A social marketing orientation to healthcare puts the consumer first. A commitment to fulfilling consumer needs is at the heart of social marketing, and so this approach naturally begins with detailed market research to understand the target consumer audience in detail.
Market research must also take the broader social and cultural context into account as these factors have a major impact on consumer behaviors. This type of market research is not targeting increased sales, but instead seeks to design services which change behaviors in a positive way and promote social good. The consumer focus means that behavioral recommendations must always be inline with the values and beliefs of the target audience, and these solutions should be empowering to consumers in the sense that they help them to solve practical problems and move closer to realizing their dreams.