Friday, 12 November 2010

Does the NHS need to get to know their Audience, when Business already does?

target-audience_t3A new Social Media campaign has been launched to help raise awareness of the Health4Work Adviceline. The service, provided by NHS Plus, aims to reduce the £100 million a year cost to business incurred by sickness and absence, by offering free and confidential advice to employers from occupational health experts. Clear Thought, a marketing agency based in Bristol, have been commissioned to conduct the campaign.

The specific targets for the campaign are small business owners, hence Clear Thought's involvement, as these are their main client base. The company therefore has extensive experience and knowledge of communicating throughout this demographic. This show's great forward thinking on the part of NHS Plus in their commissioning. Knowing your audience is the foundation of any Social Media campaign and it would be difficult to argue that the NHS has the necessary familiarity with small business. So they go to a company that does.

Moving forward with the Public and Private sector partnership in the Big Society, perhaps other companies could offer similar. If a national brand in the UK mainly markets it's products to children, then it's reasonable to assume they've done their research and know the market. They know how to sell to that demographic. Should the NHS have a Social Marketing campaign aimed at children, such as combating child obesity, then that research and knowledge already in place with the large brand, could be extremely useful in delivering that message. Perhaps even a combined message would be feasible.

Whether it's the marketing agencies who specialise in working with companies that target a specific demographic, or the companies themselves, sharing their insight would be a great contribution to the Big Society. Why should the NHS, or indeed any other area of the Public sector involved in Social Marketing, spend time and money getting to know their audience, when Business already does?

Follow the Health4Work Social Media Campaign at;

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