Giving Compass’ Take:
· Hank Cardello provides three ways to help public health activists think like marketers to make their position more appealing and accomplish their goals.
· How can the public health community find solutions to multifaceted problems? What advantages come with thinking like a marketer?
· Read about a model for shaping health policy.
Despite decades of noble efforts by public health advocates, good health, good medical care and good nutrition remain too far out of reach for many Americans. Over a third of us have obesity. Access to affordable health care remains daunting. And opioid addiction runs rampant. These problems are complex, requiring strategies on many fronts before they begin receding.
But one thing is clear: Public health advocates can’t solve these problems alone. They need to get industry on their side – the organizations that make and sell the food and beverages, that provide and pay for medical care and medical products, and many others entities that are being blamed for worsening the public’s health.
And even if they could solve these problems on their own by getting legislators to enact laws, public health advocates couldn’t make Americans healthier by depending on the all-inclusive strategies they’ve tried for years. Those strategies include taxes and bans on high-calorie foods, and package labels that detail the adverse effect of the product inside (calories, alcohol levels, artificial ingredients, etc.).
To help people with the greatest need to live healthier lifestyles, health advocates must change their approaches in two primary ways. First, they must think less like crusaders and more like advisers to industries whose offerings they have held in contempt for worsening the public health. And second, they must think more like marketers and get industry to create offerings that appeal to the mindsets and needs of the most unhealthy Americans. These products and services must both improve public health and companies’ bottom lines.
Read the full article about public health activists by Hank Cardello at the Hudson Institute.
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