To market a smoking cessation program, it is important to have a marketing strategy. The strategy is a framework made up of variables such as the segmentation of the market, identification of the target market, positioning, marketing mix elements, and expenditures, based on which strategic decisions can be made (Clancy, 2007). In the case of the smoking cessation program, the target group is made up of smokers who can be further subdivided into segments such as heavy, medium, and light smokers. The segment identified for marketing the smoking cessation program can include all smokers or smokers who wish to quit or heavy smokers.
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Ideally, market segments with a potential for high sales, profits, growth, and a minimum of competition are the most attractive (Craft, 2004). This suggests that treating all the smokers together as a segment is best to market a smoking cessation program. As the whole market is chosen as a segment, the public health organization can adopt undifferentiated marketing strategies and these strategies should have good mass appeal.
The Smoking Cessation program should be made readily available at all places and ideally, this can be done through training of primary health center nurses and through pharmacists. Whenever a smoker is identified either in the hospital or in the pharmacy, they should be encouraged to quit smoking. Marketing materials should consist of television advertisements, celebrity endorsements, informational signs, and displays in the pharmacy and in hospitals. Pamphlets describing the smoking cessation program can be given for free along with cigarette packets. The patient profile sheets in hospitals and pharmacies can also be used to identify smokers.
As an incentive to go for the program, successful quitters may be asked to give testimonials on television or rewarded in other ways. The participants of the program must be encouraged to bring in referrals or enlist themselves as trainers of the public health organization if they are suitably educated. This would enhance the marketing cycle.
Clancy, K (2007). Marketing Strategy Overview. American Marketing Association.
Craft, S. H. (2004). The International Consumer Market Segmentation Managerial Decision-Making Process. SAM Advanced Management Journal. Volume: 69. Issue: 3.