Scientific advancement has helped improve the diagnosis and promotion of health for many Americans but African American women. These belong to the minority ethnic group with little income and education and therefore lack full access to better and quality medical care like their counterparts of Caucasian origin.
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Health professionals have discovered that breast cancer is one of the preventable cancers among women in the United States despite being one of the major killer types.
In order for the disease to be countered, there are objectives aimed at encouraging vast African American women population to take preventive measures. These objectives should be set in form is questions so that as the target group answer them, solutions can be found. First, why do most women, at risk, reluctant to seek breast cancer testing? What reasons do those who chose to be tested have? Early diagnosis of breast cancer increase treatment options thus reducing death rates. Mammography is the most effective and promising method for current detection of breast cancer (Icard, Bourjolly, & Siddiqui, 2003).
Talbert (2008) sees social marketing as a strategy where people are not persuaded to buy what the producer has produced, rather their goodwill is appealed to know what they prefer and why. Social marketing was conceived in 1970s when Philip Kotler and Gerald Zaitman realized that the same way products are marketed could be used to market and sell ideas, attitudes and behavior (Talbert, 2008).
In order to increase breast cancer screening the marketing strategy could involve getting an annual mammogram, setting a physician each year for a breast examination and performing monthly breast self examination.
There are reasons that motivate women to seek mammography for example the belief that early detection will enable them treat the cancer in early stages, and their trust for the safety of mammogram. Some reasons however discourage women from going for the test. Most cited include but not limited to; lack of physical referral, high cost and a myth that mammography is dangerous.
In social marketing, in order to sell out the encouraging factors, there is need to incorporate comprehensive approach to increase utilization rates. The social marketing strategy should be aimed at creating more awareness on the safety of mammography and demystifying the test as well as citing the benefits of early detection and regular checking. Better marketing strategies should be employed to improve access to health promotion interventions for high risk African Americans (Talbert, 2008).
Social marketing involving the perfection of the African American breast cancer survivors should be incorporated. This is because they remain largely affected by breast cancer than the Caucasians. Culturally-specific social marketing programs that promote breast cancer awareness among African Americans women should be crafted.
For the above goals to be attained, the objectives must first focus on the product. That involves not only tangible objects but also services, practices and ideas. Social Marketing strategy should therefore focus on how to influence the consumer to take possible positive steps (Talbert, 2008).
Another effort should assess what the consumer need in order to obtain the social marketing product. This could be monetary, time or effort. The African American women should be persuaded, through social education, to perceive benefit of early testing and mammogram as grater than the cost so as to try and adopt the product. The price should therefore be considerate of the consumer’s ability.
Finally the product should reach the consumer in an easy way and accessible and of high quality. Finally the producer must use persuasive methods that the target group can identify with. When proper social marketing strategies are employed with the perspectives of the African American cancer survivors in mind, this will be the first positive step towards reducing the berth that exist between African American women and their Caucasian women counterparts in breast cancer awareness.
Icard, L., Bourjolly, J., & Siddiqui, N. (2003). Designing social marketing strategies to increase African Americans’ access to health promotion programs. Health Social Work, 28(3), 214-23.
Talbert, P. (2008). Using social marketing to increase breast cancer screening among African American women: perspectives from African American breast cancer survivors. International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, 13(4), 347-362.