National Social Marketing Centre


Properly understanding your target audience, who they are and what shapes their actions, is fundamental to successful behaviour change activities.  The NSMC offers a range of research services from mining existing research databases to developing comprehensive primary research programmes.

Understanding what motivates and drives individuals, groups and organisations is what we do best. We use deep psychographic research techniques to help clients understand not just ‘what’ (a behaviour) but critically answer the question ‘why?’ (motivation). 

The NSMC's research services can help you at every stage of planning, implementing and evaluating your social marketing programme. 

Talk to us about how our research can help you:

  • Evaluate policy and review evidence
  • Segment your audience in the ways that will most help your intervention, whether by demographic variables, such as age or location, or psychographic variable like attitudes, values and beliefs
  • Connect with stakeholders to capture their perspectives, and to ensure their buy-in
  • Develop engagement strategies 
  • Generate actionable insights using a range of research methods, such as in-depth individual, paired and focus group interviews, face-to-face survey and online questionnaires
  • Establish baselines and develop evaluation plans to capture learning and measure impact. 

We also provide independent process, outcome, impact and value for money evaluations. 

To find out more about how we can help boost the impact of your future behaviour change programmes, please contact us at

Theory to practice: developing the UK evidence base

The NSMC carried out a three-year research programme (2006-2009), funded by the  Department of Health England, to establish an evidence base for social marketing. Find out more about the Learning demonstration sites

Healthy foundations segmentation model

The NSMC worked in partnership with the Department of Health England to develop a national segmentation model: Healthy Foundations. The aim was to divide up the population of England into meaningful segments by looking at the drivers of behaviour across the six public health priority areas: smoking, obesity, mental health, alcohol, substance abuse and sexual health.

This model was piloted and is now being developed into a tool to help public health professionals understand their audience and develop appropriate interventions.

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  • Talk to us about research

    The NSMC can help you with research insight and evaluation for your behaviour change programmes. Call Rowena on 020 7799 1900. 

  • Improving effectiveness...

    The NSMC continues to play an important role in improving the effectiveness of governments' and national organisations' behaviour change programmes.

    Mary Newman, Head of clinical strategies, Department of Health

  • Social Marketing Academy

    The NSMC is running its next Social Marketing Award Course on 5th and 6th June at the Chartered Institute of Marketing's Headquarters in Cookham. For further details contact Patrick on 0207 799 1920.


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Latest News & Events

30 March 2016

The NSMC Level 4 Social Marketing Award Course

We are currently planning the date of our next Level 4 Social Marketing Award. Keep on eye on our website for details of this course, or alternatively contact us directly and we will then let you know when the date has been organised.

The course is the only introduction to social marketing course accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and has been created from The NSMC's nine years' experience of delivering social marketing training courses with input from the accreditation unit at the CIM.

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12 April 2015

NSMC is commissioned by SNV Netherlands to evaluate a water and sanitation programme in Cambodia

The NSMC has just won a major contract with the Netherlands Development Organisation SNV to evaluate one of their major water and sanitation programmes in southern Cambodia.  The WASH programme is aiming to reduce the incidence of infectious diseases through a combination of institutional capacity building and behaviour change interventions.  The evaluation project will begin in late April and will be conducting both qualitative and quantitative research in the southern part of the country to evaluate the impact of the WASH programme on rural communities.

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23 February 2015

NSMC wins new project in Kent to develop a social marketing plan to reduce the number of expectant mothers who smoke

The NSMC has just been awarded a new project helping Kent County Council to develop a social marketing plan to reduce smoking rates in pregnant women.  We will be working over the next months to co-develop a behaviour change intervention that resonates with our target audience and helps them to quit smoking for good.  We will keep you informed of how this exciting project is developing throughout March and April. 

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18 March 2014

Guest blog - Best practice for research programmes by Rachel Cope of MRUK

With a trend towards social marketing increasingly being used to inform policy and development of strategy, the need for actionable research has never been more important.  Here, I outline best practice to ensure that your research programmes can be put into action.

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21 February 2014

The Chartered Institute of Marketing New Social Marketing Award


What do young people crossing railways safely, stopping smoking for October, voting for a country to join FIFA, not using accident and emergency services and enrolling more students on a course have in common?


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