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Research Boosts Branding Results; Here's Proof

Jacqueline Fellows, for HealthLeaders Media, September 4, 2013

DeTora says she shared some of the quotes from consumers to convince leadership that the branding needed to be on point with what patients wanted. Without having that kind of insight, Mercy Health might have been on a completely different brand trajectory that would have no chance of resonating with their audience.

Consumer focus groups are not totally uncommon in rebranding research, but they are also not used as much as they could be, particularly when it comes to test marketing the campaign an organization is launching.

DeTora says Mercy Health took the extra step and test marketed four ideas developed by ad agency Swanson Russell, and tested on a group that mirrored the demographic and geographic make up of the previous focus groups. It was above and beyond the marketing budget she was given, but fighting for the extra resources was important to the success or failure of the brand messaging.

"In the past, they launched campaigns, funded them, and then after the fact, we reported that it didn't work," says DeTora. "We now have the opportunity to see evidence that a campaign will or will not work before we even go to launch. It was not in the budget, and I did sell it as the opportunity cost of not doing this research."

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