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The Digital Marketing Environment

As the marketing landscape changes it is important for marketers to grow and adapt accordingly. Digital marketing has expanded exponentially over the past few years, putting a greater emphasis on the digital environment. Understanding the different components of the digital environment will help marketers to effectively strategize and flourish.


The micro-environment contains the components that directly interact with your organization in the digital landscape. The micro-environment consists of suppliers, intermediaries such as search engines, competitors, and the customers. It is important to understand the wants and needs of every component to better position your organization for success. For example, understanding how to effectively cater to sites such as Google through search engine optimization (SEO) can help your organization position itself effectively in relation to its competitors.


The macro-environment are components that are completely outside of an organization’s control. The macro-environment consists of political climate, technological advances, social change, economic conditions, and policy change. Although these forces are outside of an organization’s control, they are important to monitor and adapt to. The ongoing covid-19 pandemic is an example of an external force that changed many organizations’ marketing strategies, both in terms of finding new ways to reach potential customers and also finding effective messages for those audiences.

Effective digital strategy relies on understanding both the macro and micro components of the digital landscape. The digital landscape is constantly growing and will soon make up the majority of the marketing sphere. Marketers must adapt their strategies accordingly to maintain relevance and achieve success.

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Digital and Traditional Media Marketing

Marketing is an ever changing and evolving discipline, but it also has a pretty long history. As marketers it is our job to keep up with these changes and integrate them into our systems. At the same time, we don’t want to entirely abandon older forms of marketing that can reach different kinds of audiences. Ultimately, organizations must find the balance of traditional and digital marketing strategies that will work best for them.

Digital Marketing

Digital media is the media that we encounter online via digital platforms. Digital marketing is therefore any marketing within these platforms. One of the advantages of digital marketing is the ability to directly communicate and engage with an audience. Digital platforms allow marketers to track a campaign’s progress in real time and adjust as necessary.

There are however some drawbacks to digital marketing. As consumers become more aware of their digital footprints, platforms have begun making it harder to track and target audiences. The digital landscape is also over-saturated with content, making it difficult for new organizations to make an impact.

Traditional Marketing

Traditional media consists of the media channels that were used before the internet became widely available. While the use of traditional marketing strategies has decreased in recent years, it still has its purpose. Traditional media has a very broad audience, allowing brands to connect with entire regions using a single campaign, and it can reach audiences that are not very active in online platforms. Finally, there is also less competition given the capital needed to present on these platforms, which makes it easier for new organizations to become household names.

While traditional media channels provide a larger audience for marketers, it doesn’t allow marketers to track a campaign’s impact. A broader audience also means campaigns can become generic in an attempt to appeal to multiple demographics.

As marketing professionals, it is our job to evaluate the needs of our organizations and develop marketing strategies accordingly. A mixture of both traditional and digital strategies is often necessary for success. The media landscape is constantly changing and it is our job to keep up while also continuing to use traditional methods effectively.

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Creating & Editing Social Media Content

The need for marketers to create their own content has increased significantly with the rise in social media marketing. This can be a daunting task given the amount of content you have to compete with. Luckily there are mobile apps that can help marketers create and edit content.

Photos & Graphics

Canva is my go-to app when it comes to photos and graphics. It is very easy to use and has pre-set layouts and templates available for novice designers. Canva also has a vast library of free (and premium) stock photos and graphic that can be added to any of your designs. Canva works with both mobile and desktop, giving users flexibility.


CapCut is an amazing resource for editing video on the go. It is easy upload and reformat videos to accommodate different social media platforms. CapCut also has a library of free audio files and graphics that you can use in the app.

Editing content can be challenging, apps such as CapCut and Canva can help. Given the current digital landscape, brands can easily be overshadowed if not constantly creating. These kind of simple apps can help you churn out new content so you can keep up with the constant pace of social media.

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Using Facebook to Market Public Health

Facebook remains one of the largest marketing platforms available to organizations, so it makes sense to explore its potential for communicating public health information to communities. However, using Facebook advertising effectively can be challenging because studies have shown some limitations on one way communication through Facebook for audience engagement.

For example, in the Truckin’ Healthy campaign in Australia, researchers found that Facebook was not a good fit for their audience. This was because the truck drivers were not the right age for using the platform and that they lacked some of the technological skills that would have helped them use the app effectively.

Likewise, the campaign Don’t Know? Don’t Drink designed to encourage healthy choices during pregnancy in New Zealand did poorly as well. Researchers found that the one-way communication of advertisements on Facebook were perceived as condescending by participants and was unlikely to change a user’s mindset.

Finally, there is the American Healthy Adaptations for Life (HAL) campaign, focusing on nutrition and physical activity with menopausal women. Researchers found that although the ad was able to reach a large number of users, there was a lack of data on whether the ads changed behaviors.

Overall, these studies suggest that using Facebook for public health advertising can be a difficult task. Organizations seeking to use the platform should makes sure that it’s a good fit for their audience while also considering they can measure the effect of the ad on actual health behaviors.

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Social Media Listening for Public Health Marketers

As public health marketers we must understand our audiences to create effective messaging. Traditionally, we have used focus groups and surveys to understand how a population feels about a given topic. While useful, these methods can take time to collect and have limited datasets. Social media listening is a way for public health marketers to identify public health topics trending in real time, allowing them to serve communities like never before.

Content Creation

Social media listening can help public health marketers determine the online habits of specific target audiences. By analyzing this data, we can determine the preferred social media platforms and why they share and interact with content. Organizations can also use this data to better understand societal norms and customs of their audiences to create socially relevant content.


Social media listening can also be used to find out what questions or information gaps our target audience has and develop messaging to address them. Social media listening can also be used to find and combat sources of misinformation. Identifying and responding to rumors quickly can stop them from spreading and establish trust in your organization.

Understanding the questions, habits, and preferences of target audiences can help marketers create effective campaigns. Social media listening is a helpful tool that allow us use data to connect and engage with our audiences. Effective messaging requires insight and consideration to create content that will connect and resonate with users.

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Storytelling to Promote Public Health

As marketers one of our most effective tools is storytelling. Audiences are more likely to connect with and remember a message that is associated with a story. Public health marketers can use this strategy highlight and reinforce their public health messaging.

Establishing Familiarity

As public health marketers it is important for us to establish familiarity with our brands. Communities are more likely to listen to organizations that they can connect with on a personal level. By engaging with storytelling, public health marketers can bring public health policy home and make personal for their audiences.

As public health marketers it is important to connect with our audiences and gain their trust. Audiences are more likely to connect with personal stories than generic messaging, therefore we must work to connect policy with the lived experiences of our audiences in order to promote public health.

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Social Media Marketing ROI

As public health marketers we know that social media can be a great resource to connect users with support services. Health departments and non-profits, however, have limited marketing budgets making every penny count. Knowing how to calculate the ROI for a proposed campaign can help public health marketers use their limited budgets strategically and justify future spending to stakeholders.

Measuring Effectiveness

Like with any other marketing campaign, we want to start our social media campaign with a clearly defined goal. A clear goal is needed to direct efforts and to determine whether we achieved it or not. Next, we need to ensure that we have measurable metrics assigned to our goal so that we can track the performance of our campaign. If the metrics chosen are not measurable, it is impossible to determine if they had an impact. Finally, we must calculate the ROI for the campaign. The traditional ROI calculation is [(value-investment)/investment * 100]. There are also ROI calculators available online that can help with this calculation.

Calculating the ROI for a social media campaign is important for marketers to utilize their budgets effectively and justify spending. Limited funding and budget restrictions of public health organizations make ROI calculations that much more important. Connecting users with support services has been made easier through social media and has proven to be an excellent tool for public health marketers.

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Google Analytics for Website Optimization

Often the first time an individual interacts with an organization is via their website. Therefore it is important as marketers to ensure websites are well designed and user friendly. Tracking software such as Google Analytics can be used to measure and test elements of your site.

First Impressions 

A website’s landing page gives users their first impression of an organization. An effective landing page will give a user easy access to important links and provide necessary information. 

Tracking Use

Tracking users across an organization’s website can give marketers insight into what is effective and what is not. By collecting metrics on bounce rate, session duration, and additional page views marketers can improve user experience. Testing the effectiveness of links and images in different locations can help marketers design more effective sites.

Google Analytics can help marketers improve user experience and improve usability. A website’s landing page is often the first impression a user has of an organization. Ensuring effective website design is important for an organization to thrive. 

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Audience Management for Successful Public Health Campaigns

Audience management is an important aspect of any social media marketing strategy. This is especially true for public health marketers trying to disseminate information about sensitive health topics. Sexual health and education are often seen as taboo and require in-depth knowledge of your audience to be successful.

Knowing Your Audience

It is not uncommon for individuals to be a bit uncomfortable or embarrassed when asking health-related questions, especially those surrounding reproductive and sexual health. Therefore, it is important to identify both your audience and their needs in order to tailor campaign messaging. Layla’s Got You was a successful multimedia campaign by the Public Good Projects out of Syracuse, NY to increase contraception knowledge of young Black and Hispanic women.

Collaboration is Key

The success Layla’s Got You stems from the incorporation of key audience members in the creation of the campaign. By collaborating with their intended audience, developers discovered that participants felt more comfortable speaking with a trusted friend about sexual topics. Using this information allowed Public Good Projects to develop the Layla, a chat-bot that can be used anonymously to answer questions regarding sexual health. To date, it has received 4,390 messages related to contraception or sexual health.

Sexual and reproductive health is a sensitive topic that can be difficult to talk openly about. Therefore, it is important to develop culturally sensitive content to connect people with the information they need. By collaborating with audience members to develop content, marketers can improve community buy-in and reduce negative health outcomes.

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Masterful Marketing: The Death of Mr. Peanut

As marketers one of our main objectives is to build and maintain brand recognition. Even established brands must maintain their marketing efforts to stay relevant in the minds of consumers. The death of Mr. Peanut is a fabulous example of an established brand engaging with audiences and keeping things fresh.  

Campaign Concept

Mr. peanut made his debut in 1916 and has been the Planters mascot ever since. During the 2020 Super Bowl, Planters ran a commercial in which Mr. Peanut sacrifices himself so that his friends can survive. In the second half of the game, a second Planters commercial aired and continued the story of Mr. Peanut showcasing his funeral service and Groot-like reincarnation.

Media Outlets

The Death of Mr. Peanut campaign started with the super bowl ads and quickly spread across media platforms. The video, which is now unlisted, has over 7 million views on YouTube, and 2.3 million views on Planters’ Twitter feed. The ad was soon being featured in CNN stories and had a segment on SNL’s Weekend Update.

Audience Reception

The reactions to the death of Mr. Peanut were mixed. Many viewers were intrigued by the tongue and cheek nature of the mascots demise. Others saw the campaign and trending twitter hashtag #RIPPeanut as tone deaf given the death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant four days after the release of the campaign.

The killing of Mr. Peanut, while controversial to some, was an excellent example of an established brand staying relevant. Within minutes of the commercial airing, the hashtag #RIPPeanut was flooding news-feeds across the country, bringing Mr. Peanut and his legacy back into peoples’ minds. Although killing off a mascot was a bold and risky move, Planters was able to use this controversy to build its brands recognition and equity.