Preventive healthcare – could this be the future?

Preventive healthcare is at the top of the NHS’s agenda

There is a general consensus throughout the NHS that if it’s to move forward in future years, they have to find bold and imaginative ways of focusing on health prevention. The idea behind this is that they want to motivate people in specific health bands, or ‘at risk’ groups, to take full control of their health before it becomes problematic – for them and the healthcare system.

Poor health habits and lifestyle have consequences down the line

We live in a society struggling to cope. The pressures of everyday living and work have led to more people turning to drugs, drink, poor diet, and bad habits, all of which have health consequences further down the line. A lifestyle dominated by poor lifestyle choices, will eventually lead to health complications in later life, if these decisions are not challenged or influenced.

The NHS believes that early intervention is key to solving health problems

Highlighting health risks and tackling behaviours at an early stage, is the best way of redressing serious health problems. This is why the healthcare sector has been championing social marketing interventions over the past decade.

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What is social marketing really capable of?

Social marketing – driving behaviour change in healthcare The way we live, how we live, and the stresses that we face are quite different to those of, say, people living in the 1940s. While you could argue that after the war, life was extremely stressful in Britain, as we and other countries tried to get back to some form of normality, today’s lifestyle pressures are also great. We as a society, lead very stressful lives. Some would argue that technology is partly to blame for this. Certainly, the office never closes – mobile technology has led to that. But it has made new things possible too, so that we can communicate and connect with people across the globe.

Managing our high intensity lives

Unfortunately, the intensity of our lives has brought on a range of new, threatening health conditions.

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Socially responsible healthcare marketing

Changing the way people behave

Healthcare marketing companies, specialising in social marketing campaigns, are working with the NHS and other primary care health providers, to tackle behavioural issues, leading to positive health outcomes.

Social marketing aims to redress the balance of health inequalities. It gets alongside people, understands why they do what they do, how they live, why they live like that, and then attempts to positively influence their health habits.

A well thought out, conceived and delivered social marketing campaign can change lives, change behaviours and create wider social harmony.

Contributing to positive health outcomes

But it’s the ability of social marketing to contribute to positive health outcomes that has caught the imagination of the NHS and other health providers.

For almost a decade the NHS has been using social marketing as a technique to help deliver its wider healthcare strategy.

Believing it can penetrate the heart of a number of health and social issues at grass roots levels, its proven to be a very effective way of driving change.

Isn’t social marketing just another label?

Absolutely not and it doesn’t resemble traditional marketing campaigns. The success of a social marketing campaign is not defined by size of profit, but by the number of behaviours it changes – or positive health outcomes it achieves.

Reaching out and connecting

The overriding success of social marketing very much depends on the purpose of the campaign, and its ability to make a personal connection with people in target groups. If they feel that the message is relevant to them, then they are more likely to respond and change.

How you make that connection involves use of a number of sophisticated marketing tools – from digital technology, through to automated marekting, social media, online blogs and YouTube films demonstrating practical advice.

Social marketing is an extremely powerful framework – it’s a socially responsible way of marketing that continues to impress and evolve as ideas and thinking move on.

Can social marketing change lives?

We live in a society that has deep-rooted social and health-related problems. You don’t have to travel too far around the UK to see that our cities are crammed full of people with serious social, mental health and general medical issues. Many of these issues are self inflicted and exacerbated by bad habits such as smoking, drinking excessively and drug taking. But even things like littering and anti-social behaviour are real social issues that need to be tackled. We are a society that needs to change if we are all to enjoy a better quality of life.

So what is social marketing and why are so many people talking about it? Many marketers say it’s an extremely effective way of targeting individuals and influencing behaviour change in different social groups, particularly those at risk in some way.

When it comes to the marketing industry, there is a growing dossier of evidence supporting the fact that an experienced social marketing agency can target, create and deliver a highly effective educational or awareness campaign that can have a meaningful and positive influence on personal lifestyles, choices and behaviours. That is an extremely powerful thing and an exciting prospect for the future.

Social marketing campaigns that are creatively inspired and well managed, can have a marked impact on individual and community decision making when it comes to health, welfare and lifestyle choices. This is particularly evident in social marketing health and social marketing education campaigns.

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