204601 Improving evaluation of effectiveness of social norms interventions with an audience segmentation strategy

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 11:06 AM

Adrienne E. Keller, PhD , National Social Norms Institute, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Jennifer Bauerle, PhD , Student Health, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
James C. Turner, MD , Department of Student Health, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Hazardous drinking remains a significant health concern among college students. Research has demonstrated that students' perceptions of how much other students drink are important determinants of their own level of drinking but also are often incorrect. Social norms marketing interventions aim to decrease hazardous drinking by correcting misperceptions of normative drinking. The process and standards for a social norms marketing intervention rely heavily on translation from marketing and social marketing research, including strategies for audience segmentation. However, the effectiveness of social norms interventions has typically been evaluated in reference to the entire population who received this marketing intervention. The evaluation can be improved, yielding more specific information, by translating audience segmentation strategies into the evaluation component as well as the intervention component. Without segmentation, the effectiveness of the intervention for high users of alcohol can be under-estimated, and possible deleterious effects on abstainers and low users can be ignored. In this presentation we translate concepts of prevalence and incidence from epidemiology to create meaningful segmentation of participants by drinking behaviors. We then define the key evaluation questions to be asked for each segment. We use multi-year data from six schools with social norms interventions to illustrate the utility of this approach.

Learning Objectives:
1. Define the purpose of audience segmentation 2. Identify the necessary information to segment audiences for evaluation purposes 3. Compare the evaluation questions pertinent to each audience segment 4. Explain the contribution of audience segmentation to evaluation of effectiveness

Keywords: Audience Segmentation, Evaluation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I created this audience segmentation strategy; I am Research Director of the National Social Norms Institute; I have a Ph.D. in Medical Sciences with a specialty in Behavioral Medicine; I have 25+ years experience in program evaluation.
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.