Essay: Consumer behavior and public health
Public health is a field which serves all members of the society making it the highest consumer holder. As there has been a widespread of many health challenges in the world today, social marketing is a vital tool for promoting beneficial behavior change amongst consumers. Finnegan and Viswanath (1999, p.121) asserts that mass media is a revolutionary tool with the capacity of reaching many consumers facing health challenges. Marketing strategies are then best focused at using newspapers, radio, television and other forms of media expansively as they launch behavior change campaigns.
The materials used must also target the specific target using particular messaging which best communicates to them. Lotenberg et al (2007, p.210) emphasizes that marketers within the public health sector should design strategies which identify their target audience’s self interest and then formulate an interaction which addresses and fulfills this self interest. Such strategies involve adjustment of products as per the consumer’s needs and emphasis on the expected benefits for behavior changes. Bryant and Grier (2005, p. 328) illustrate the use of this concept in the enhancing of consumer satisfaction with the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for WIC in Texas. The strategy used focused on the self interest needs of participants in the program. Marketers induced policy changes to meet the demands of the target group which could not access services due to lack of transport. The program’s centers were distributed to the areas where the targeted groups resided. Furthermore, they extenuated their service delivery and introduced community based interventions. Eventually, there was a change in the public’s perception of the program from one which merely offered food supplements to one which fostered healthy living.
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