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Digital or Traditional, Campaign Messaging Is Paramount

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, November 10, 2010

When discussing new tactics to reach healthcare consumers, it's easy to hone in on social media strategies and other digital platforms. I'm certainly guilty of it—13 of my columns this year involve online- and tech-related topics. But every now and then it's beneficial to remind ourselves that healthcare communications don't always have to involve a battery-operated device to be relevant and engaging.

I recently spoke with marketers who worked on Bayfront Medical Center's nontraditional women's services campaign. The St. Petersburg, FL, hospital recently revamped its Breast Health Center by acquiring new technology, a renowned director of imaging, and a patient navigator who takes each patient through the continuum of care. Because the center now provided a personal care experience, the medical center's marketers created a personalized, highly targeted campaign to promote the service line.

"Every asset a patient would need, from talent to technology, we felt we could now offer the community," said Marcey Stone, manager strategic planning and public affairs, in Healthcare Marketing Advisor. "It was the right time with an enhanced program to talk about it with the community and tell them that it was the best option for women."

Working with Jacksonville, FL, agency Spark, Stone and hear team created a unique campaign that used several unique elements to promote the Breast Health Center to local women over the age of 35. The campaign began rolling out on September 15.

Because the campaign had a small, defined target audience—women over age 35 within a 10 mine radius—marketers were better able tailor the advertising message.

"It is very targeted messaging," Stone said. "What we've been doing now is be very specific about who we're trying to target, what's the message, what's the benefit to them, what's important to them, and providing them the vehicle to get what they need. It's not just great creative, it's delivered in a meaningful way and gives a call to action."

And that call to action directs women to the medical center's website where they can learn more about the service line and search for a physician. (Just because the campaign doesn't involve digital components, doesn't mean you can forgo them completely.)

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