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How to Capitalize on the New Marketing Realities


Health Care

How to Capitalize on the New Marketing Realities

Paul Berger, Account Supervisor

As health care marketers, we are all guilty of creating and utilizing marketing communications born from the “echo chamber” of traditional hospital marketing.  When I need a fresh insight, I find it pays to step out of the health care industry and look to the broader context of consumer marketing for ideas that we can adapt to the health care marketplace.

The Jack Morton Worldwide research study "New Realities 2012" identified important influences on consumer purchase decisions that also provide valuable insights for hospital marketers. Three of the key findings were:

  • People Are the Most Powerful Ad Medium. Friends and family are the #1 influence on consumer awareness and purchase.
  • Giving People Something To Talk About Trumps “Going Viral.” Consumers aren’t likely to advocate brands they haven’t had great personal experiences with.
  • All Forms of Advocacy Are Not the Same. Consumers are skeptical about the value of a “like.”

Clearly it is time to re-think traditional marketing communication strategies and the allocation of resources.  Swanson Russell's health care team has adapted the findings from the "New Realities” study specifically for hospital marketers, and created the "Five Tips for Capitalizing on New Marketing Realities." Tips include:

  1. Create Opportunities to Experience Your Brand
  2. Mobilize Your Brand Enthusiasts
  3. Use Advertising the Most Effective Way
  4. Activate POS Materials
  5. Invest in SEO and Paid Search

For today’s post, let’s take a closer look at tip #1.

#1. Create Opportunities to Experience Your Brand 

No amount of advertising substitutes for a meaningful interaction with the brand. You’re already working on the patient experience once consumers come through the door. But in the reform era it will be even more important to create brand touch points outside of the clinical care setting. These touch points include: special events or invitations, free health screenings, procedure videos, apps and, finally, virtual or augmented experiences. 

Test Drive a “Robot.”

Retailers that sell consumer goods are able to offer free samples, product demonstrations or test drives. But how does a health care marketer offer a test drive for a new procedure? 

When it comes to the Da Vinci robot, it’s not uncommon for hospitals to offer a tour and demonstration of the machine’s capabilities. But what if you could go one step further and offer consumers the opportunity to test-drive the Da Vinci by allowing them to sit down at the console and manipulate the control arms? Doing something common like tying a shoe or threading a needle makes the technology come to life and is something they are sure to tell their friends and family about. 

Record the test drives on video and post to your website and social media platforms. Watching a video of a grandmother or teenager using the technology suddenly makes the idea of “robot” surgery less scary and more approachable for consumers, in addition to making your hospital brand more approachable and memorable in the process. 

More Tips.

For more ideas on how to deal with new marketing realities, drop an email to and ask for our quick tip mailer, "Five Tips for Capitalizing on New Marketing Realities." 

See the original “New Realities 2012” from Jack Morton Worldwide.