Effective Healthcare Campaigns Start With These 4 Elements

August 6, 2015
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In today’s heavily regulated, compliance-focused environment, healthcare marketers are definitely feeling the pressure to stick with bland, hyper-safe campaigns that hit the snooze button on their target customers. 

While it might be tempting to give up and play it safe, it’s more crucial than ever for healthcare marketers to create and maintain meaningful touchpoints with the people they aim to serve.

To help healthcare marketers and advertisers achieve that goal, here are four key elements that create a strong and unique connection with healthcare seekers worldwide:

In today’s heavily regulated, compliance-focused environment, healthcare marketers are definitely feeling the pressure to stick with bland, hyper-safe campaigns that hit the snooze button on their target customers. 

While it might be tempting to give up and play it safe, it’s more crucial than ever for healthcare marketers to create and maintain meaningful touchpoints with the people they aim to serve.

To help healthcare marketers and advertisers achieve that goal, here are four key elements that create a strong and unique connection with healthcare seekers worldwide:

1. Utilize emotion and take risks. The latest science shows that emotion is a major ingredient in every decision we make, and healthcare is no exception. Over the past few years, some of the most successful marketing campaigns have tapped into a strong emotional core to draw in customers.

In Salt Lake City, a popular billboard for Primary Children’s Hospital does just this. It features a picture of a small, smiling redheaded girl and the words “I have cancer.” The word “cancer,” however, is crossed out and replaced by the word “freckles.”

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This powerful, emotive concept encourages viewers to make the connection that healthcare is still about people, and it links their hospital to that concept.

2. Inform, but keep it simple. Information and time are incredibly valuable in the healthcare industry. The best ads present a generous dose of information while respecting customers’ time.

Many meaningful campaigns are built upon uniting these two elements. Simple messages paired with clear, helpful facts can set up a healthcare service as an informed source showing real concern for its patients.

3. Remain well-targeted and relatable. Creative and effective healthcare campaigns must hit the target on both the micro and macro levels. This allows the campaign to be specific enough to resonate but scaled enough to be relatable to all.  

On the micro level, the campaign should be focused on a specific topic, such as women’s health services, children’s cancer, or weight loss care. Meanwhile, the language must be relatable enough on a macro level that it speaks to real people, not robots. Providing the audience with an image or a concept they can relate to — such as the redheaded girl — brings the subject back to people rather than cold, clinical science.

4. Evaluate with technology. Digital and mass media technologies have revolutionized the way we gather data about campaigns, so don’t waste information that could be used to target and tweak the client’s message.

Inform the campaign with multivariate message tests that allow the moderator to test multiple changes simultaneously. Deploy programmatic buying to shift campaign money in real time, pumping resources into the best-performing spots.

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Healthcare marketers face a real challenge in developing effective advertising campaigns. But as the great poet Robert Frost once said, “The only way out is through.” 

Marketers must push through the difficulties ahead to get across the most inspirational and effective messages possible.