Every once in a while, we like to share what we’ve been up to, including how our research engagements have helped our clients achieve their organizational goals and some of the lessons learned. This case study highlights W5’s successful use of a hybrid research approach for a well-known national health advocacy nonprofit seeking to inform its positioning strategies for educational campaign initiatives.

W5’s previous healthcare-related research revealed a tipping point near the age 45 among adults and their awareness, attitudes and behaviors towards health. As a result, we designed our research approach with this ingoing hypothesis in mind, using participant age breaks that allowed for commonalities both within and across life-stages, behaviors, etc. to emerge. In doing so, we were able to provide our client with a strategic approach to messaging that would drive awareness and action among audiences both broad and targeted (e.g., Millennials).SPOTLIGHT BLOG POST



A well-known national health advocacy nonprofit wanted to leverage exploratory research to inform unique communications and positioning strategies by providing a broader understanding of consumer perceptions and behaviors regarding specific health topics (cardiovascular health, stroke prevention and brain health) including their needs, desires, and expectations for health messaging. This initial exploration would be followed by a broader assessment of topical understanding and assessment of communications approaches.


W5 designed a hybrid approach which led with qualitative exploratory research among adult consumers using an online bulletin board methodology to explore the topic and messaging. Interactive exercises, including concept ‘mind’ maps and associative image collages, engaged the participants and brought their input to life. Creative concepts were adjusted and validated in a subsequent quantitative online survey among a robust and broad market sample to establish a baseline read of consumer understanding around cardiovascular health, stroke prevention, and brain health; validate motivating language and imagery; and assess the fit of the communications approach to the client brand.


By aligning methodologies with research needs, employing a sequential, hybrid research design, and incorporating previous experience with life-stage and health messaging receptivity, W5 was able to explore, refine and test communications strategies, concepts, awareness, and receptivity around public health initiatives to ensure resonance and encourage action among target audiences. Using the insights provided by W5’s research, our client will launch a campaign in spring 2016 to promote the importance of brain health. The initiative will give consumers simple tips on keeping their brains and hearts healthy in order to prevent stroke and heart disease.

Spotlight is a special feature of the W5 Blog showcasing W5 consultants’ approach to designing marketing research studies, creating engaging deliverables, and informing strategy. For more information on W5’s approach to qualitative or quantitative research contact


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