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Campaign Spotlight: In the Red

Kandace McLaughlin Doyle, HealthLeaders Media, February 25, 2009

Click to view PDF version.In this economy, how you choose to communicate your message is just as important as the message itself. With shrinking budgets at the forefront of decision making, there are many effective ways to get the word out without breaking the bank.

Miami (OH) Valley Hospital wanted to promote a recent high HealthGrades ranking for its cardiology services and also wanted to raise awareness for Premier Heart Works, a cardiology wellness and risk assessment program geared at educating the community about heart health while also potentially bringing in at-risk patients and downstream revenue for the facility.

Working with its agency, SPM Marketing & Communications in La Grange, IL, Miami Valley Hospital created a campaign that strategically combined traditional marketing mediums with a few new, creative, and cost-effective efforts.

The team decided to keep the message simple, keeping a consistent call-to-action pushing potential patients to the Premier Heart Works program. "Our goal was really to have more of a consumer appeal," says Rick Conrad, creative director for SPM Marketing & Communications.

The overall creative strategy featured a torso wearing a red t-shirt on all of the creative elements; which was used to carry the campaign message and to grab the viewer's attention. "Visually from a design standpoint, the red in the creative was a bit of a departure for us," says Mark Feighery, director of marketing for Miami Valley Hospital. "We launched a new visual identity two years ago and everything is blue, blue, blue. So this really stands out for us." Another tactic to get attention: Unusual ad placements in local newspapers—in the middle of an editorial page, for example.

Though the creative included traditional efforts like print ads and posters, it also employed a few interesting and cost-effective tactics, such as video postings on YouTube, t-shirts with campaign messages, and direct mail-like door hangers. The door hangers, in particular, were a cost effective technique that brought the campaign message directly to its target audience's door.

"We needed to make a small budget go as far as we could," says Anne Bassett, VP and account director at SPM. "So the door hangers were a great way of being very focused and very targeted on the audience we wanted to reach."

Playing off of the timing of national heart month and a special reduced rate for the Premier Heart Works program, the campaign is scheduled to run until the end of February.

What stood out most about this campaign for the team involved was its impact and resourcefulness. "For me, this campaign showed that with some creativity you can do a lot with a little," says Conrad. Thus far, reports have shown an increase in Premier Heart Works volumes since running the campaign.


Kandace McLaughlin Doyle is an editor with HealthLeaders magazine. Send her Campaign Spotlight ideas at kdoyle@healthleadersmedia.com If you are a marketer submitting a campaign on behalf of your facility or client, please ensure you have permission before doing so.

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