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Sifting Through the Static to Find the True Campaign Message

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, August 11, 2010

"Marketers can prioritize message requests from stakeholders by evaluating them in light of their planning documents and research," said Tom DeSanto, principal, Tom DeSanto Strategy and Communications. "Marketers also must take into account the motivating factors for the message, its context within overall communications, as well as the personalities and politics involved."

He suggests marketers ask the following questions:

  • Which messages align best with long- and short-term goals and branding?
  • What timing and sequence of messages might be most advantageous?
  • How negotiable are the requests?
  • What magnitude of resources is required to develop and disseminate the messages effectively?
  • How easy is it to make a solid case for or against each message?
  • How does the message fit in context with the body of communications already in progress?
  • Who is the message intended to reach and how will it affect audiences outside of that target?

It's crucial that you know who your target audience is. To do this, Gabrielle DeTora, of Gabrielle DeTora Consulting, recommends using the 80/20 rule.

"Eighty percent of your referrals are most likely coming from 20% of a target audience," she said. "Who is the 20%? Is it a specific physician specialty such as cardiologists who are referring the most cases? Is it the female 45-64 patient base? Once you have identified the largest source of referrals, take the laundry list of 'single most important message points' and ask those within your referral source group what is the most important attribute to them when choosing a hospital for this service? Politics aside, the only opinion that truly matters in forming a messaging strategy which will change behaviors of a target group is the opinion of that target group."

If you can weed through information overload, politically charged suggestions, and identify your target audience, your organization will always follow a marketing strategy that truly shines.

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