CDCynergy Social Marketing

Behaviors and related benefits that the target audience is accustomed to—or may prefer—to the behavior you are promoting.
Source: Turning Point Social Marketing National Excellence Collaborative: The Basics of Social Marketing: How to Use Social Marketing to Change Behavior.

Contributing factors
Determinants that directly or indirectly cause the problem. A contributing factor can be biological, behavioral, or attitudinal; or an element of the physical or social environment; or the result of policies related to the problem.
Source: CDCynergy Social Marketing

back to top


See Behavioral determinants.

back to top


The concept that people compare the costs and benefits of performing a behavior before actually doing it. The benefits must outweigh the cost or people to perform a behavior.
Source: CDCynergy Social Marketing

back to top


Formative research
Formative research is research conducted during the development of your program or intervention to help you choose and describe your target audience, understand the factors which influence their behavior, and determine best ways to reach them. Formative research is also called formative assessment, market research, consumer research, or audience research.
Adapted from: CDCynergy Social Marketing

Four P's
See "Marketing Mix" or "Product," "Price," "Place," and "Promotion."
Four classes of strategies and tactics to consider when planning intervention activities for a target audience—Product, Price, Place, Promotion.
Source: CDCynergy Social Marketing

back to top


Gray literature
Any documentary materials that is not commercially published and is typically composed of technical reports, working papers, business documents, and conference proceedings.
Source: American Library Association

back to top


A specific, observable, and measurable characteristic or change that shows the progress or not a program is making toward achieving a specified outcome.
Source: CDC's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity's Progress Monitoring Report glossary

Intervention activities
The events, actions, or methods used to influence, facilitate, or promote behavior change and that take place as part of the program.
Adapted from: CDCynergy Social Marketing and DNPAO's Progress Monitoring Report glossary

Intervention strategy
An intervention strategy is a guiding plan of action for the social marketing intervention or program. The intervention strategy (also called market strategy) encompasses:

Specific target audience segment(s)
Specific behavior change goal
Benefits of the desired behavior to promote
Costs and barriers to behavior change that will be minimized
The marketing mix (product, price, place, and promotion)
Activities that will influence or support behavior change

Source: CDCynergy Social Marketing

back to top


Logic model
A systematic and visual way to present the perceived relationships among the resources you have to operate the program, the activities you plan to do, and the changes or results you hope to achieve.
Source: Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity's Progress Monitoring Report glossary

back to top


Marketing mix
Tools used to influence target audiences: product, price, place, and promotion.
Adapted from: Kotler & Lee, Social Marketing: Influencing Behaviors for Good.

Media advocacy
Using the mass media strategically to advance a social or policy initiative. Initially, the goal of media advocacy must be determined. Then a story needs to be developed based on facts and values and made meaningful to a clearly defined target audience so that it can attract attention and precipitate specific action.
Source: CDCynergy Social Marketing

The memorable, explanatory words or images that capture a health communication concept. Messages are the actual words or images that communicate what you want people to know, feel, or do.
Source: CDCynergy Social Marketing

Monitoring and feedback
The process of tracking program implementation and audience response. Includes assessments of whether materials are being distributed to the right people and in the correct quantities, the extent to which program activities are being carried out as planned and modified if needed, and other measures of how and how well the program is working. Also measures the extent to which members of the target audience are exposed to program components. Also measures the audience's response to the program, including their feelings and perceptions about it, and whether they attended and understood an activity or message.
Source: CDCynergy Social Marketing

back to top


Statements describing the results to be achieved and the manner in which these results will be achieved.
Source: CDC's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity'sProgress Monitoring Report glossary

Outcome objective
Objectives written to determine if the program or intervention had the intended effects. Could be short-, mid-, or long-term. Long-term outcome objectives can go beyond measuring behavior change to measure health status.

back to top


Individuals or organizations/agencies that contribute to the efforts initiated by a leader or head organization/agency. Partners can have a variety of roles (e.g., contribute research data, share evaluation experience, help to spread the health message).
Source: CDCynergy Social Marketing

Implementing and evaluating the program or program components in a limited area for a limited amount of time at a point when you can still make program adjustments based on the pilot experience.
Source: CDCynergy Social Marketing

Where the audience performs the desired behavior, accesses products/services, or is thinking or hearing about the health issue
Adapted from CDCynergy Social Marketing

Plan components
Main elements of a social marketing plan (problem, target audience, behavior, and intervention strategy).

Planning questions
A checklist of questions organized by the four plan components that can be referenced throughout the process of developing a social marketing plan.

A type of formative research that involves systematically gathering target audience reactions to messages and materials before they are produced in final form.
Source: CDCynergy Social Marketing

What the audience gives up to get a tangible product; also the costs or barriers to making the desired behavior change
Adapted from: CDCynergy Social Marketing

Primary research
The process of collecting one's own data about the audience and health problem, from designing the method of data collection through analysis and reporting on the new information.
Source: CDCynergy Social Marketing

Primary target audience
A primary target audience (also called target audience) is a group of individuals whose behavior needs to change in order to positively impact the problem. In some cases, they are directly affected by the problem themselves. In other cases, the primary target audience will be those who can make policy or environmental changes because you want their behavior to change (i.e., voting behavior, approval of policies).

Process objective
An objective written to determine if the program or intervention is implemented as designed, or how and why the intervention was implemented.

What the audience gets or what you offer; can be tangible items, intangible benefits, or the behavior itself.
Adapted from: CDCynergy Social Marketing

Program evaluation
The systematic collection of information to document and assess how a program was implemented and operates, and the impact of that program.
Adapted from: Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity's Progress Monitoring Report glossary

Messages, materials, channels (path used to reach the target audience), and activities to promote behavior change and describe the product, price, and place features of the program.
Adapted from: CDCynergy Social Marketing

back to top


Qualitative research
Research that collects data that appear in words rather than numbers. Useful for collecting information about feelings and impressions. Focus groups and in-depth personal interviews are common types of qualitative research.
Source: CDCynergy Social Marketing

Quantitative research
Research designed to count and measure knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Yields numerical data that are analyzed statistically. Surveys are a common type of quantitative research.
Source: CDCynergy Social Marketing

back to top


An instrument containing short-answer questions used in the recruitment process for research methods such as focus groups and central location intercept interviews. Interviewees' answers to the questions determine who is and who is not eligible to participate in the research.
Source: CDCynergy Social Marketing

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

SMART objectives
A method of writing objectives. The acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-specific.

Those who have an investment in the program or intervention being planned.

Social marketing
The application of commercial marketing technologies to the analysis, planning, execution, and evaluation of programs designed to influence voluntary behavior of target audiences to improve their personal welfare and that of society.
Source: Marketing Social Change: Changing Behavior to Promote Health, Social Development, and the Environment by Alan Andreasen

The ongoing, systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of data essential to the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health practices, closely integrated with the timely dissemination of these data to those responsible for prevention and control.
Source: Thacker SB, Berkelman RL. Public health surveillance in the United States. Epidemiol Rev. 1988;10:164190.

back to top


Target audience
See primary target audience.

back to top