I am currently in Nairobi, Kenya, with a team of other Plan International Communications persons from Africa, attending a week long training on Communication for Behavioural Impact (COMBI) being facilitated by Dr Everold Hosein, a Senior Communications Adviser at the WHO.
Just to put you in perspective, COMBI is a communications planning approach that draws from private sector marketing principles to design communication programmes aimed at creating impact on people’s behaviour in social development. Some refer to this as communication for behavioural change.
This morning, we were discussing market segmentation. We looked at the basic fact that at any given point with regard to a behavioural impact/change communication intervention, audiences will be classified as follows:
- Those who have never heard the message you would like them to hear
- Those who have the information but are not yet convinced about what you are communicating
- Those who are convinced but have not yet decided to act
- Those that have decided to act but have not yet done so
- Those that have acted but are still not sure if their action is worthwhile
- Those that are fully into the desired behaviour and need to maintain that
The question that we grappled with was this: In view of the ever limited resources communications persons in social development organisations work with, implying that one cannot focus on all these at once, which of the categories above should one regard as their priority when it comes to communication planning if they were to chose only one segment ? Is it the first group? The second, etc?
Which segment would be your priority? Why? Remember, the assumption is that the situation demands that you choose only one segment.
To this I would like to add my own question: With what is given above, are there other factors you would consider in order to determine which segment you would prioritise?