Trending from G/L: We are All Going To Die

The Blog

Dave Geile
Creative Director Managing Partner

Trending from G/L: We are All Going To Die

If trending products like this one continue to be invented, we are all going to die of muscle atrophy. I present to you the Honda U3-X Personal Mobility device. Personally I would feel ridiculous riding around on this thing. But if someone doesn’t put their foot down (pun intended) and take a stand, this kind of lazy contraptions will become the norm – and life as we know it will be extinguished.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8IoQoprBXk

Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for technology and I admire this technology a great deal. I suppose I’m more upset in how it is presented and how it’s major contribution to mankind is demonstrated. In this new product video, we see perfectly healthy, capable people mounting their personal mobility device to get together to go over some office information. They wave at each other as they pass in the hall or admire and discuss art in a gallery. Huh?! The video even touts the benefit of being hands free so you can carry stuff! Here’s a news flash: walking allows for the same benefit!!!

More info on the device:

Honda’s U3-X was cleverly developed by pursuing the concept of “harmony with people” and with its size and weight, it will clearly mix comfortably with pedestrian traffic, though Honda will be conducting extensive testing in a real-world environment to verify and refine the practicality of the device.

The design of the U3-X places the rider on the eye level zone of other pedestrians so that it as friendly and non-threatening to fellow footpath users as possible, while also making it easier for the rider to reach the ground from the footrest without stretching.

Like the Segway and Hands Free Transporter, the U3-X’s speed is adjusted by shifting body weight, though the U3-X adds a whole new dimension in that it doesn’t just go backwards and forwards – it goes sideways, thanks to an ingenious omni-directional wheel system which Honda has dubbed its “HOT Drive System” which is short for Honda Omni Traction Drive System.

Foot reconstruction, knee replacement, hip surgery…now ya got me. But the inability to get off your health butt and move across the room is not what Honda should be broadcasting. If this trending item is our future destiny, we are all going to look like the Wal-Mart people shopping from a mobile cart. Not because of their inability to walk, but because of their crushing weight!

Sorry to be so upset about this…I need to go sit down. I just wish I could go get a cup of coffee while doing so.

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Winning Habits of B2B Brands

The Blog

Dave Geile
Creative Director Managing Partner

Winning Habits of B2B Brands

In B2B it isn’t always about price to your customers. You need more. In a Buyersphere Report I read recently, it cited several of the strongest attributes of B2B brands and suppliers that win business, and why customers bought from them. I cherry picked the ones we believe strongly in and apply to our own potential new business customers. Here are a few results from the study and my thoughts behind them.

Awareness

The biggest and strongest attribute was simply, “I heard of them.”  Two thirds of buyers polled said they had previous knowledge of the company selected. So get your company out there, and be seen in the right places and in front of the right people. For B2B brands, more than 75% of industrial buyers go to search engines or directly to supplier websites for information. Frankly, I found that number to be surprisingly low. But remember, not every communication you put out needs to sell something. Get people aware of your company philosophy, and tell them “why” you do what you do, not just what and how. Our company operates under a philosophy created by Simon Sinek. “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” You need to give yourself some greater value-added.

Location

Don’t sweat it, nearly 50% of B2B buyers said location was not an issue in their decision to purchase. B2B products are not location dependent. But you be the judge. After pointing that out, it was interesting the study pointed out that nearly 20% of buyers ended up buying from a supplier within a distance of about thirty miles. This may be in support of my last point below, but we try to go see clients on a regular basis, no matter where they are. For me, our product is easy to ship anywhere. We are a brand driven strategic marketing firm. An “Idea Factory” if you will, and those ideas ship nicely in a handy little zip file. But don’t let location get in the way of personal contact.

Quality

The study said that 65% agreed that their chosen supplier simply had the best product or service. Pricing was less of an issue, with nearly 50% agreeing their selected supplier did offer the lowest price. But my marketing experience of the past tells me, you don’t want to be the lowest price. If customers are always shopping you on cost alone, you are just a commodity. You need to have added value, a unique selling proposition, a strong brand and employees who deliver on the brand. Then you can offer the highest value, not the lowest price.

Understanding

This was the fourth most cited reason for awarding business. The study said nearly 60% of buyers said the final selection of the winning supplier was because they understood their needs, and their business, better than the others. So do your homework. Go in with a full grasp and understanding of what your potential customers “pain” is, then take a look at what you have in your portfolio that will fix the problem for them. We have worked in many distribution channels of all types, done new product naming and launching, corporate images and market brand positioning. We have made huge efforts to go deep into B2B brands to find their “why” and their unique selling position.  But even after all this, we will never know our clients business as well as they do, so we don’t act like it. But we do know marketing and brand positioning, and these basic principles apply to most any B2B business.

The human touch

Don’t underestimate it. In a world of digital communication, it can make all the difference. The Buyersphere Study asked respondents about what their most memorable communication during the buying process was. For 88% that communication came from the winning supplier, and most mentioned personal contact even if it was by phone.

Want to help your B2B brands get to the next level? Contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

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Be Disruptive In Everything You Do – Especially Your Healthcare Marketing

The Blog

Dave Geile
Creative Director Managing Partner

Be Disruptive In Everything You Do – Especially Your Healthcare Marketing

Okay, I have to admit it. I have been disruptive most of my life. But in a fun way, just ask my mom. I didn’t think of it as being disruptive at the time. I just thought I was just having fun in grade school. I was sent to the hall, or the principal’s office more times than I care to remember. But you know what? my teachers remembered me. And that’s what I want you to do with your healthcare marketing.

I have applied that talent (and I use the word loosely) to advertising and healthcare marketing for our clients. Take Metro Imaging of St. Louis for example. Metro had a very unique selling position. They could offer unprecedented, upfront pricing for X-rays, CT scans, and MRI’s that hospital radiology simply couldn’t do. Can you imagine buying anything and not getting the costs until after you’ve bought it? At Metro Imaging, you’ll get the complete cost breakdown of your exam, such as how much insurance will cover, what your deductible is, and how much you may need to pay out of pocket. Plus, Metro Imaging can give patients immediate, On-Site Results of their exam, from a real, licensed radiologist before they leave the building. Now think about that for a second.

Better upfront pricing, and patients can get preliminary results of their exams before they leave. So now we are not just selling imaging exams, we are selling peace of mind. So if you have an immediate concern about your medical condition, you can be put at ease right away, instead of spending weeks worrying about the results. You can then talk about it with your personal doctor at a later date. That’s powerful.

I had talked with a few healthcare marketing managers from major hospital systems (you can read more of their insights in our new Healthcare Marketing whitepaper) at the time of this campaign, and they all said, something to the effect of…“You know, you guys really threw us for a loop on that campaign.” I said, “How so?” They said:

“We had several uncomfortable board meetings about your campaign. Our hospital system couldn’t calculate costs of imaging exams up front like Metro Imaging could. It was just too complicated. Plus, we couldn’t figure out how to do the OnSite results thing. We just physically couldn’t do it.”

So, with Metro’s strong, unique abilities and selling position, the next step was to creatively deliver that message in a memorable way. I thought who better to deliver that message than the medical exam images themselves. We call it the Skeleton Campaign. Not only did we produce a memorable and impactful TV campaign, we wrapped entire buses in routes that went right past the hospital locations, telling everyone what Metro could do, and what the hospital couldn’t. A unique selling position, creatively delivered, that actually changed a consumer mindset and behavior. That’s disruptive! And the results were phenomenal!

Healthcare Trends

If you’d like to learn more about the latest healthcare marketing trends, click the link HERE or fill out the form below:

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Consumer Engagement: Think Your Marketing is Tough? Try Selling Heart Attacks.

The Blog

Dave Geile
Creative Director Managing Partner

Consumer Engagement: Think Your Marketing is Tough? Try Selling Heart Attacks.

We admit, creating and executing a successful healthcare marketing plan is tough.

After running an advertising agency for 25 years, we have done a lot of healthcare and hospital branding and awareness campaigns with success of course; but your customer, or patient in this case, really isn’t fully engaged in your message unless there is a need. For instance, I can probably make a Dairy Queen Blizzard look pretty good and get people to pay attention and they may even dash out and buy one. Try doing that with cardiac care.

I ran across a great blog on Marketing Healthcare by Stephen Moegling. It stuck out to me because he used an example I have used many times myself (As a matter of fact, just used it recently in a meeting with a health system marketing manager). He compared healthcare marketing to other big ticket, seldom needed purchases such as cars. Everyone who needs a car probably has one, and once they buy one, you won’t see them again for 3-5 years. So the car companies try to keep you engaged with their brand, and when the need eventually comes around again, their image is swimming around somewhere in the back of their customers’ mind space. Your healthcare marketing plan should have that same impact.

In healthcare, having a relevant brand means engaging consumers today for solutions they may need tomorrow. – Moegling

My point is, I have lived through this process of marketing healthcare many times and I think this blogger is right on. The other aspect that stood out to me was that he didn’t even mention expensive TV and radio, but he did list some very doable suggestions (many we have used ourselves) to help keep your healthcare brand out there and part of the “considered set” when the healthcare need arises. His list is below, and you can read the entire blog here. It’s worth taking a look at and passing along if you are in the healthcare industry.

-Downloadable questions to ask your physician about a specific condition
-Microsites for more in-depth interaction among consumers and your services
-Email campaign with links to wellness information, classes and events
-“Ask the Expert” monthly web chat led by physicians
-Interactive kiosks in hospital lobbies and common waiting area
-Men’s health promotional events at local hardware stores
-“Afternoon Tea” women’s events
-Heart healthy shopping menus at local grocery stores and restaurants
-Sign-ups for Facebook “fan” exclusive promotions
-Twitter/tweet announcements from live events
-Sign-ups to hospital Twitter accounts get entry into raffles
-New resident gifts for completing surveys or calling to get a new physician
-“Find a new physician” promotions with a call center or website payoff
-Use Flickr and other photo sharing sites for cutest baby contests
-Baby fairs and other community events
-Meet the Physicians Night at housing community clubhouses
-Clinics for sports medicine promotions (proper stretching, nutrition and rest)

If you have questions about how to create, execute or evaluate a successful healthcare marketing plan, fill out the form below and let’s discuss your options!

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Importance Of Personas in Shaping Targeted Messaging

The Blog

Dave Geile
Creative Director Managing Partner

Importance Of Personas in Shaping Targeted Messaging

Wikipedia defines personas as fictional characters created to represent the different buyer types within a targeted demographic. So, buyer personas are groups of ideal customers, defined by looking deeply into their lives, their thinking, their problems, and their challenges in life.

Once you create personas, you are no longer talking to a demographic age group. You are talking to people with very different lifestyles within that demographic. You get to know them as people versus an innocuous age group or gender. These insights give you important details to define what that customer cares most about, and what applies best to their lives and decision process. But also, they present opportunities for you to target your marketing and messaging to each specific persona. This makes you understand them, and your messaging will sound like you are talking directly to them. Plus, it is important to note that while you have a primary target audience, or even a secondary target audience, you may have 5-6 persona profiles within each of those audience segments. Building customer persona profiles provides valuable insight on your ideal customer.

Best of all, persona-profiling works for all size markets. Small business, or large company, personas allow marketers to create the right content that is most likely to influence a customer to take action and convert them from an interested party to a solid customer.

Are you interested in finding out more about creating personas to help with your strategic marketing messages? Download our Persona Whitepaper to understand why they are critical to your marketing efforts and how to create them. You will also find examples of Personas we have created for our clients.

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Creating Effective Healthcare Messaging

The Blog

Dave Geile
Creative Director Managing Partner

Creating Effective Healthcare Messaging

There are lots of small details that can’t be missed in healthcare. We’re so busy focusing on things like finding MBI numbers for patients on sites like https://www.zolldata.com/mbi-lookup-tool and making sure appointments are being properly conducted that we forget that communicating with patients is an extremely important part of healthcare.

We recently discovered the number one reason a patient considers when choosing an acute care facility is, “My insurance is accepted there.” Yeah. Surprised me, too. Didn’t see that one coming. In fact, it was a staggering 96.3% of consumers who stated its importance. Do you hear any facilities highlighting this in their healthcare messaging? Me neither.

These additional reasons make a little more sense.

  • 93.6% said, “They specialize in what I have.”
  • 90.3% said, “They deliver amazing results.”
  • 90.2% said, “Patient safety is a priority.”
  • 89.5% said, “They use the newest treatments and breakthrough medicine.”

The priority of patient safety was reassuring and also quite relevant in recent news. Despite the national decline in patient infections and preventable injuries during a hospital stay, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports over 750 hospitals in the US are at risk of Medicare sanctions – that’s a quarter of our nation’s hospitals.You can read more about that here.

I would strongly consider the findings indicated above – or at least some integrating some combination of these messages into your overall strategy. But the study shows a total of 16 attributes that consumers say are important to them, so it may be worth taking a look at the entire study.

But whatever works best for your effective healthcare messaging, I would suggest wrapping it all up in one more effective ingredient: empathy. Let them know you are human. Let them know you understand them and the human condition. Let them know you feel what they feel. People don’t just want healthcare, they want people who care. This is best exemplified in the work being done by the Cleveland Clinic. You will notice their short film says nothing about the top five points we just talked about.

As a matter of fact, it doesn’t say anything at all. But it gets the message across. This is powerful, and it is very effective healthcare marketing. In the end, it is all people want: someone who understands.

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Forest ReLeaf

The Blog

Dave Geile
Creative Director Managing Partner

Forest ReLeaf

Forest ReLeaf of Missouri was founded in 1993 as the local response to Global ReLeaf, an international project of American Forests to increase tree planting. Today, Forest ReLeaf is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring volunteer efforts in planning and caring for our trees and forests, particularly those in cities and towns.

Their mission is simple, to provide trees for public and nonprofit plantings and present educational programs to increase stewardship of the trees and forests in Missouri and surrounding regions. This mission was exemplified in the shipment of trees to the tornado-devastated area of Joplin Missouri. To date, Forest ReLeaf has shipped more than 3,500 trees to Joplin, where more than 20,000 trees where lost. In short, they put green where green doesn’t exist.

The vision of Forest ReLeaf is for our region to be a healthy community of trees and forests sustained by volunteer efforts, while maintaining their continued partnership with the public and private sectors.

In support of this mission and vision, Forest ReLeaf is committed to a series of organizational goals.

  • To raise public awareness for the need, and benefits of community trees, and to facilitate community dialogue and action based on best practices in the field of forestry.
  • To increase tree planting involving public and private organizations and   individuals.
  • To improve community trees and forests by promoting their proper establishment, placement and diversity, and to address forestry objectives identified through their partnerships which include the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Missouri Community Forestry Council.

The biggest need for Forest ReLeaf is volunteers. With just three staff members, Forest ReLeaf relies nearly entirely on volunteers to accomplish the mission. Each year, hundreds of dedicated individuals and thousands of hours of service are needed to help with the Forest ReLeaf  programs. Young trees require lots of attention. Forest ReLeaf’s community nursery has 14,000 trees to manage, and depends heavily on volunteers to help plant, water, and weed young trees on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and occasional Saturdays.

My family has been very active in Forest ReLeaf. This is credited mostly to my wife, who has donated hundreds of hours over the years. For myself, along with volunteering, I have attended several fundraisers and events in support of Forest ReLeaf. I also had the pleasure of donating time in mentoring a group of young volunteer creative people from the advertising community. Together we produced a branding and print campaign for Forest ReLeaf. G/L was also a sponsor at the Forest ReLeaf 20th anniversary celebration.

Now, in celebration of our own 25th anniversary at G/L, I plan to plant 25 trees in commemoration. But I also wanted to celebrate by bringing this great group of people into the spotlight and congratulate them. This is a fantastic group of dedicated people, doing great things that benefit all of us, and for generations to come.

For more information on corporate, foundation and in-kind giving opportunities, please contact:

Donna Coble
Executive Director
314/ 533-5323, ext.12

It’s Not Creative for Creative Sake…for Cripsake!

The Blog

Dave Geile
Creative Director Managing Partner

It’s Not Creative for Creative Sake…for Cripsake!

You’ve heard it before. “I love that spot”…”I hate that spot”…”that spot is so lame”…”that spot is brilliant.” Face it, creative is subjective. What appeals to one individual, may be rejected by another. This is especially hard when you are asked to do spec creative in a new business pitch, which we do very sparingly, if at all. (more…)

To Build a Better Portfolio, You Need to be Ready and Willing.

The Blog

Dave Geile
Creative Director Managing Partner

To Build a Better Portfolio, You Need to be Ready and Willing.

As a Creative Director and owner of my own marketing communications agency, I had the pleasure of being asked to be an advisor to a new start up organization. The win-win-win factor behind this nonprofit concept is fantastic. It is a nonprofit set up to help other nonprofits with marketing, advertising, and promotional materials—with a dual benefit allowing young professionals the opportunity to network and get some real world experience. The organization is called Ready and Willing, and this is how it works.

First of all, as we all know, most nonprofits are living on a shoestring. Money is tight, and what is spent is done sparingly. But, they need marketing and communication materials to spread the word about their services and solicit donations and volunteers. Secondly, there are hoards of young advertising and marketing professionals out there looking to make their mark on the ad industry, trying to build their portfolios and launch their careers. This is where Ready and Willing comes in. They build a membership list of these nonprofit organizations and match them up with a team of young art directors, writers, and account service people. But you may ask, “Hey Dave, you mean you plan on turning a bunch of green creatives loose on innocent unsuspecting nonprofits?” “Waddaya NUTS! Where’s the quality control?” Glad you asked. Here’s the twist.

Ready and Willing will also host a group of member Mentors to help steer, guide and instruct these over-hormoned, zealous ad people to insure the work is on strategy, on message, and the creative is something to be proud of. This is the third win. These seasoned professionals that range from Creative Director level to agency owner types will be able to give back to the community with the very skills they have honed over the years, while also helping to mold young talent. Plus, they get to network within this group of “up and coming” talent, possibly recruiting for their own shops or scouting freelance assistance.

It’s that simple. Ready and Willing. Win, Win, Win. And aside from a small member contribution to participate, the work is all free of charge. Check them out if you are interested in helping out, networking and building your book at the same time.

Along with being on the Board of Directors with Ready and Willing, David Geile is Creative Director and Managing Partner of Geile/Leon Marketing Communications. G/L is a convergence agency specializing in Brand Development, Strategic Positioning, Interactive Marketing, and SEO strategy.

 

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