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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