Gravidographics: A Health Lifestyle Segmentation of Pregnant Women in Transition to First Time Motherhood
The purpose of this thesis is to contribute a new health psychographic/ lifestyle segmentation of pregnant women in New Zealand who are in transition to first time motherhood. It provides a better understanding of the make up of the market and the way it aggregates into health lifestyle segments. By using a wide selection of pre-existing and pregnancy related health and attitude dimensions, it complements existing understanding and classifications of pregnancy health lifestyle. First, the study richly describes pregnancy health behaviour within a representative cohort of pregnant women in a transitional lifestyle using a holistic framework. It takes into account lifestyle as made up of a combination of factors and underlying motivations. Furthermore, it establishes the application of 'lifestyle' as it is used in marketing as legitimate for the study of a transitional health lifestyle. The research is cross disciplinary, and for that reason, integrates two perhaps seemingly disparate (marketing and health) understandings of lifestyle, using a somewhat novel approach. It is inclusive of high risk pregnant women and a much less oft studied group, normal, healthy or low risk women. Second, a key component of this study is the seminal development of a segmentation typology that classifies women's health in pregnancy through a situation specific psychographic approach. This typology has been termed 'Gravidographics', and identifies segments of pregnant women, who have distinct or unique identifiers in regard to their pregnancy health lifestyle. This knowledge will be useful for health behaviour change through social marketing and also the design and targeting of products and services to specific groups of pregnant consumers. A third focus of the study is the examination of health lifestyle within the concept of life stage transition. As pregnancy marks the transit into a new life stage, there are many adaptations that need to be made, and several underlying factors influence the way such a journey is approached and achieved. The study is exploratory and the conceptual framework, derived predominantly from the marketing and health literature, guides the study and informs development of the data collection tools. Eight main research questions are explored. The study uses a survey design and is cross sectional, with quantitative enquiry the dominant logic. A survey using a self administered health psychographic questionnaire was distributed by Lead Maternity Carers to pregnant women in their care. A sample of 478 women was obtained for this stage of the study. Quantitative analysis was undertaken through descriptive statistics and bi-variate analyses. Secondly, two step clustering was undertaken to develop pregnancy health lifestyle clusters. Four health lifestyle segments were identified. These segments were then profiled against additional variables and data that led to rich descriptions of each segment. Several managerial recommendations are made that will assist in the delivery and positioning of maternity health goods and services particularly in regard to healthcare marketing and segmentation. Secondly, recommendations for future marketing communication strategies targeting pregnant women are made. Through this work, the study's ultimate aim; making an academic contribution to knowledge that will lead to improved health outcomes for mother and baby, has been achieved.