183527 Target Audience input and integration of social marketing elements in the design of a physical activity program for preschoolers

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 11:00 AM

Laura Bellows, PhD, MPH, RD , Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
Jennifer Anderson, PhD, RD , Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
Patricia Davies, PhD, OTR , Department of Occupational Therapy, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
Catherine Kennedy, PhD , Department of Health and Exercise Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
Introduction: As obesity rates in preschoolers continue to rise, the need for innovative, research-based nutrition and physical activity programs is apparent. With limited efforts designed for the preschool-setting, a physical activity program, Food Friends Get Movin' with Mighty Moves™, was developed to compliment a successful nutrition social marketing campaign, Food Friends®.

Program Design/Methodology: Like Food Friends®, the social marketing framework was utilized to develop and evaluate Mighty Moves'™. Building from formative research findings, further target audience input was sought to guide strategy and program development. A superhero theme and graphics were developed and tested with children (n=93); group discussions with teachers (n=10) tested program concepts/themes; and program activities/materials were pretested with early childhood experts (n=3) for age- and developmental-appropriateness.

Program Evaluation/Results: Three rounds of graphic pretesting were conducted with preschoolers, with modifications occurring after each round. Final graphics resonated with children and no gender differences were found (p-value range=0.10–0.91). Program concepts, materials and activities were well accepted by teachers/experts with minor modifications. Collectively, target audience input into the development of Mighty Moves™ led to the solidification of social marketing elements, particularly exchange theory, audience segmentation, competition, and “the marketing mix.”

Discussion: Social marketing is a consumer-focused planning framework which positions the target audience at the center of data collection, program development and program delivery in an effort to change behavior. In continually returning to teachers and children for input, the development of Mighty Moves™ maintained a consumer focus, thus increasing the likelihood of attaining desired physical activity behaviors.

Learning Objectives:
1. Learners will be able to list the key elements of social marketing. 2. Learners will be able to explain the importance of target audience input into program development. 3. Learners will be able to explain how target audience input is used in the design of social marketing elements and how these elements drive the social marketing process.

Keywords: Social Marketing, Child Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: PhD - Community Nutrition MPH - Community Nutrition BS - Exercise Science This work was completed as part of my dissertation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.