The 4 P’s of Social Marketing

Considering the four “Ps” of marketing when designing your interventions

  1. Product: Think about a tangible object or service you can provide to support or facilitate behavior change. Can you offer a new product/service or adapt one that already exists? Product examples include in-home blood pressure monitoring kits, improved HIV tests, journals to plan and track food intake, cessation counseling.

  2. Price: Consider interventions that would decrease the costs to the individual of taking the desired action (not only monetary cost, but emotional, psychological and time costs). List out the “price” or barriers for your audience segment to carry out the desired behavior, then brainstorm interventions to diminish those barriers. For example, instituting a walking club program at the workplace for those who cite lack of support and lack of time as barriers to regular exercise.

  3. Place: Think about where and when the audience will perform the behavior or access the new or adapted product/service. How can you make it convenient and pleasant (even more so than the competing behavior)? Examples include placing condom vending machines in bar restrooms, offering help lines that are available 24 hours a day, having breastfeeding consultants check-in on new mothers after they leave the hospital. Also think about your “sales force” – the people that will take your program to the audience. Consider the need for peer educators, counselors or others who can make your program or its activities more accessible.

  4. Promotion: Use your market research to determine the communication channels and activities that will best reach your audience to promote the benefits of the desired behavior. What advertising or public relations media do they pay attention to (e.g., radio, newspaper, postcard racks)? What special promotional items would they use (e.g., water bottles, refrigerator magnets, notepads)? What special events do/would they attend (concerts, health fairs, conferences)? How can you include influencing audiences? Be sure to promote the Product, Price and Place features that you want the audience to know about.