What Great Ad Agencies Know (and Healthcare Marketers Must Learn)

What Great Ad Agencies Know (and Healthcare Marketers Must Learn)

Contrary to popular belief, healthcare marketing does not have to be the place where great ideas go to die.

Sure, laparoscopic procedures and health fairs aren’t a sexy sell. But, if you want to remain relevant as a healthcare marketer, you need to be flexing your creative muscle.


In a word: Super Bowl ads. Thanks to multi-million dollar ad campaigns (Mountain Dew Puppy/Monkey/Baby, anyone?), the American consumer has developed a voracious appetite for visually compelling, catchy, and yes, entertaining advertising.

Yet, any advertising agency worth its Clios knows that breakthrough creative is rooted in solid strategy. Before the creative wheels start turning, the basics have to be covered. So, before you start brainstorming your facility’s next great ad campaign, consider these 5 tips:

1) Understand your audience.

Take the time to develop in-depth “patient personas” so you know exactly what makes your target market tick. Understanding what they’re looking for — and how they want to be reached — will drive your creative strategy. Just remember that hip-and-edgy might work for Millenials but could fall flat with your Baby Boomer prospects.

2) Tell a (great) story.

Lewis Caroll said it well in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: “No, no! The adventures first, explanations take such a dreadful time.” So, take his advice and get into the sizzle first — the changed lives, the technological wonder, the human stories of real doctors helping real patients.

3) Pay attention to production.

There’s no excuse for your broadcast spots to have the production values of a local used car lot commercial. Today’s digital technology makes it easy to “go Hollywood!”

4) Play by the rules.

Like any advertised product or service, healthcare marketing must meet truth-in-advertising laws. Ads should be cautious about promising results, and you should be prepared to document evidence that backs up your claims. Visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website www.ftc.gov for guidance.

5) Keep your branding consistent.

Utilize your creative in a cohesive way to support your brand across all channels — print, broadcast and digital.

Green Hair and Compelling Creative

Finally, let me share a quick creative win with you. We work with a community hospital on Long Island that recognized that breakthrough creative was needed to be noticed in a super-competitive market. Their creative needed to stand out from the smiling doctors and nurses that their competitors touted, that consumers couldn’t differentiate between.

We pitched a strategic yet out-of-the-box campaign titled “Truth in Medicine” that truly got everyone at the hospital excited. The creative hook involved asking urban myth-style healthcare questions. In one ad, a trendy twenty-something with neon green hair asks, “Does dying your hair increase the risk of cancer?” A quick clip from the director of the hospital’s cancer center provides the answer (find out for yourself at www.wherequalitymatters.org). Clicks to the campaign microsite spiked and interactions on social media soared. We now have doctors lining up to pitch their own questions for upcoming ads!

The healthcare industry is famously conservative in its approach to marketing. But, I can tell you that it is possible to bring your marketing to a higher, more creative level — and have fun doing it!

Let the digital marketing pros at Wax show you how to break the box with award-winning creative. Just call us at 305-350-5700 or visit waxcom.com.


WordPress Lightbox