One size no longer fits all: the application of Andreasen's six social marketing benchmarks in Australian antismoking programs
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 23:07 authored by Julian de Meyrick
This thesis investigates changes in smoking behaviour in the Australian community during a period when the community was exposed to increasingly graphic messages aimed at lowering smoking prevalence in the community. Tobacco smoking is one of the greatest causes of avoidable morbidity and premature mortality in most countries, including Australia. The damage it inflicts is enormous and warrants the application of the most effective social marketing programs (together with complementary legislative and economic programs) to counteract it. -- Andreasen identified six benchmarks that identify a social marketing program. Examination of the current strategy indicates that these benchmarks have not been consistently met. In particular, analysis of data from four large scale surveys conducted across Australia in the last fifteen years indicates the existence of different segments in the target audience. It also indicates that changes in smoking behaviour in different segments have been significantly different during the period covered by the surveys. -- It is recommended that the developers of antismoking programs reconsider their strategy along the lines recommended by Andreasen: -- 1. Behavior change is the benchmark used to design and evaluate interventions: Establish objectives not just for smoking cessation but also for declines in smoking initiation for specific target segments -- 2. Projects consistently use audience research: Research is needed to monitor changes in each segment, to test alternatives to the medical, fear-appeal strategy. -- 3. There is careful segmentation of target audiences Several demographic and behavioural segmentation bases are suggested in this thesis. -- 4. The central element of any influence strategy is creating attractive and motivational exchanges: Benefits of not smoking that are relevant and persuasive must be communicated to each segment -- 5. The strategy attempts to use all four Ps of the traditional marketing mix: A greater understanding is needed of the benefits of not smoking, the costs of not smoking as perceived by the audience -- 6. Careful attention is paid to the competition faced by the desired behavior: Recognised risk factors associated with initiating and continuing to smoke must be addressed in antismoking programs.