Social Marketing
Nutrition and Physical Activity


Plan Components for the Problem Description

III. Behavioral objectivesIII. Behavior

Benefits and Barriers
As you continue to look at existing behaviors that can be changed (or new behaviors that can be adopted), consider the potential benefits the audience may receive and what barriers they may face. Be sure to consider the audience's perspective. What benefits and barriers do they perceive? Which benefits and barriers are most important to them?

Look at the literature and talk to subject matter or audience experts to start answering the following planning questions

  • What is the current behavior of your target audience?
  • What is the most achievable behavior change for the target audience to make?
  • What will the audience like about the new behavior? What are the consequences of change?
  • What might keep the audience from adopting the new behavior?
  • Are there environmental factors that play a role? What are they?
  • Are there policies or standards (for example, government laws or corporate policies) that either help or hinder the behavior change?

Answers to these questions can also feed into your decisions about a target audience. Some barriers may need policy and environmental approaches to overcome, while others may need individual behavior change approaches.


At this point, answers to these questions are only educated guesses and should be validated with the target audience during phase 2, formative research. Stakeholders can bring insight to help answer these questions, but their insight shouldn't substitute for hearing directly from the audience.