Social Marketing
Nutrition and Physical Activity


Step 1: Analyze Information Gaps

Step 1 is to analyze information gaps. This analysis helps you decide which gaps to keep and answer with formative research and which ones to let go. Questions you ask in later steps are based on the gaps you choose to keep. Start by going back to the gaps that were identified at the end of the problem description. Go through those gaps to determine which ones should be kept and which can be let go.

The Obesity Prevention Coordinators' Social Marketing Guidebook contains a worksheet (Formative Research Question Worksheet, pg. 30) that may help you identify information gaps. The worksheet lists key decisions (problem, audience, behavior, and other factors). You can input existing data and determine whether you'll need to gather additional information. The level of detail you include in this worksheet is up to you; use as much as is helpful.

Also, see the Gap Analysis Questions Worksheet for a series of questions that will help you set priorities for which gaps you should keep and which you should let go.

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It is helpful to look ahead at the decisions you'll be asked to make in later stages to get a feel for what gaps you may need to fill now.