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Designing and Implementing an Effective Tobacco Counter-Marketing Campaign

be effective, rather than having no impact or, even worse, creating a backlash. If you air

ineffective ads, you lose much more money in

media placement funds than you would have spent on market research to determine the likelihood of success. Unfortunatel , this is only one example of the many negative outcomes of insufficient market research.

Market Research on a Limited Budget

Few program managers have the luxury of conducting as much market research as they would like. When faced with a tight budget, try the following:

  • Contact others in tobacco control to find out what research they’ve done. Can you use their findings in developing your own program? Do they have research designs and instruments you can use as models? Can you solicit advice from experienced managers on making the most of your tight budget? Can they give you advice or referrals to resources from other experts, such as those in your community with expertise in commer- cial marketing and advertising or in market research? Have you contacted a project officer or health communication staff member from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for advice, referrals, or both?

  • Be sure your program plan fully explains the need for market research and spells out a thorough market research plan. If you can’t secure the funds you need this year, try to convince decision makers

now that investing in research next year will pay off. Point out that market research is a core component of effective counter-marketing programs.

  • Beware of too many shortcuts. You need to conduct enough market research to feel confident that the findings provide clear direction. For example, if you’ve tested message concepts in a few focus groups and the results are inconclusive, you probably need to conduct a few more focus groups.

  • Whenever possible, consult with market research experts during planning and implementation, even if you have to cut corners elsewhere. For example, you may be able to save money by recruiting research participants through commun- ity organizations instead of paying a contractor to handle recruiting.

  • Always ask prospective contractors and vendors for nonprofit rates.

  • Ask professionals with market research experience if they’d be willing to donate their time.

  • Use a market researcher you can trust to be objective and to not “color” results to match a program or advertising agency bias.

Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods

Two main categories of market research can be conducted with target audiences: qualitative and quantitative research. Qualitative research

Chapter 3: Gaining and Using Target Audience Insights


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