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Small Budget Cancer-Screening Campaign Pays Off

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, April 10, 2013

Small budget, big results
Another noteworthy aspect of this campaign was its ability to achieve impressive results on a minimal budget. Having a narrow, well-defined audience allowed VCU to accomplish a lot with a little, Schmidt says.

"The use of internal channels—mail blasts and posters—proved to be very cost effective," she said. "Our direct mail was highly targeted. Our only paid media was Facebook ads—which cost a pittance. And the creative captured people's attention quickly—and made them smile."

ND&P was also able to help the medical center cut costs by retouching the photo of the pink glasses to ad the x-ray lenses; creating a single visual that was used for all elements of the campaign made it cost-effective.

Despite the low budget, the campaign delivered significant results. From May to December 2012, there was a 26% increase in mammograms, compared to the same period for 2011.

Additionally, for the first quarter after the program's implementation, there was a 40% increase, with many employees responding to the reminder that they were due for a mammogram. Total Facebook impressions from May to December 2012 nearly reached 600,000.

"There are three keys to successful internal campaigns, Dubuque explained:

  1. The information must be breakthrough and believable.
  2. It also has to be actionable so you can measure outcomes.
  3. And, in order to determine the effectiveness of your campaign, you have to provide employees with a fast and easy way to respond.

All three of them were in place in VCU's breast imaging campaign," she added.

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