What is it?

Thinking about the options required to achieve the desired behaviour change. A good starting point is to develop a proposition:

Developing a ‘Proposition’ – how to move from ‘current’ to ‘desired’ behaviour

that is, a working assumption of what is most likely to help achieve and sustain the desired behaviour (an attractive offer the target audience values over and above any other competitive offers).

This proposition needs to be based on a rounded understanding of the target audience, including the impact of competition and insights into their knowledge, attitudes and so on.

You also need to think about the broad strategic make up of the intervention.

This can be represented as the intervention mix (see below) which covers five possible elements: inform, educate, service, design and control.

Additionally, you should consider the product or service that you will be promoting at a price and in a place that will be attractive to the target audience.

Collectively, this is often referred to as the marketing mix (see below) or the 4Ps. This will be developed further in the next development stage, but you may find it useful to start to think about it here. In addition, it might be useful to consider three additional elements (or Ps) of the marketing mix which are specifically relevant to services: people, process and physical evidence.

Why do this?

To influence behaviour significantly, and sustain this over time, a range of approaches is usually required. By reviewing many potential activities and the best mix of elements, alternative interventions can be adopted or discarded as appropriate. These can then be assessed using a variety of checklists and tools and appropriate interventions.

How might you do this?

Establish the approaches, tools and techniques which are available. It might be helpful to begin by checking the team’s knowledge and understanding of the elements which could be involved in the intervention.

For example, the five primary elements of the intervention mix, the four elements of the marketing mix (supplemented by the additional Ps which are relevant to services).

Identify relevant approaches for the specific target audience and the desired behavioural change

Consider which of the five domains of the intervention mix your possible intervention might draw on and start to develop an initial plan for your marketing mix. Ensure your marketing mix is based on good research and insight into what currently works for the target audience and where the problems lie, for example: convenience of location and opening times of clinics.

Consider different options. There will not be a single solution. Try and get the team to generate as many options, and combinations of options, as possible

As the name implies, the marketing mix is exactly that – a mix of elements or components which work together. One important criterion is consistency – the various elements must work together and not provide conflicting messages.

Consider the proposals against relevant criteria.

For example, is the suggested marketing mix:

  • Relevant to the target audience
  • Consistent, across each component of the mix
  • Ethical
  • Feasible (within existing resources)

Proposed changes can then be discussed with a range of stakeholders so as to identify potential problems or issues before further development takes place

Additionally, a further resources assessment should be undertaken to assess the feasibility of the intervention, including a consideration of the factors identified in previous analysis, such as the SWOT and Asset Mapping analyses.

Assess the potential impact of each proposed element on the target audience.

It might be useful to assess proposed approaches to the marketing mix in terms of:

  • How will this impact on the costs of the desired and problem behaviours, specifically in terms of money, inconvenience, risk, opinions of others, self-perception and so on?
  • How will this impact on the benefits of the desired and problem behaviour - financial savings, lifestyle, opinions of others, self-perception and so on?
  • How will this strengthen/enhance incentives for the desired behaviour?
  • How will this reduce/remove incentives for the problem behaviour?
  • How will this strengthen/enhance barriers or blocks to the problem behaviour?
  • How will this reduce/remove barriers or blocks to the desired behaviour?

Complete a broad checklist to take the proposition to the development stage.


When considering the mix of activities, try to focus on how to increase the target market’s perception of value.

Continually check that the target audience will be receiving a coherent and consistent message from all elements of the intervention.

Read the 'Social Marketing Interventions for Awareness and Early Presentation of Cancer Guide'.


A proposition around which to develop the intervention.

Plans for the possible mix of activities that the intervention might involve.

Intended Outcome

A clear understanding of how the proposition is expected to drive the target audience/s behaviour.