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Abstract

Population Services International (PSI) is an international NGO working to improve outcomes in developing countries through behavior change communications and the social marketing of health products and services. Consumer insight is central to PSI's social marketing strategy because it informs which messages to promote and which products and services to offer to make the concept of healthy behavior change attractive to consumers. Qualitative research provides rich insight by exploring consumers' values, feelings, thoughts, intentions, barriers, motivators, culture, and social norms that affect their behaviors and use of products and services. In this paper, we describe how PSI's qualitative research program developed from 2003 to 2013, and how using an interpretive approach and more appropriate data collection methods improved our consumer insight and marketing planning process.

Keywords

Qualitative, Framework, Social Marketing, Behavior Change, Population Services International, Consumer Insight, Program Design, Concept Development, Audience Segmentation

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Kim Longfield is the Director for Strategic Research and Evaluation at PSI, and has worked for the organization since 2001. She leads a research unit that provides evidence about the effectiveness of PSI's work and uses that evidence to inform internal strategy as well as global best practices. Dr. Longfield developed the chapter concept and drafted the background, methods, results and conclusion sections. She was also responsible for overseeing the production and bringing a unified voice to the entire manuscript. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: Kim Longfield at, Population Services International, 1120 19th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036; Email: klongfield@psi.org.

Mr. Reid Moorsmith has been with PSI since 2008 and is currently the Marketing Technical Advisor in Myanmar. Prior to that he has served as Country Representative in Liberia and Deputy Director in the Research & Metrics Department, where he led the global rollout of the FoQus approach for qualitative research. Mr. Moorsmith contributed to the background, methods, results and conclusion sections. He also reviewed the entire manuscript for edits and comments. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: Reid Moorsmith at, PSI/Myanmar, No. 16 West Shwe Gone Dine 4th Street, Bahan Township, Yangon, Myanmar; Email: rmoorsmith@psi.org.

Dr. Katia Peterson is CEO of In Situ Research. Prior to her current position, she worked as a Researcher in PSI’s Research & Metrics department, where she provided stewardship of the organization’s qualitative research portfolio and capacity building. Dr. Peterson contributed to the introduction, background, results and conclusion sections. She also reviewed the entire manuscript for edits and comments. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: Katia Peterson at, Email: katia.peterson@gmail.com

Dr. Isolda Fortin serves as Qualitative Researcher for the Pan-American Social Marketing Organization (PASMO) Regional Office, a PSI network member in Central America. Dr. Fortin is a sociocultural anthropologist with a background in intercultural relationships, gender and health. She contributed to the results section and reviewed the entire manuscript for edits and comments. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: Isolda Fortin at, Pan-American Social Marketing Organization, PASMO Regional Office, 13 calle 3-40, zona 10, Edificio Atlantis, Nivel 13, Oficina 1305, Guatemala, Guatemala; Email: ifortin@pasmo-ca.org.

Mr. James Ayers is Senior Technical Advisor in the Sexual Reproductive Health & TB Department at PSI. He has worked at PSI since 2002. Mr. Ayers wrote part of the results section, and reviewed the entire manuscript for edits and comments. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: James Ayers at, Population Services International, 1120 19th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036; Email: jayers@psi.org.

Ms. Oana Lupu is a Senior Research Analyst at the Corporate Executive Board. Prior to her current position, she worked as the Research Coordinator at PSI. Ms. Lupu wrote the introduction section and conducted the literature review. She also reviewed the entire manuscript for edits and comments. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: Oana Lupu at, Corporate Executive Board, 1919 North Lynn Street, Arlington, VA 22209; Email: oana.corina.lupu@gmail.com.

Acknowledgements

We would like to acknowledge Steven Chapman for his support and contributions for the FoQus framework during his time at PSI. We would like to thank Gary Mundy, Jennifer Wheeler, Meg Kays, and Olivier LeTouzé for their review and comments on earlier drafts of this paper; and Dana Sievers for her research and editorial assistance. We would also like to thank all of the PSI country platforms for their patience during the development of FoQus and for their dedication to conducting research that helps us better serve those in need.

Publication Date

1-18-2016

Creative Commons License


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