(People) everywhere—rich and poor—have hopes and aspirations. Tapping into those strong emotional sentiments and showing (people) how the product helps them achieve their desires can be a powerful motivator for product use.
– USAID Report, Idea to Impact
Demand creation activities are rooted in developing communications that demonstrate how a product or service will fulfill a target audiences’ needs, desires, and aspirations. Successful demand creation often employs strategic and creative communications that connect emotionally with target audiences, rather than using rational or functional appeals (rational or functional appeals refers to solely communicating facts about the product without answering the question, “How does this product fit in MY life and why do I need it?”).
A demand creation approach can be useful because it can transform a communications campaign into something engaging and interesting for the people it’s speaking to, and this is more effective over the long run.
Best practices for using a demand creation approach in public health:
- Demand creation is dynamic in nature, so it’s best to take into account the varying needs of end users across different age groups and social status.
- Demand creation activities in public health should focus on positive, empowering, insight-driven messaging and creative concepts. The goal of these concepts is to catch peoples’ attention and get to 1) be aware of your product and 2) consider if it is right for them.
- Audiences – primary and secondary, such as influencers – should be meaningfully involved in the creation of communications that drive demand through ongoing market research, stakeholder engagement, and user testing to ensure buy-in and support.
- Not EVERY communications material needs to have the objective of creating demand. Some materials may need to focus on educating and informing (about the side effects of PrEP, for example) and that’s okay. These pieces serve a purpose in the communications campaign as do demand creation materials and activities.
If you have any further questions about the concept of demand creation, please let us know. We’re here to help: Accelerator@optionsconsortium.org
Before you get started, it’s important to note the following:
- The guide is organized according to “phases,” this is not a step-by-step guide
- Designing demand creation communications is an ongoing process of learning and iteration
- You will frequently go back to earlier decisions and update them to match your evolving thinking and learnings
- You will work through some phases in tandem, while you are likely to cycle through others several times