When it comes to healthcare advertising, there are a lot of myths out there that lead marketers to believe they have to treat these campaigns differently. Many may even think it’s not possible to leverage some of the same tactics and rules that are used by non-healthcare companies. We’ve put together a list of some common myths about advertising for healthcare companies and will explain why they’re not necessarily true.
MYTH: Healthcare Advertising can’t be personalized.
Advertising in the healthcare industry can - and should - be personalized. Because much of the messaging relates to a specific audience, it’s important to personalize the message by creating campaigns that are highly targeted using design created by the knowledge you have about the target consumer. The more you know the target consumer, the more personalized the message can be.
For an advertisement to resonate, consumers have come to expect a personalized message.
- 73% of consumers prefer to do business with brands that use personal information to make their shopping experiences more relevant.
- 86% of consumers say personalization plays a role in their purchasing decisions.
- 40% of consumers buy more from brands who personalize the shopping experience across channels.
Healthcare companies must take the time to develop a buyer persona to identify and understand the target audience. Hospital data can be used to develop patient-specific marketing. In addition, giving patients the opportunity to provide additional information can improve your ability to offer personalized advertising. Email works well for this kind of marketing, and offering emails on an opt-in basis helps to mitigate privacy concerns. Using a CRM to track what topics interest website visitors can help healthcare companies develop a strategy for tailoring the type of content provided.
MYTH: Healthcare Advertising is not fun.
Healthcare is, of course, a very serious subject, but that doesn’t mean your messaging always has to be overly serious or sad. Understanding the proper time and place for a particular message is important, but presenting the messaging in a new way could be a good way to capture your customer’s attention. Using humor, when appropriate, can even help make your advertising more memorable. Scripps, for example, used comedy to great effect in their “So Old” campaign, where elderly people walk up to a microphone placed in their home and drop one-liner “I’m so old” jokes.
MYTH: Healthcare Advertising requires a big budget.
While a budget is important, a strategic plan for spending the money allotted to advertising can help you achieve strong results. By utilizing knowledgeable experts in the industry, such as local newspaper partners, you can find ways to work within budget constraints to achieve success by allowing them to help you look at all aspects from design to timing and targeting - what they are experts at. Instead of focusing solely on the budget amount, do research to precisely identify your target audience and find the best channels for reaching them. To achieve a good ROI with your advertising spend, you must ensure that your ad dollars are allocated to the marketing activities that generate the most sales.
MYTH: Because of the specific industry, a strategy is not needed.
If you don’t have an advertising strategy, you’re going to waste both time and money. You may have an understanding of the best channels for reaching your target audience, but running ads on these channels without doing research or developing a specific strategy could be a waste of resources.
MYTH: Print is dead.
The fact is, print is alive and well, and it can be one of the most effective forms of advertising if used correctly. Understanding your target market is essential to making effective use of print advertising. Print includes newspapers, magazines, direct mail, brochures, posters, and signs. It’s important to work with a partner who has expertise in print advertising and ad design. To achieve a good ROI, be mindful of your omnichannel marketing strategy for print ads and ensure that there is a seamless experience for the consumer across all channels.
MYTH: Social Media isn’t necessary.
Don’t assume that your target audience is not engaged with social media. The number of older adults joining Facebook is on the rise, with 68% of adults in the U.S. using it. Of those age 65 or older, 62% use Facebook, and it is by far the most popular platform. However, other platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn may be more appropriate for certain audiences, particularly a younger demographic. One advantage of social media is their ad targeting capabilities, which can help you target a specific audience or even a specific segment of your audience.
Healthcare is serious business, and the rules that apply to some companies don’t necessarily apply to a healthcare company, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use some of the same marketing methods as non-healthcare companies in your advertising. With some strategic planning, you can allocate your advertising dollars effectively, leverage the vast reach of social media, and provide consumers with the personalization they have come to expect.