151645 Profiling a target audience: Segmentation and detailed descriptions of women of childbearing age

Tuesday, November 6, 2007: 4:45 PM

Jenifer Kopfman, PhD , National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Prevention Research Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Katie Kilker, BS, CHES , National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Previous efforts to persuade women of childbearing age to consume the recommended daily amount of folic acid (which helps prevent serious birth defects of the brain and spine) have segmented this audience by demographics or pregnancy plans, but vast differences exist among women comprising these groups. After reviewing the audience segmentation literature, this investigation created a data-driven segmentation of the population “women of childbearing age,” using demographic and psychosocial variables related to folic acid. For each segment, a detailed description of prototypical lifestyles and health behaviors was created.

Data from HealthStyles, a nationwide market research survey conducted by Porter Novelli, were examined using SPSS AnswerTree to determine the strongest predictors of folic acid consumption among this audience. Plans for pregnancy [pregnant/want pregnancy soon/want pregnancy someday/never want pregnancy] and attitude toward multivitamins [positive/negative] were shown to be the two strongest predictors, and these variables were crossed to create eight unique audience segments. Crosstabs analyses of the survey data produced detailed profiles of each segment's lifestyles, attitudes, behaviors, and health habits to gain an overall understanding of each group of women. Since folic acid consumption is an important behavior for neural tube defect prevention efforts among this population, these results can be used by campaign planners and health professionals to evaluate the effectiveness of the existing educational materials on this topic for each segment, to identify gaps in current offerings, and to create targeted messages that will be more effective in increasing folic acid consumption than those targeting the general population.

Learning Objectives:
1. Recognize the importance of audience segmentation in developing messages that both serve the needs of diverse maternal and child health audiences and effectively achieve program goals. 2. Identify variables that most strongly influence folic acid consumption in women of childbearing age. 3. Describe the lifestyle and health habits for each of the eight audience segments of women of childbearing age.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.