Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine the effectiveness of a social marketing campaign using digital marketing techniques to promote walking amongst 25-45-year-old male and females living in County Waterford. Methods: This research was conducted in three phases. In phase one, an adapted questionnaire (n = 400) was used to investigate the current walking levels and the factors affecting walking participation. In the next phase, two social marketing campaigns (using Facebook and Instagram advertising) were implemented to promote walking events. Campaign one promoted walking as a healthy use of family time. Campaign two aimed to promote hillwalking as safe and accessible. Finally, in phase three, a self-designed questionnaire (n = 17) was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the social marketing campaigns. Findings: Results indicated that there was an array of factors that had a positive and negative impact on walking participation. Some factors identified were work commitments, gender, pet ownership, awareness of local walking routes, interest in hill-walking, and not enough knowledge about nearby hillwalking trails. The results from the social marketing campaigns and associated walking events had varied success. For campaign one, 16 families attended the family walk day and for campaign two, only one individual attended the guided walk. Conclusion: Few campaigns and National Governing Bodies have used advanced digital marketing to promote walking in Ireland. Findings from this research contribute to the existing body of literature on the factors affecting Irish adult’s physical activity participation, thus, supporting the design and implementation of a successful social marketing campaign. This research also provides scope into the potential uses of digital marketing for walking campaigns. Both Irish National Governing Bodies and marketers seeking to design more effective physical activity campaigns can also replicate this methodology.
|Publication status||Unpublished - 2020|
- Social marketing, Walking, Physical activity