Stephanie Burton

Webinar: Five Lessons Healthcare Marketers Can Learn from Mad Men

By Stephanie Burton on July 27, 2016

Register below to watch this webinar.

webinar-madmen-header

If Don Draper were a healthcare marketing executive today, what would he do? Though healthcare marketing didn’t exist until long after the days of Sterling Cooper, there are still lessons to be learned from the Mad Men era of advertising. Light your (non-carcinogenic) Lucky Strike and pour yourself a (non-alcoholic) martini while we explore classic advertising methods designed to help position you as your health system’s very own Don Draper.

During this free webinar, you will:

  1. Learn how traditional tools such as the creative brief can yield big results.
  2. Identify ways to align a health system’s internal audiences to create an even bigger impact among external audiences.
  3. See how authentic storytelling is taking the place of sterile images of buildings, da Vinci robots and doctors wearing lab coats in healthcare advertising.
  4. Learn when it’s appropriate and how to defend your work as a healthcare marketer.
  5. Understand why it is important to provide forums for audiences to speak with and about (yes, about!) healthcare organizations.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Transcript

Stephanie:
Thank you very much for joining us. We are going to go ahead and get started with five lessons healthcare marketers can learn from Mad Men. My name is Stephanie Hungerford, I’m Director of Healthcare Marketing with Core Creative. I’ve been with the agency for about five years and came from the provider side, working for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin for a number of years. I always say my heart is on the provider side but I really get to use my brain on the agency side, so it is a pleasure to be here with you today.

I often get asked this question, where did healthcare marketing come from? We know that healthcare marketing didn’t exist in the days of Don Draper, and why is that? Very long ago Sir William Osler said, “The practice of medicine is an art not a trade, a calling not a business.” This is no longer true, as we all know otherwise we wouldn’t have professions in healthcare marketing. Healthcare marketing has evolved over the years. First of all beginning in 1973 with the HMO Act, and then in the 1980’s is really where it caught its stride with the advent of managed care.
That’s where we saw people who were traditionally positioned as public relations or communications professionals, need to take over those marketing communications roles within their health systems. We still see that legacy today, and now we’re seeing that marketing is playing an even larger and larger role, as is public relations and communications in healthcare than it ever did before.

That’s what we have for your quick history lesson for today. We’re going to move forward with lesson number one, and I will say for those of you who’ve tuned in hoping that I would say that drinking is something that you should do. Something that we’ve learned from Mad Men, that will not be a lesson that you will learn during this webinar, but we will review a number of great lessons from Mad Men, and go ahead and get started.

Lesson number one, research is a healthcare marketers best friend. Sounds like common sense, it is common sense but sometimes we don’t give ourselves credit for the research that we do as marketers. We think that it needs to be mired in these large $50,000 consumer market research studies and that just isn’t the case, which is music to hopefully everyone’s ears. We’re going to start with something from the very first episode of Mad Men. Take a look, let’s listen in on this.
Mad Men:
Don’t know what we have to do to make these government interlopers happy. They tell us to make a safer cigarette, we do it and then suddenly that’s not good enough.
Mad Men:
Might as well be living in Russia.
Mad Men:
Damn straight.
Mad Men:
I might have a solution. At Sterling Cooper we’ve been pioneering the burgeoning field of research, and our analysis shows that the health risks associated with your product is not the end of the world. People get in their cars everyday to go to work, and some of them die. Cars are dangerous, there’s nothing you can do about it. You still have to get where you’re going. Cigarettes are exactly the same, so why don’t we simply say so what if cigarettes are dangerous? You’re a man. The world is dangerous. Smoke your cigarette, you still have to get where you’re going.
Mad Men:
That’s very interesting. If cigarettes were dangerous it would be interesting.
Mad Men:
Except they aren’t. That’s your slogan. You’re going to die anyway, die with us.
Mad Men:
Actually, it’s a fairly well established psychological principal, that society has a death wish and if we could just tap into that. The market potential is …
Mad Men:
What the hell are you talking about? Are you insane? I’m not selling rifles here, I’m in the tobacco business.

Mad Men:
Gentlemen, before we leave can I just say something?

Mad Men:
I don’t know Don, can you?

Mad Men:
Federal Trade Commission and Readers Digest have done you a favor. They’ve let you know that any ad that brings up the concept of cigarettes and health together, it’s just going to make people think of cancer.

Mad Men:
Yes, and we’re grateful to them.

Mad Men:
What Lee Junior said is right. If you can’t make those health claims, neither can your competitors.

Mad Men:
We’ve got a lot of people not saying anything that sell cigarettes?

Mad Men:
Not exactly. This is the greatest advertising opportunity since the invention of cereal. We have six identical companies making six identical products. We can say anything we want. How do you make your cigarettes?

Mad Men:
I don’t know.

Mad Men:
Shame on you. We breed insect repellent tobacco seeds, plant them in the North Carolina sunshine. Grow it, cut it, cure it, toast it.

Mad Men:
There you go.

Mad Men:
Everybody else’s tobacco is toasted.

Mad Men:
No, everybody else’s tobacco is poisonous, Lucky Strikes is toasted. Well, gentlemen I don’t think I have to tell you what you just witnessed here.

Mad Men:
I think you do.

Mad Men:
Advertising is based on one thing. Happiness, and you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It’s freedom from fear. It’s a billboard on the side of the road that screams with reassurance, that whatever you’re doing it’s okay. You are okay.

Mad Men:
It’s toasted. I get it.

Stephanie:
A really great example of how Don Draper in this circumstance was able to use research questions, primary research to extract some real insight from in this case the client. He arrived at some positioning and the point of differentiation as well, that really wasn’t a point of differentiation but that they were able to claim. I know that you constantly come up against reasons, either you say these to yourself, you hear them from members of your department or members of your organization. “It’s too expensive.”

What you saw my rebuttal to that, would be sure. It absolutely can be and sometimes you do need to participate in those consumer market research studies, or you do need to commission those in order to get the real data that your organization needs to move forward. We do as human beings and particularly as healthcare marketers, we are doing research every single day. It doesn’t cost anything. In that circumstance Don Draper asked a series of questions, and was able to develop a campaign tag line or theme. I don’t know how. You ask questions, you’re naturally inquisitive and that in and of itself is research. That is research that’s digging for the greater details, so that you can fully communicate your message or organizations message.

Then I run into this a lot. I’m afraid of these results. You cannot change that which you do not acknowledge, so it’s better to acknowledge where you are now so that you have a baseline to work from. Don’t be afraid about not being able to achieve the goals that will result out of what you learn. You will be able to but you can’t achieve anything greater unless you know what the true problem or challenge is.
We’ve got quantitative research, we’ve got qualitative research. Both of these things lead to what will become perfect strategy. You do need quantitative research, you do need qualitative research and often times starting with that qualitative research is a really good place to go, so become your own researcher. You may not have the big box that the Mayo Clinics of the world for example have, but you can tap into secondary research in the form of Google. Yes, Google can actually be a really good source for secondary research, and then [inaudible 00:08:50] your very own healthcare marketing organization is a great place to go too.

Think about other colleagues who may have commissioned those larger, consumer market research studies. Themes that they may know about. Find a researcher friend in the industry, you’ll be surprised what you can find for free. Then make sure that you’re conducting that primary research in the form of personal interviews, focus groups or even a small survey. Regardless of whether you are able to conduct market research, you must search for insight. I love this quote from Albert Einstein. He says, “Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts.” It’s so very true. It doesn’t mean this isn’t a quote that you can use to hide behind, but it’s important to keep this in mind. That you’re counting the right things and that sometimes the right things cannot be counted.

I talked about insight and people ask, “Tell me, what is insight?” Insight’s something that is a word that we use everyday in the agency, because it’s really what leads. It’s those aha moments. More particularly it’s defined as the capacity to gain an accurate and deep intuitive understanding of a person or thing, and we saw one of the best examples of insight really led to the got milk? campaign. Very popular campaign that’s been in market now for longer than twenty years, and we’ve actually seen spin offs of it in other industries, which really speaks to the longevity and popularity of it as well.

What had happened, this actually came out of an agency in San Francisco, and I believe it was the California Milk Processing Board or Dairy Processing Board, that had presented this agency with a problem. In the early nineties milk sales were declining, and we started to see the popularity of sports drinks, other soft drinks like soda, like Snapple start to increase. Whereas in the 1980’s we saw a glass of milk next to dinner on the dining room table, we were starting to see these other drinks come in and take over. This agency did some research and one of the things that they discovered is no one really cared about milk. No one really cared about milk unless they didn’t have it.
Milk is a companion beverage. It’s something that you don’t typically go home and say, “I need a nice tall glass of milk.” You do need a nice tall glass of milk if you’re eating a brownie or a cookie, or if you’re having a bowl of cereal. In fact they uncovered that I believe in about 90% of all milk consumption patterns, milk was being consumed as a companion beverage. Not as a stand alone beverage. People only cared about milk when they didn’t have it, and that’s where got milk? really came from. Insight led to that campaign theme.

We use in our industry a creative brief to guide our insight. I’m surprised at the number of health systems that don’t use a creative brief, because it’s so helpful at arriving at ultimately what could become a campaign theme. Your creative brief includes anything from a background, the specific business objective you’re trying to achieve. That’s critical, it needs to be specific and measurable. You need to include an audience, it needs to be realistic and you need to include a time frame as well.

The single most important thing you want your audience to know about the product, what is it? This is the hardest part of writing a creative brief, but it’s also the most important part about writing a creative brief. What are other reasons your audience should believe and buy? We will move on to lesson number two, which is empathy. Empathy, a word that I use almost every day here, is the cornerstone of any successful creative campaign. Do you know what your patients are thinking? How do you know you know what they’re thinking?
Mad Men:
Mr Romano, Miss Olson.
Mad Men:
Send them in. Where are we?
Mad Men:
You tell us.
Mad Men:
Where are you going?
Mad Men:
Are you going to underline the you? For half the people that will be, “Where you going?”
Mad Men:
I also had come away with us.
Mad Men:
Where the hell’s Dale?
Mad Men:
He’s sick.
Mad Men:
I don’t know, sure. Fine.
Mad Men:
It’s exactly what we talked about.
Mad Men:
It’s obvious, I’m uninvolved. What about that?
Mad Men:
I think it’s sentimental.
Mad Men:
Peggy.
Mad Men:
No, she’s right. Just because it has sentiment doesn’t make it sentimental. We’re talking about businessmen.
Mad Men:
Right, businessmen who like short skirts. Sex sells.
Mad Men:
Says who? Just so you know, the people who talk that way think that monkeys can do this. They take all this monkey crap and just stick it in a briefcase, completely unaware that their success depends on something more than their shoe shine. You are the product. You feeling something, that’s what sells. Not them. Not sex. They can’t do what we do and they hate us for it.
Mad Men:
Welcome back daddy.
Mad Men:
Is that a question?
Mad Men:
What did you bring me back daddy?
Mad Men:
Put that in your book.
Stephanie:
I love this clip. You feeling something, that’s what sells and while we are in the business of feeling be it physical or mental, our industry is guilty of developing creative that is seemingly robotic. Just think about it, think about some of the creative that you may have put out. Certainly I have in my career, but robotic creative and I will give you a very literal example. This is, we’ve replaced the logo on this next outdoor ad, but this is a real example of something that’s in the market.

When I presented this at conferences, I’ve asked people what they see, what they feel. A lot of words that come to mind are scared, horrified, oh my goodness because it looks like this machine is going to come and attack you. It’s not about feeling unless you are trying to incite feelings of fear or fright. Same thing with this. This is something that’s probably a little more on the lines of what we see on a more regular basis. Dedicated heart experts, in this case we [inaudible 00:16:58] the copy and removed the logo, but it’s a fine ad. Do you feel anything? It feels a lot more about us as an organization than it does about the person who we are trying to connect with, so feeling something. That’s what we need to do.

One of the things that we will sometimes go through or questions that we’ll ask our clients when we’re working with them, is we really want to get to know who their target audience is. We want to know what does he or she think and feel? What really matters to them, how are they spending their days, what stores are they shopping at, what do they see in their environment, what is their appearance? How might they vote politically, are they religious, do they play sports?

All of these psycho-graphic components that really lead to a true understanding of who our audience is, and we personify that person and we add a name to it. Everything that we do here becomes about Shirley or Becky or Joe, whomever it may be because we want to get to know them on a much deeper level than just a woman aged eighteen to forty four, who lives in Nebraska. That doesn’t tell us much. You can search by the way, for empathy map online. There are a million examples of how you could do an empathy map, but I just challenge you the next time you go into a brainstorming session with your marketing department. Pull one of those out and walk through it as part of your workshop.

Lesson number three, if you don’t like what they’re saying, change the conversation. Any of you who have backgrounds in public relations know this phrase very, very well and in season four of Mad Men, I don’t have a video clip here but I do have a photo that is representative of this particular episode, where there’s discussion of destroying Penn Station and replacing it with Madison Square Garden. There were protesters, and the folks at Sterling Cooper were invited to come in and help fix this problem. Don Draper once again so eloquently said, “If you don’t like what they’re saying change the conversation.”

Sometimes hospitals and health systems have a habit of wanting to participate in the same conversation that our competitors have already initiated, and that can be really dangerous from a positioning standpoint. It’s what I call the me too attitude. We received a Healthgrades award, me too, me too. What that does is it’s not a good spend of your marketing dollars, if that’s not where you’re positioned. Sure, it can help dilute the competitors message, but it’s just not an efficient way to communicate your position in the market.
We say that you really need to start a conversation by leading with messaging tied to your health systems brand position. Based on the work that we’ve done with many, many health systems over the years, generally health systems fall into one of three brand positions. Customer intimacy, typically it will be religiously affiliated organizations. Maybe smaller healthcare organizations where you can actually see your doctor at the grocery store shopping, because it’s such a smaller rural area. Operational excellence, this is we’ve got the awards and the accolades to prove our worth. Innovation tends to be hospitals and health systems that are more academically affiliated. That is the position that they automatically can take in market.

If you take a look at this ad, a higher degree of healing, you can see this is for the University of Toledo Medical Center, and you can see the position that they are taking here. It’s very clearly innovation, because it is affiliated with an academic medical institution. In this circumstance there’s a very clear position as well. Mercy gets me and we’re actually using as a strategy the patient as a messenger, instead of speaking about ourselves as a health system. He talks about how the people at Mercy are helping him live healthier. Also a religiously affiliated institution, so it’s really where the brand position naturally falls.
Then finally, we’ve got this we’re ready 24/7 and it talks about providing a cardiologist in the ER 24/7, to give you more accurate and quicker diagnosis for a heart attack. It’s showing that we are doing something better than the guys down the street, and in this case this is operational excellence. All of these health systems are in the same market, and you can see how they’ve nicely claimed a position in the market that’ll allow them to tell their own unique story.

One of the things I want to say because I run into this frequently when I’m presenting, is sometimes people want to be directly in the center of this triangle. The problem with that is that if you say everything, if you are all things to all people and you say everything, your audience here is absolutely nothing. The best place to be is where your competitor is not swimming, and nicely tucked into one of these corners, if you can get there. This isn’t just a matter of saying yeah, this is where we want to be. You need to make sure that it’s true and meaningful to you right now.

Lesson number four, use your audience as messengers, but please do it ethically and we saw how Mercy health system in that last example did that. Using your audience as messengers, no one can tell your story better than you can and so using patients as your messengers, or in some cases if you’re doing recruitment for physicians or nurses using those folks as messengers is your best bet.
The reason that I say do it ethically is there was an episode of Mad Men, this is an unethical example, where they had the Sugarberry Ham account. They had actually placed two women in a supermarket and there was one ham left, and it was a Sugarberry ham. They actually got into a fight over this ham, which created a scene at the supermarket. Those women were planted there, and so of course it created my least favorite word, buzz around why is this ham so great, and that ‘buzz’ spread. That’s not an ethical way to do it. Fortunately we have many ethical ways to communicate our message, and we can use our patients and those who know and love our brand, to tell our story for us.

92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know. Just take that into consideration, 92% of people trust those recommendations, that is powerful. 70% trust consumer opinions posted online, also powerful. There’s nothing wrong with asking a grateful patient to post something to share their experience online. You can’t write it for them but you can absolutely ask them if they’ll help contribute  in that way. Just 47% have confidence in brand sponsorships and advertisements. I do want to underscore this does not mean that brand sponsorships and advertisements are not important. They absolutely are for building awareness and support, of what it is that you’re organization’s doing. It does mean that we need to start to invest a bit more in leveraging our grateful patients, as messengers for our product.

This is interesting, the tools most often used when finding a physician. Number one, right up there at the top is word of mouth from family, friends or coworkers. Think about it today. If you were in need of a dentist, where would you go first? Often time we know that people go directly to Facebook, I’ve seen that several times on my own Facebook page. Of course the insurance provider directory is another place that we look. Physician rating sites like Vitals or Healthgrades, and then consumer review websites like Yelp. I think that we’ll start to see more of this in the coming years, so we’re watching the pulse of that but we cannot forget that Yelp can be just as good of a resource. Whether we like it or not to our consumers as Vitals or Healthgrades.

I love this example of what Meridian health system in New Jersey is doing, and they actually have hired moms to join what they call the Momtourage community. They use moms as bloggers. They pay these moms, they’re open about paying these moms but these moms share their real experiences about motherhood, about raising children. Instantly the health system becomes that much more credible, because you know they’ve disclosed that they’re paying these women, but you know that you’re receiving real information from real people. They’re not giving out medical advice, but they are able to create a community, and that’s under the Meridian name.

Really great example, and then one of my absolute favorite examples of using people as messengers, is this great example from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota. The video really should speak for itself, but this is definitely I will call it ‘Out of the box thinking,” that’s been literally put in a box.
Blue Cross:
I’m twice the size I was in high school. Yes, that’s me. I have not had a workout routine in, I’ve never had a workout routine. Fruits and vegetables, there’s a couple in there. I’m Scott, and I’m going to be living the next thirty days in a glass apartment at the Mall of America.

I’m excited to make a change, and I’ve got a great opportunity to do it. I’m imagining I’m going to just learn a ton in the next thirty days. A real working oven in the middle of the mall. People already and curious. I’m going to have daily dos and activities and things I’m going to do, and it’s going to range from a couple to a bunch.
You vote I do. I did jumping jacks today. Stationary bike, I did an interpreted dance. Out of shape. Hello out there in the magical world of the web, and everybody joining us here. Day two recap, day five, day fourteen, day nineteen, day twenty one, day thirteen recap, day ten. Man if my mom could hear me now saying spinach, and I’m actually eating it.
Blue Cross:
Today we’re going to focus on whole greens.
Blue Cross:
This is just a test. I can make it through this aisle. Diet, rearrange the letters. Edit, just edit what you eat.
Blue Cross:
Take a look at this video. This Minnesota man has decided for one month he’s living inside a glass apartment in the Mall of America, where shoppers will be able to watch him eat, exercise and really try to stay fit. That is a brilliant idea.
Blue Cross:
If you want to do something, ask somebody to help you do it. I’m getting all this from you guys, and it’s the responses from people. It’s a gift. Facebook, when you have thirty five hundred friends and Twitter, it’s so personal. Amazing, and it really helps a ton.

I can’t believe what’s starting to happen. I’m able to go longer and longer just everyday, just by little bits. I’m definitely not bored, training sessions, Taekwondo, boxing, dodge-ball, shoulders, back, glutes, thighs everything. Thirty days living in a glass apartment at Mall of America, can you believe it?
I feel fantastic. My cholesterol went from two sixty to one fifty. My triglycerides went from one eighty seven down to forty two. I’m down twenty nine pounds total. I look forward to my future, this is just the beginning of my journey. I thank all of you, from the bottom of my heart.
Stephanie:
I love that video, I have seen it approximately a million and one times, and every time I see it it makes me smile. A really great way to think differently, and to use real people as messengers. Just increases that credibility.

We will move on to lesson number five, which is tell a story. Story telling is such a hot word right now in healthcare marketing that it’s no longer hot, it’s just something we all know we need to do, and on a regular basis. This isn’t news to you certainly, but the way in which we tell stories can be news to you.
Mad Men:
This is Joe Harriman, Lynn Taylor. No unfortunately, they’re all back in the lab.
Mad Men:
It’s a wonderful facility, but they don’t take vacations.

Mad Men:
Have you figured out a way to work the wheel into it?
Mad Men:
We know it’s hard because wheels aren’t really seen as exciting technology, even though they are the original.
Mad Men:
Technology is a glittering lure, but there’s the rare occasion when the public can be engaged on a level beyond flash, and if they have a sentimental bond with the product. My first job, I was in-house at a fur company with this old pro copy-righter. Greek named Teddy, and Teddy told me the most important idea in advertising is new. Creates an itch, you simply your product in there as a kind of calamine lotion. We also talked about a deeper bond with the product. Nostalgia, it’s delicate but potent. Sweetheart?

Teddy told me that in Greek nostalgia literally means the pain from an old wound. It’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone. This device isn’t a spaceship, it’s a time machine. Goes backwards and forwards, takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It’s not called the wheel, it’s called the carousel. It let’s us travel the way a child travels. Round and round, back home again. To a place where we know we are loved.
Mad Men:
Good luck at your next meeting.
Stephanie:
I love that clip, it just brings in real, raw human emotion and the way that he was able to communicate that brand in such a raw and human way, it was great. I would argue though that there is no product on earth that is more sentimental than healthcare, none. I want to emphasize this fact. MRI’s show that when evaluating brands, consumers primarily use emotions, personal feelings and experiences, rather than information. Things like brand attributes, features and facts. Think of how powerful that is.

One of the things I know about working with physicians is if you can pull out real medical data to prove your point, you will earn their respect and in this case, here’s some real medical data that shows. That indeed using emotions and whether that’s sentimentality or laughter, that is going to help communicate your message in a way that resonates with your audience that much more.

Research also shows that emotional response to an ad has more influence on reported intent to buy, than on ads content. Three to one for TV and two to one for print, so just think about that. What are we communicating that’s evoking an emotion in our audience? I will show you an example of how we evoked a little bit of emotion by telling this persons story for a bariatric service line.
Valley Hospital:
For me, I had to accomplish certain things by the time I was forty, and I accomplished everything else that I wanted except the husband, the kids and everything else. I wasn’t happy with myself, so how could I make somebody else happy? I didn’t want to be fat in forty, I wanted to be fabulous in forty. I’ve tried every diet, I would lose thirty pounds was my max. I always lost thirty pounds and then I would gain it back.
I finally just gave up. I was miserable, this wasn’t the life that I wanted or this wasn’t the body that I wanted to live my life in. The tipping point for me was when I went to my yearly exam at the gynecologist’s office, and she told me that I gained seventeen pounds that year. I burst into tears, I called Valley Hospital and made my appointment to go to the seminar, and I never turned back from there.
Valley Hospital:
After long discussion with Lauren during her consultation, she decided that the best procedure for her would be a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. The greater curvature of the stomach is removed, and we only leave the stomach looking like a banana.
Valley Hospital:
At Valley Hospital we have a lot of experience taking care of lots and lots of patients. Myself, probably over four, five thousand bariatric operations over the years, and we help each other out.
Valley Hospital:
I’ve known Lauren for eight years. We were the couple that wasn’t together with all of our other friends.
Valley Hospital:
When Michael and I first met, I thought right away this is the person I’m going to marry. My biggest fear was that he was going to marry somebody who I didn’t like.
Valley Hospital:
Lauren really was so positive and she wanted to do the surgery to lose weight and become healthy. She became a different person too, you can see the transformation in her.
Valley Hospital:
The best days are actually when somebody comes back from surgery, six months or a year out and has lost a ton of weight. Just their life is better.
Valley Hospital:
I lost about ninety five pounds all together.
Valley Hospital:
She started losing a lot of weight and she started becoming more of herself, that the part that I was drawn to accentuated, the more weight she lost.
Valley Hospital:
I think after having the surgery, I think she was even shocked of how successful she was.
Valley Hospital:
The best thing for Lauren was she was able to really be who she was inside, outside now.
Valley Hospital:
Lauren has done wonderfully. Her life changed a hundred and eighty degrees. It was wonderful seeing that transformation in a person like that.
Valley Hospital:
We got married, bought a nice house. A house I never dreamed about having. About a month, a month and a half after returning from our honeymoon I started gaining a little bit of weight, but we realized that we were having a baby. Coming soon.
Valley Hospital:
I’m so happy for Lauren. She’s done such a fabulous job of losing weight, maintaining her weight and she’s so happy. It makes me feel so good that I’ve helped her.
Valley Hospital:
Lauren’s story is as inspirational as anyone can imagine. As young as she is and as attractive as she is, her transformation I would consider very inspirational.
Valley Hospital:
To lose the weight, to keep it off and change her life, and her marry her best friend. Now to know that her best friend’s going to be the father of her child, her husband is the best gift.
Valley Hospital:
I knew in my heart this was the tool that I needed to change my life, and I am so thankful that I had the confidence in myself and the courage to do it. Before the surgery, I felt like I was living in somebody else’s body and now I feel like I finally have myself back.
Stephanie:
A really great story that led to some really great results. We ran this story along with another one featuring a male, and we saw a 300% increase in request for consultations, compared to the previous year. We attribute that to a few different things. We featured real people and real results. This is not about stock photography, in fact I think that there’s very little room for stock photography in healthcare marketing. We’ve got so many great stories to tell and so we need to tell them, and we also tease the audience.
You didn’t see this in that video, that video was really more of a destination that lived on a micro-site, but the print ads and the outdoor ads that we had running in market only featured the after. Then there was a headline that really talked about how it had a nod to weight loss, but really didn’t say much more than that. It teased the audience in a way to entice them to go to this micro-site, to learn more and interact with the videos.

Created an emotional connection, that really speaks for itself and then we leveraged some key news events after we had launched this campaign. Certainly unbeknownst to us, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie underwent bariatric surgery, and so that became a big topic in the state of New Jersey. We were able to adjust our buy in such a way that we could put this even more front and center, for those people who were starting to more seriously consider weight loss surgery. I will say we only saw a spike during that month that he announced, and then it went back to our typical increase, which we still maintained that 300% increase in requests for consultations throughout the course of the campaign.

That takes us nearly all the way through the presentation. To recap, there are a number of lessons that we’ve learned from Don Draper and his friends at Sterling Cooper. Lesson number one is that research is a healthcare marketers best friend. Think about ways that you do do research and everyday basis, and make sure that you’re taking credit for that. Not everything needs a $50,000 consumer market research study. Some things do, but not everything does. Take credit for being a researcher, because that’s exactly what you are.

Lesson number two, empathy is the cornerstone of any successful creative campaign. Do you really understand who your audience is, or do you just assume that you understand who they are and what they need? Ask questions. I’m nodding to lesson number one, do your research and really get in the shoes of the people, who are consuming your services.

Lesson number three, if you don’t like what they’re saying change the conversation. This really speaks much more to positioning and making sure that you have a clear and differentiated position in the market place. Do not, refrain from participating in the me too marketing strategy, where your competition puts up an ad and you need to put up a billboard right across the street, saying we do too. It’s not a good or efficient use of your marketing dollars.

Lesson number four, use your audience as messengers. Do it ethically of course, always. No one can tell your story better than your patients. Not you, not your CEO, not your C suite. Your patients really are the conduit to you building a very sustainable strong brand. Use them, and lesson number five. Tell a story, use your patients to tell a story, use your staff to tell a story but make sure that you are using story telling as a key strategy for your messaging.

With that I will toast you, thank you for joining me during this webinar. Afterwards if you’re watching this recording, certainly feel free to reach out to me. My Twitter handle is on this slide, so reach out to me at Stephanie@corecreative.com. I thank you very much for your time and wish you a wonderful afternoon.