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Mayo Clinic's Digital Marketing Strategy Drives Engagement

 |  By  
   May 06, 2015

Mayo's chief marketing officer talks about the #StrongArmSelfie campaign, his online marketing strategy, and why he thinks it's vital for all hospital marketers to go digital.

If you've noticed a surge of Twitter users sharing photos of themselves flexing their biceps this spring, Mayo Clinic is responsible.

The Rochester, MN-based health system collaborated with Fight Colorectal Cancer's One Million Strong #StrongArmSelfie 2015 campaign in an effort to raise awareness for colorectal cancer screening. And, as the name implies, the movement prompted internet users to share photos that would make Popeye proud.

The social campaign launched on March 1 and comes complete with an anthem, "Stronger Than That," written by country music artist Craig Campbell. Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media produced a video for the song that showcases the health system's staff and highlights the campaign message. It has been viewed more than 14,500 times on YouTube and 43,000 times on Facebook and, impressively, ran on the big screen in New York City's Times Square in March.

The results don't stop there. The #StrongArmSelfie hashtag has been used more than 11,000 times across social platforms, including 3,600 posts on Twitter and 6,900 engagements on "related posts" on Facebook.

These are big numbers for an awareness campaign, and the multi-pronged effort is indicative of how Mayo Clinic approaches its digital marketing strategy: full throttle.

To learn more, I asked John Weston, chief marketing officer for Mayo Clinic, about his online marketing strategy and why he thinks it's vital for all hospital marketers to go digital.

HLM: Hospitals and health systems are traditionally slow to implement the latest marketing trends, but 2015 has already seen an increase in hospitals using online and social marketing strategies. Why do you think digital marketing is an important strategy for hospitals?

Weston: We know that the consumer experience today starts online. Consumers check out symptoms, providers, and treatments, often before even seeing a provider, and in fact, a significant amount of consumers self-diagnose. Digital marketing allows healthcare organizations to meet the consumers where they are, targeting patients at their specific moment of need based upon their specific condition.

For example, most patients aren't interested in polycystic kidney disease. But if you or a loved one just received a diagnosis for polycystic kidney disease, you want specific information about that condition, instead of other general kidney disorders. Patients want real-time information about their specific health concerns at the moment they need it.

Marianne Aiello is a contributing writer at HealthLeaders Media.

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