By now, we've all seen a lot of H1N1 ads. But are they working? Our client, Michigan Department of Community Health, decided to go straight to the target audience - minority populations of African Americans, Arab Americans and Hispanics who have NOT received the vaccine - with focus groups to understand WHY NOT. The problem? They simply don't trust it. Respondents said it was "rushed into circulation", "pushed by the government", and is "unsafe", "untested and experimental," and "unproven." Of course, all misperceptions and untruths, as the vaccine is the safest, most effective way to prevent the flu. We know that trust is a critical component of the healthcare marketing equation -- and that we had to overcome this basic feeling of mistrust. Since the majority of respondents said their doctor would be the single person they would trust the most about whether or not to get the H1N1 vaccine, we encouraged action through this open door. Even though we know 61% if adults search online for health information and 81% of Internet users search online for health information (Pew Research Center), we bravely persevered with what research told us is the most effective call to action: TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR.
The print ad is straightforward. Designed to help people make a list of questions to ask their doctor about seasonal flu and H1N1. I think its simplicity and utilize are unexpected -- and will break through the clutter.
Kudos to MDCH for their research-savvy approach. We'll keep you posted as this just started running. Let us know what you think!
Well, it won’t be long until boomers out there enter the riches of retirement. Life on a golden pond. Fishing. Quilting. Soap Operas. Fabulous group tours on one of those fancy buses with dark windows and rainbow speckled seating. Medicare coverage. Of course I’m kidding (well not the part about boomers becoming eligible for Medicare), but the whole group tour thing, now that was a joke. Kind of. You see, the boomer group is going to be large but it isn’t going to be homogeneous. Yes, some will be on group tours but others will want to stay close to home. Many will enjoy watching daytime television shows while others will be connecting with friends on Facebook. You may find some sitting down with a good book - either on paper or an e-reader. This group needs to be segmented so that they can be targeted with the right Medicare product, right creative message, and at the right place. I was pleased to read this blog by Robin Raff in MediaPost which emphasizes the importance of avoiding generalizations about this sought-after group.
Forget the sandwich, in the words of our illustrious COO, Maria Marcotte, I am a full-fledged member of the "four course meal generation." I won't mention my three children whose ages span 21 years, my full time career, or volunteering (although after 6 years of Lost, my schedule has now cleared for an hour a week), I'll just focus on an ever-so-gracefully aging mother who is halfway through a rehab stint at a very good convalescent home in North Carolina.
I've spent the last three weeks dashing around between home, work, hospital, and convalescent care, since my mother had knee replacement surgery. And would you like to guess how many elder-care marketing messages I've encountered? None.
What a missed opportunity. Do I want the best ongoing care for my mother? Yes. Do I have time to figure out what that really means? No. In the hours I have spent with her at the hospital and in the nursing home (sorry Mom, I know you like to call it re-hab), have I been a captive audience with a Blackberry and a penchant for searching health tips for older folks? You betcha. But not one relevant ad has crossed my path. In fact, kudos go to Johns Hopkins for being the ONLY organization to remotely recognize my situation, but that is only through opt-in health alerts.
So where are the marketers? I'm not that hard to find. Why not serve me up something on Facebook (since my life story is now ever-so-public)? As I dig around online why am I not targeted contextually? Why aren't those ads hitting me on my phone during those endless bedside hours?
Long-term care insurers? Long-term care providers? Home health organizations? Home medical equipment retailers? Hello? Anybody out there? Help me and the millions of people like me figure this elder care mystery out - we certainly don't have the luxury of time to do it ourselves.
I wrote about HealthCamp RDU a couple of weeks ago, and really looked forward to the event. Unfortunately, I had to leave after the keynote (such is the life of an account person). But wow, what a great lesson from speaker Nick Augustinos of Cisco on the direction of health information technologies and trends in health information sharing. Be sure to check the homepage soon to see videos of the conference.
I can't recap everything Nick said here, but one thing I wanted to pass along is the idea that we are moving from a "Culture of Pathology" to a "Culture of Wellness"- the basic concept isn't new, but hearing it spelled out in terms of technology was enlightening, so thanks Nick. I want us all to consider how healthcare marketing shifts as a result of this cultural transformation. How do we as marketers move consumers away from a diagnose/fix mentality to a prevention mentality? It has been the mission of public health officials for years, and it is clearly becoming an important direction on which providers and managed care companies should focus. The technology available today makes this the opportunistic time - so what would you do first?
It’s been awhile since I posted my last blog on branding a community hospital and the campaign we were developing for Otsego Memorial Hospital (OMH). And since they just launched the campaign on their end (a convergent branding approach complete with a refreshed website, facebook fan page, direct mail, newspaper, radio and outdoor), it seems like now is the perfect time.
After working with OMH on an extensive discovery process, we determined that the hospital was known throughout the region as “the community hospital.” Well, there isn’t too much unique about that claim. But we also discovered the fact that OMH was so much more than just a community hospital – they are the predominant volume leader, top-of-mind awareness leader, and the most preferred and referred hospital. Ok, now we have something to shout from the rooftops, something that the community will truly care about.
With that said, we then were faced with the challenge of developing a brand campaign that would position OMH as the place that you can rely on for your kids broken arm, but also the place to start your entire healthcare journey. OMH will put you on the best path for a quality continuum of care. It’s so much more than most would expect from a community hospital.
Below is the print we developed for them. You will notice this isn’t just a campaign that talks solely about OMH, it includes a shout-out to their close-knit and beautiful region highlighting their passion for a natural and active lifestyle (bringing it all back to the emotional connection).
Since it just launched, we don’t have any results quite yet, but I will give an update as soon as the campaign begins to age a bit. Stay tuned.
As advocates of making an emotional connection, I have to blog about the Embrace Life spot that rates 10+ for EC. It got forwarded to me a couple months ago thru the adworld, and my sister (non-adworld) just forwarded it to me. Which tells me this internet phenomenon is now reaching stay-at-home moms. Now she's a very intelligent gal, and she thought it was pretty, but she wasn't sure she got what they were trying to communicate - hence, her question to her adsister. She got the main message - Wear Your Seatbelt - but she was looking for something deeper...Why is his family there? Are they saving him? Are they the reason he should wear it?
All good questions, and all likely part of the message intent. The key point is it made the emotional connection for her to begin questioning and thus, interacting with the communication...and bravo, she understands the main point - Wear Your Seatbelt! I passionately explained the whole emotional connection thing to my sis to which she responded, "hmmmm...so, are you bringing your broccoli salad Sunday?..."
We do a lot of social marketing (we call it "oughta marketing") and this is one of the best spots I've seen. I believe the beautiful emotional connection (love) has created this beautiful viral phenomenon (6 million plus views). If you haven't seen it yet, you really oughta click below.
Does it make your favorite commercial list?
May 1st is quickly approaching. For most, it’s just another normal day. For Michigan residents, it will mean that we can walk into any bar or restaurant and walk out still smelling like the sweet scent of perfume that we put on earlier in the evening.
But, more importantly, it means we will no longer be exposed to secondhand smoke, the third leading cause of preventable death in Michigan.
In order to raise awareness of Michigan's new indoor smoking ban, we partnered with our long-time client, the Michigan Department of Community Health, to kick off a very cost-effective social marketing PSA campaign. Check out the spot below.
And join us in saying so-long to smoked cheesecake, smoked side salad, smoked carrot cake...
I got to present at a pretty cool conference about a week ago. The Association of American Medical Colleges national conference in Tucson. While I thought my co-presenter (our University of Toledo Medical Center client) and I did a pretty good job enlightening folks about our UTMC brand ambassadorship program, I was delightfully enlightened myself by two awesome conference keynote speakers. And have become an ambassador for them!
Two prominent docs and authors. Andrew Weil, M.D., founder of The Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine (U. of AZ) and Abraham Verghese, M.D., Stanford School of Medicine professor and author of his debut novel, Cutting for Stone.
Dr. Weil highlighted his grassroots mission to transform the broken healthcare system via Integrative Medicine that addresses body, mind and spirit. Dr. Verghese read excerpts from his book, reflecting his view of medicine as a passionate pursuit and priestly calling, requiring "empathy and curiosity for the human condition."
There were many comforting parallels to their messages. Doctoring is an art. Doctors must take the time to LISTEN to patients (did you know the average doc interrupts a patient within 14 seconds? And worse, some actually see 30 patients per hour? ) Doctors must never give up on the patient, must open the door to novel and/or holistic solutions, must keep searching for the "magic pill" or non-pill, if you will. And patients must empower themselves and take greater personal responsibility. This, not more tests and drugs, will result in better healing and outcomes. Problem is there's currently no fiscal incentive for docs to sit and listen or teach relaxation techniques.
Interestingly, both are active in residency program reform, where change can really take root. Verghese's "Stanford 25" is a new initiative to teach 25 fundamental physical exam skills and their benefits to interns. Dr. Weil's Integrative Medicine in Residency is now required curriculum at 8 family medicine sites nationwide and his goal is ALL primary care residency programs, followed by ALL specialty residency programs. Not to mention integrating IM into the school education system, beginning in kindergarten.
It impressed me that these two men really do care. They want to see a healed health care system where people can truly be healed. I am behind them with my whole body, mind and spirit. How about you?
Through the LinkedIn grapevine, I learned about a really interesting opportunity for patients, providers, insurers, and healthcare experts to explore, discuss, and brainstorm what is happening in the healthcare 2.0 realm. HealthCa.mp is described on its own website as an "un-conference" with the mission encouraging open dialogue on how "social media, open source and the best of the Internet, Mobile web and process innovation to work for better health care and health technology."
As a healthcare marketer, I'm intrigued. So I've paid my $25 to attend and see what the rest of the world (or at least Raleigh/Durham) is thinking - and add my own two cents-worth, of course. Anyone out there attended a healthca.mp? If so, please comment and let me know about your experience.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest advertiser of all? Just when you thought you had seen it all with non-traditional advertising, Ad Mirror comes out with a new product, bathroom mirror advertising.
It works like this: the ad is printed behind a two-way mirror, as someone moves toward the sink, a motion sensor starts the ad. Clever? Yes. Intrusive? Maybe. Although, the company claims to have research showing that people don’t mind it.
As a healthcare marketer, I can see this as a great way to promote some type of behavior change. Like, wash your hands to help prevent the spread of H1N1 (perhaps our client MDCH could add that into their campaign next year, if the company makes its way to the U.S.).
While I feel like it’s a little too in-your-face, it is pretty much guaranteed to catch your attention. What do you think?