healthcare marketing

The Power of Storytelling in Healthcare Marketing

“Every face tells a story,” sang Olivia Newton-John back in 1976. Well, so does every ad. And their end goal is the same: generating emotion.

With 80 percent of decisions based on emotions and only 20 percent on objectivity and practicality, marketers have long used emotion to get consumers to buy their goods. In the healthcare marketing environment, products and services affect patients’ health and quality of life. This makes audiences even more susceptible, and telling a good story is credible, uplifting and crucial to getting more customers.

Creating Audience Connections

The power of storytelling is founded on making connections between characters in the story and the audience. Stories revolve around a series of events leading up to a culmination and aftermath. Often, plots depend on competing priorities of good and evil, and common narratives feature a main character that helps good win out over evil.

In healthcare, disease and poor health are the bad guys, while medicine and its practitioners are the good guys. This lays the foundation for patients to connect with the story and relate to the hero, who overcomes the challenges of poor health.

Americans consume over 100,000 digital words a day, according to statistics from OneSpot. The vast majority (92%) prefers to do so in story form. In the field of anthropology, storytelling emerges as a universal feature of almost every culture, and since the digital revolution we have multiple new channels for disseminating stories. Creating a story has never been easier.

A Tremendous Opportunity

Thanks to the ability of big data to analyze metrics and target audiences with personalized messages, it’s now possible to share the right stories with the right people at the right time, using media channels across a range of devices and platforms.

Healthcare marketers have a great opportunity to use storytelling to capture the attention of both patients and caregivers, and in some instances possibly even save lives.

Storytelling also offers a chance to convey the personality of a healthcare brand without doing so in a sales-obvious fashion. Portray the brand as one of the protagonists, setting it above rival brands, and show it standing tall as a champion, a defender of human rights or any other type of hero. Link the brand intrinsically to the message in your story, and keep it genuine, honest and real.

Storytelling goes way beyond patient testimonials. A good healthcare marketing story should be about people patients can relate to, their equally relatable problems and how using your products and services made a difference in their lives. Ultimately, good stories will set you apart from the competition.

To start telling your brand’s story, call Wax Custom Communications at 305.350.5700 or visit

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