To describe the social marketing approaches used to increase syphilis awareness in 8 US cities.
We reviewed the typical academic approach for developing social marketing campaigns and interviewed health department staff responsible for social marketing campaigns in each city.
Using social marketing techniques such as target segmentation, concept testing of materials, and formative evaluation, campaign planners throughout the 8 cities developed a variety of approaches to reach their target audiences. Preliminary results suggest 71% to 80% of men who have sex with men interviewed were aware of the campaigns, and 45% to 53% of them reported they were tested due to the campaigns.
Campaigns should address the local epidemic and target audience with culturally appropriate messages.