As public health marketers our goal is to market services effectively to the populations we serve. One of the greatest resources that we have to customize messaging is the data from the Census. Often healthcare agencies have limited resources for outreach so tailoring messaging to communities can help to increase campaign effectiveness.
The targeting of healthcare messaging is important to ensure that communities are getting relevant information. Using census data to understand the demographics of a community allows marketers to tailor information content and distribution. For example, community with a high population of senior citizens would likely have different health needs and communication channels than a college town filled with students.
Limits to Census Data
However, it is important to note that census data is not perfect. We need to be mindful that historically marginalized communities may be underrepresented in the data. Therefore, it is good practice to cross reference census data with data collected by local agencies and nonprofits to get a more accurate picture of the community being served.
Census data can be used to improve the effectiveness of public health campaigns. However, it is always important to compare it to data from other sources to ensure accuracy. Census data can be a very useful tool for public health marketers when used correctly.