Behavioral Marketing Puts Dent in Binge Drinking, Car Crashes: Party Smarter, Road Crew Take Off

August 1, 2013

by Michele von Dambrowski

Michele von DambrowskiHow do you get twentysomethings to curb irresponsible alcoholic consumption and its unfortunate consequences? In two cases dis­cussed at a session of the 18th National Healthcare Marketing Strategies Summit held in May, it was not the way that the state government agencies envisioned when they commissioned behav­ioral change (or social marketing) campaigns.

A clear focus on the target audience was one key de­terminant of each campaign’s success, according to the session’s presenters – Wayne Clark, vice president of community relations and marketing for Legacy Health, a system of hospitals and clinics based in Portland, OR, and Kim Laramy, health care strategist at Ethos Marketing and Design, a marketing and communi­cations agency in Westbrook, ME. “You’re not the target audience,” Laramy says. In behavioral change marketing, “the more finely you can segment the mar­ket, the more effectively you can reach [the targets],” adds Clark.

The two-drink-limit objective

The Maine Office of Substance Abuse wanted young adults to limit their intake to two drinks a day, with a weekly limit of 10 drinks. It also wanted the audience to understand that alcoholic content varies by the type of drink.

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