36319 Decoding the Black Box: Innovations and Case Studies in the Private Sector

Kevin O'Connor, MBA, UserInsight, Atlanta, GA

Theoretical Background and research questions/hypothesis: Recent innovations in private sector tools have given rise to new case studies and applications for how similar forward-thinking practices can be used within public health communication strategies. One such concept is the “social media personas” model, a method which informs both audience segmentation and evaluation. One hypothesis emerging from this method is that online consumers with high levels of content engagement may be those who are “deep readers” of content as opposed to those who actively interact with content. This can have a major impact on influencing certain groups and is a step beyond audience segmentation by demographic or psychographic methodologies. 

Methods and Results (informing the conceptual analysis): The “social media personas” model was developed through a proprietary Behavior DNA tool at User Insight, informed by large quantities of initially for-profit digital behaviors. Refined through interviews with experts in the federal, nonprofit, and for-profit sector, these behavioral personas will enable us to understand how specific segments will receive and respond to our messages and why. They also will inform the best medium to use for message and material dissemination for rapid uptake and further dissemination among the audience’s network to influence offline behavior change.

Conclusions: Flaws were identified in a “one size fits all” campaign strategy that targets messaging and delivery method by demographic segmentation. Rather, it is vital to consider the importance of understanding core behaviors that should be targeted in a given campaign, and the need to craft various messages by behavioral type while delivering that campaign in a holistic manner across multiple mediums using demographics and segmentation.  In addition, this session will discuss the importance of behavioral data to explain the “why” behind quantitative data and big data and how that allows for a campaign to change strategies to enhance its outcome.  Advancements in technology in the private sector have allowed companies to be smarter about the needs of the consumer and tailor experiences to map to those needs. Findings will include case studies of social media campaigns, digital strategies, wearable technologies, and geo location capabilities that allow big brands to provide targeted and customized content to enhance the user experience, improve the consumers’ knowledge and choices, and influence offline behavior.  It will also discuss the importance of the public health communications sector to optimize their campaigns by leveraging these insights and explore options to partner with commercial companies to revolutionize the relationship between public health agencies and various types of populations.  

Implications for research and/or practice: For the public sector, tapping into these types of private sector marketing strategies can help campaign planners think more strategically about how and for whom their messages should be tailored. A primary focus will be on understanding the user in ways that maximize their experience. Across the discussion, attendees will be guided through using these approaches and methodologies in a way that utilizes the AIR Health Behavior Engagement Model, specifically in learning about consumers throughout the stages of their online and offline experience.