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Documentary-Style Hospital Campaign Surpasses Deep-Pocket Competitors

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, January 11, 2012

When NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital evaluated its brand positioning in 2010, leaders found that its message had been lost among other big-time competitors, such as Mount Sinai Hospital, North Shore?Long Island Jewish Health System, and NYU Langone Medical Center. The trouble was that these competitors overlapped with NYP's long-time positioning, while outspending the it two-to-one in media.

So NYP launched a strategic, multimedia advertising campaign to truly differentiate itself. It worked, and they have the benchmarking data to prove it.

Analyzing Benchmark Data
Before hashing out the details of the campaign, NYP leaders analyzed market data. They hired an independent research group to conduct a quantitative study both pre- and post-campaign to track awareness and word-of-mouth/buzz levels among the target audience.

The pre-campaign study found that NYP's ad awareness was 11%, compared to scores of 15% to 20% among other leading university hospitals. Likewise, NYP's word-of-mouth/buzz was 17%, compared to scores of 19% to 25% among its competitors.

This benchmarking data provided a solid foundation on which to build the campaign. Many organizations choose to omit this extra step at the onset of a campaign and use other measurement standards, but an independent awareness study is often the best?and fastest?way to determine the true success of an ad campaign.

Targeting the "Healthcare Self-Navigator"

With benchmarking out of the way, NYP marketers began mapping out the new ad campaign by defining their target audience as the "healthcare self-navigator"?a woman aged 35?64 with an annual household income of at least $100,000.

"She either doesn't notice most healthcare messages due to their lack of relevancy, or she is highly skeptical of efforts that come across as trite or commercial," says David Feinberg, NYP's chief marketing officer. "To resonate with her, we needed something unexpected and genuine."

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1 comments on "Documentary-Style Campaign Surpasses Deep-Pocket Competitors"


Patrick (1/17/2012 at 1:47 PM)
I am interested in knowing where you obtained your media spending information. According to VoiceTrak, NY Presbyterian not only changed their creative strategy for 2010, but they also nearly doubled their media budget. NYP spent $1.16MM in 2009, which they increased to $2.26MM in 2010. NYP continued this trend in 2011, eclipsing their total 2010 spend in just the first 6 months of the year. NYP spent a little over $2.6MM in the first six months of 2011, a 570% increase versus the same time period in 2010. NYP is consistently the biggest spender in the NY DMA. This is in stark contrast to your "David vs. Goliath" headline. I agree, the NYP creative work is very good, but :60 TV spots in New York are not cheap. Citing awareness research and a few TV spots with NYP's success without mentioning their substantial increases in media spending is irresponsible.