Social Marketing
Nutrition and Physical Activity


Formative Research Process

photo of a staircaseThe formative research process can be broken into seven main steps:
Step 1: Analyze Information Gaps
Step 2: Write Research Questions
Step 3: Choose Data Collection Method
Step 4: Develop Instrument(s)
Step 5: Recruit Participants
Step 6: Collect Data
Step 7: Analyze and Report Findings

This process will help you think through which questions you want to ask of which people and the best way to do that. Asking good questions of the wrong people or asking the right people bad questions will provide poor and unusable results. When you start planning the details of the intervention, you can't accurately reflect the needs of your target audience if you have poor data. While this may seem overly simple, many groups have made these mistakes. It can waste time and resources, cause frustration, and lead to flawed planning and a less effective program.