What We Do Best

Kirby Marketing Solutions offers a wide range of health communication and health marketing services designed to improve understanding, raise awareness, and change behaviors or policies. If there are services you need that are not mentioned here, please ask. We have relationships with trusted consultants who understand public health and health care and have in depth expience ni media advocacy, socially responsible business partnerships, and nonprofit marketing.


Audience Intelligence

Getting inside the minds of your intended audience can be a daunting task, but at Kirby Marketing Solutions, we thrive on that challenge. Whether your audience is policymakers, businesses, partners, employees, opinion leaders, or members of various publics, we can help you meet that challenge in a cost effective and time efficient manner. We have experience with a wide range of research methodologies such as focus groups, dyads and triads, key informant interviews, message testing, Internet surveys, perceptual mapping, competitive analysis, brand positioning, and brand architecture assessments. In addition we have extensive experience in using syndicated audience research databases, such as SurveySpot, Tipping Point Database, Healthstyles, Roper Starch’s Offline and Online Opinion Leader Panels, MRI's Lifestyles® Database, MarketFacts®, and PRIZM. Our consultants have over 22 years of experience conducting well over 200 projects regarding audience-based research for behavior and organizational change, identity and branding, marketing research and program development; and issue framing.  We integrate research methodologies using focus groups, dyads and triads, key informant interviews, ethnographic methods, and multiple methods. Dr. Kirby recently published (along with the National Institutes of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism) a paper about binge drinking segmentation using PRIZM data.


Communications and Marketing Strategy Development

KMS insights and innovation in health communication development and formative research are well known in public health.  We have created messages for large and small campaigns, broad-based and highly targeted campaigns.  We are most proud of our work in new/difficult topics to communicate about, such as child sex abuse prevention, injury control, and developing country's health systems. We use the intelligence we gather during formative research to inform message and marketing strategy development.  But we also include client input and partner input as those viewpoints are critical to the actual use of messages in the field.Communication and marketing development covers a wide array of strategies. Depending on the audience and goals, we may recommend developing or improving needed services and training for staff, developing better messaging for consumers, creating an actual product to "nudge" or "pledge" a behavior, or developing a social media presence where users can interact on a topic and develop a learning community.  For example, for California's teen dating violence prevention project we created a Facebook presence so that teen leaders throughout the state could interact and learn from one another about what they were doing in their home communities.   

Message and Materials Testing

Our messages and strategies are tested, using a variety of techniques, depending on the audience, budget, time, and other constraints.  We work diligently to include our clients as partners in the process so they can judge what needs to be communicated to their leadership as we move forward. We use similar techniques for message testing as for formative audience research, including qualitative and quantitative methods when feasible. For example, during message testing for a sexual health issue framing project we used key informant interviews and a national online survey to arrive at our recommended messages by audience type.


Insight Branding

You may not call it branding, but speaking with one voice about your organization is the core of brand communication. We approach branding and positioning as part of an overall organizational strategic plan. Our expertise in identity and brand development has focused on public health marketing for government agencies and nonprofits and Dr. Kirby of KMS is well known as a leader in identity and brand development, specifically in the public health sector. Our Brand Building Blocks process is based on audience intelligence married to solid internal decision-making. We use transparent, not proprietary, research methods, and encourage our clients to become partners in the process. During our history we created brand platforms and communication messaging for the award winning Kansas public health promotion efforts - Healthy People Build Healthy Communities, California's teen dating violence prevention Stand2gether for Healthy ♥  Relationships, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality – Advancing Excellence in Healthcare.


Issue Framing

Issue framing seeks to reposition an issue or topic in audience's minds while branding works more at an organizational or program/product/service level.  KMS has had the privilege to work on three major issue framing projects; injury prevention, global public health management, and sexual health.  The global public health management issue framing was critical to how the client team began communicating about its mission and mandate and how it helped prepare partners to talk about their associated work.  It helped them have a more coordinated voice with partners.  The sexual health framing project was critical to repositioning the issue to include more of a health orientation instead of disease only orientation. The sexual health issue framing research was recently published in a scholarly journal and is used in message training.


Strategic Planning

Our team is experienced in all aspects of strategic planning, giving us the flexibility to select a tailored approach to each marketing or organizational challenge facing our clients. Clients can trust that we know the worlds of public health and health care, and use that expertise to inform the process. We are experienced at engaging stakeholders to develop a compelling mission statement, an inspiring vision, and goals that are achievable within given resources. We embrace evidence-based research and honor our clients’ input. Our consultants are proficient at bringing together a range of diverse viewpoints from stakeholders and moving them toward common goals and decisions. We have successfully helped a number of organizations strategically plan new programs or realign internal resources to better serve their constituents. We then guide communications plans (internal and external) so they are in alignment with organizational plans—and important step which is too often overlooked. See our Our Best Work to learn more about how we helped AHRQ, CDC-Cancer, CDC-Injury, CDC-Travelers’ Health, and CALCASA.


Conference Presentations and Training

Whether your event is live or online, a conference, workshop, or academic course, Kirby Marketing Solutions can provide a dynamic and well known speaker/trainer in areas such as social marketing, health communication, message framing, media advocacy, health marketing, social branding, socially responsible business practice, and evaluating public health marketing and communication programs. We have over 20 years of experience speaking and have trained thousands of professionals and community volunteers. Dr. Kirby has taught at Emory University, UCLA, and Berkeley. You can also view brief YouTube presentations of Dr. Kirby's talk on binational health marketing and socially responsible businesses.





If your organization is a government agency, a foundation, or a nonprofit or if your issue is public health or health care, then we'd like to talk about the unique challenges you face in marketing, communication, and strategic planning.