LONDON: The UK government’s executive agency for health in England has launched a new digital marketing strategy, which aims to make more effective use of data and partnerships with tech firms to promote healthier lifestyles.

Although no stranger to digital campaigns, Public Health England (PHE) plans to increase its social media activity so that its brand becomes part of consumers’ day-to-day lives.

The health body wants to take its “tools out of the marketing world and into everyday interactions with the health system,” according to Marketing Week, one of the first publications to have sight of the new three-year initiative.

A key element of the strategy is to “keep pace” with the rate of digital change and to use digital tools, including those of partner organisations, to target consumers with relevant messages.

“For example, we create digital content that reaches young people, but that is now also being turned into lesson plans so it becomes part of the fabric of school education assets,” explained Sheila Mitchell, PHE’s marketing director.

With its enhanced focus on digital, that also opens up opportunities for PHE to make better use of consumer data, although Mitchell said PHE does not intend to get into “deep personalised CRM [customer relationship management] activity”.

“[It means] we are taking a test and learn approach and are trying to be much nimbler. We can reach people at scale, but in a more customised way and use data to deliver relevant content. That’s what we’re learning to do better,” a PHE spokesman added.

The overall strategy focuses on four key areas, which PHE identifies as: broaching new subjects, such as antibiotics usage, e-cigarettes and young people’s sexual health.

In addition, PHE aims to keep pace with digital innovation and invest in new digital tools, while ensuring all its marketing tools and assets are academically endorsed and robust.

Finally, the fourth objective is to work more closely with the commercial and voluntary sector to shine a light on important health issues and create “coalitions for change”.

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by WARC staff