No matter what industry you are in, marketing is the foundation for growth. There are no two ways about it. Without marketing you would be hidden in a corner of the world where no one could find you, no one would know what it is you have or what you do and of course, if you are in the private sector, you’d go broke quite quickly. The same holds true for marketing in the public sector but it’s not always about raising money.
When it comes to public health, marketing is a key way to ‘sell the public’ on something that will have a dramatic effect on their lives. Marketing impacts public health in key ways but primarily for the prevention and treatment of disease and public health concerns. Here are a few of the ways in which marketing of the past few years has impacted public health.
The Zika Virus
Perhaps the first thing to talk about should be the Zika virus that is carried by the Aedes species of mosquitos that have become infected. Until the middle part of last year most of the general public was unaware of such a thing as the Aedes mosquito until major marketing efforts were initiated and they certainly had never heard of the Zika virus and what it could do to an unborn child’s development in utero.
A massive marketing, yes marketing, campaign was initiated and soon the Zika virus and the Aedes mosquito were all over the internet on social pages, blogs, news articles and even press releases and tele-briefings by the CDC. You can thank public health officials with an advanced degree in program administration and their marketing pros for bringing this potentially devastating virus to the public’s attention.
STDs and Cervical Cancer
Those with a master in public health who have been in the business for any length of time will remember just what it was like when the connection between certain STDs and cervical cancer was found. A major television campaign was initiated and the vaccines to prevent cancer were promoted all hours of the day.
This really was public health marketing at its best because it brought the issue to the forefront with teenage girls, parents of teenage girls and even health professionals who may not have read the bulletins or been apprised of this new preventative vaccine.
How Marketing Helps Reach the Masses
While you don’t need an MPH degree online to be a marketer for public health, you do need one to be a part of the process for identifying issues in public health and in finding treatments, preventative measures and cures. With a lack of public health infrastructure in many third world countries, the internet has taken on a greater role in disseminating information to the general population but since the dawning of the Information Superhighway, this has become easier.
Now there are more ways than ever before to reach people and marketers are the ones who identify how to reach target audiences while public health officials tell them what that target market is. That’s how marketing impacts public health and without it there would be far greater issues than we currently face.