Audience Segmentation in the Yes on 72 Campaign

All images courtesy of Yes on 72, Healthy Kids. Healthy Colorado. campaign. 

What is the Yes on 72 Campaign?

The Yes on 72, Healthy Kids. Health Colorado. (previously Campaign for a Healthy Colorado) campaign seeks to raise awareness and pass Amendment 72 during the 2016 election cycle. Amendment 72 would increase the sales tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products, raising an expected $315 million per year. The money raised will go towards various causes, including medical research, care for veterans, health care in rural communities, youth behavioral services, tobacco cessation programs, student loan repayment, and contributions to current programs to make up for lower taxes in the future, as smoking rates are lowered.

Why Segmentation?

The campaign recognized immediately that their funding would not be able to match funding put into a negative campaign by the tobacco industry. While some advertisements and social media efforts could be afforded, in general the campaign was going to need to get creative and reach specific groups, with the hopes that word of mouth would help increase awareness of the issue overall.

How was Segmentation Done?

Before marketing efforts were under much consideration, the amendment was shaped from a policy prospective. However, this process was based greatly on the understanding of needs-based segmentation.

During the policy making phase, numerous stakeholders came together to determine where the funds raised from the tax were most needed (or, what the people who would benefit from this tax increase would need or want in order to vote yes on it). Ultimately, the main needs were identified as research, tobacco education and cessation, increased care for Colorado veterans, funding for current tobacco programs, expansion of youth behavioral health services, increased access to healthcare in rural communities, and debt repayment for students graduating from healthcare programs who go on to practice in rural and underserved areas.

Key partners that represented each of these groups remained a part of the campaign as the marketing efforts began. With the understood budgetary constraints, the campaign realized these partners, with their connections to the communities who would benefit most from the tax, were the best way to reach potential voters. The needs-based segmentation that played a role in the shaping of the amendment could now naturally play a role in the marketing.

What Do the Marketing Efforts Look Like?

The Yes on 72 campaign provides marketing materials targeted to each of the segments, and distributes those through a centralized website to their partners. Each partner has various channels of their own, and varying degrees of influence and power. Below are some examples of the marketing messages distributed, with examples of the organizations utilizing these methods.

Messages Targeted at Health Systems

Accompanying Messaging: “We firmly believe that one of the most important things we can do to improve the quality of life in Colorado is to decrease smoking and the use of tobacco products – which kill more than 5,000 Coloradans a year and costs over $1.8 billion a year in health care and related expenses. This campaign is about future generations and creating a healthier Colorado.”
– Dr. Deb Dyer, Chair, Department of Radiology, National Jewish Health

Accompanying Messaging: “In Colorado, providing health care in rural communities is a huge challenge. This initiative helps to fund the expansion of training and education programs to assist medical professionals and encourage them to live and work in rural areas or underserved communities.” Peak Vista Community Health Centers

Partners Using Messaging Include:
Centura Health
Craig Hospital
Lutheran Medical Center
National Jewish Health

Messages Targeted at Veterans

Accompanying Messaging: “All veterans deserve the best possible health care services. Amendment 72 dramatically increases funding for veterans’ health programs in Colorado, particularly for those who face the added challenge of post-traumatic stress disorder.”

Partners Using Messaging Include:
LCW Post 1 American Legion
Military Order of the Purple Heart Department of Colorado
United Veterans Committee
Disabled American Veterans
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #1

Messages Targeted at Rural Communities

Accompanying Messaging: “Learn how raising the tobacco tax will help health centers in rural and underserved communities in Colorado access the basic health care technology and equipment they need to meet the needs of their patients.”

Partners Using Messaging Include:

Summit Community Care Clinic
Pueblo Community Health Center
Rio Grande Hospital

Messages Targeted at Researchers/Physicians

Accompanying Messaging: “Learn how The Campaign for a Healthy Colorado will help Colorado’s cutting-edge research institutions like UCHealth – University of Colorado Hospital, Children’s Hospital Colorado and National Jewish Health tackle asthma, heart and lung disease, and cancer.”

Partners Using Messaging Include:
Children’s Hospital Colorado
National Jewish Health
Colorado Medical Society

Messages Targeted at Existing Health/Anti-Smoking Organizations


Accompanying Messaging: “Increases in cigarette taxes are a proven way to prevent and reduce tobacco use, which will make Colorado healthier and save taxpayers money.”

Partners Using Messaging Include:
American Heart Association
American Lung Association in Colorado
American Stroke Association

Campaign Results

To date, the campaign has been able to raise enough funds to produce radio advertisements, television advertisements, and to continue to work with marketing and policy consultants. Additionally, the campaign has received media attention and overall awareness has grown. Support for the Amendment has remained strong, despite increased advertising from the opposition side.

This post will be updated post-election to discuss final results.

Update 11/15/2016- Ultimately the Amendment 72 did not pass. Reasons for this are likely related to heavy spending by the tobacco industry on advertisements.


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