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Designing and Implementing an Effective Tobacco Counter-Marketing Campaign

Then look at the overall results, and answer these questions to determine whether your message is both effective and appropriate or whether you need to revise your message before implementation:

  • What did you learn from the pretest?

  • Did your message receive a favorable

audience reaction?

Surveys are a primary tool in quantitative research. They’re used in a program’s planning and assessment stages to obtain baseline and tracking information. They also can be useful in gaining insights into a target audience and gauging reactions to potential core messages. Surveys generally involve large numbers of respondents (300 or more) and questionnaires with predominantly closed-ended questions.

  • Did your message fulfill its communication objectives?

  • What are your message’s strengths? Weaknesses?

  • Did answers to any particular question stand out?

  • Should you revise your message? If so, how?

Quantitative Research

Quantitative research is used to:

  • Determine the percentage of your target audience that has certain behaviors, behavioral intentions, attitudes, and knowledge of your subject

  • Monitor the audience’s use of materials and awareness of your communication program and its tactics

  • Measure progress toward the program’s objectives, such as changes in beliefs, knowledge, attitudes, and behavior (See Chapter 5: Evaluating the Success of Your Counter-Marketing Program for more information.)


Random sampling can be used in surveys to obtain results that can be generalized to the target population, providing better direction for planning programs and messages.

Participants can be anonymous, which is beneficial for sensitive topics.

Surveys can include visual material and can be used to pretest items such as prototypes.


Surveys limit the ability to probe answers.

There’s a risk that the people who are more willing to respond may share characteristics that don’t apply to the audience as a whole, creating a potential bias in the research.

Surveys can be costly and time consuming.

Response rates are declining, especially for telephone and Internet surveys (Singer, et al. 2000).

Chapter 3: Gaining and Using Target Audience Insights


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