3 'E's of Effective Healthcare Advertising: Experience, Empowerment, And Efficiency

It is almost standard-issue for most every healthcare advertiser to flood the web with every bit of resource and information possible these days.

However, are consumers really finding what they need when searching online for health information? Although the web provides anyone with overwhelming information, the information provided by online healthcare websites, communities and advertising is underwhelming.
Here are three seemingly simple, yet resounding reasons why so many are wasting their efforts and missing the mark:

Trends Need Not Apply Here

In an industry heavily governed by regulation and privacy, it can often seem like healthcare brands are not allowed to take advantage of emerging media trends, such as user content and real time marketing. A “better safe than sorry” malaise easily and often sinks into the mentality of many healthcare marketers.

Quantity, not Quality



As is often the case, risk aversion amongst marketers overly depends on numbers to the guide decision-making process. The result is too many communication plans focused on creating eyeballs and impressions, rather than connecting with hearts and minds.

Many healthcare marketers, who overly adhere with heavy regulation and marketing to the number, easily forget that they need to connect with a person not a condition. They tend to rely on traditional “display” advertising techniques as a safe and easy way to get the message out to lots of people. Yet, in these instances, the likely outcomes are stale messages wrapped in bland packaging that are almost always missed and ignored. Recent research backs this theory up as more “native” ads were viewed 53% more often than traditional display ads and resulted in an 18% higher lift in purchase intent and a 9% lift in brand affinity.

In these situations, how can brands reverse course to add real value for and create real connections with people in need via digital advertising?

Compelling Content: Think Like a Publisher

Giving consumers dry and useless content is an immediate way to lose a prospect. Rich creative messaging that is designed to inspire and engage is integral to the success of any advertising. Content should be engaging and customized to the media environment through intense consideration of and dedication to the audience’s mindset. A worthwhile practice here is to “think and act like a publisher” or, in some cases, even allow the publishing partner to have a role in the narrative.

Empower the Audience

To provoke thought, elicit response and create a valuable connection, provide each and every prospect with a voice in the experience. This will help to encourage invaluable social sharing and word of mouth recommendations. Handing over the reins doesn’t ignoring the many rules and regulations that hover over our industry. A well-thought-out content strategy is critical to both prevent any potential threats and have a response plan ready to automatically activate if necessary. 

Embrace Efficiency

Mobile devices and social platforms are both synonymous with one another and with the empowered consumer experience noted above. In a world of hectic schedules and time-poor consumers, the demand for short, shareable content delivered on these platforms is essential in creating a lasting connection. 

Over 75 million Americans now use a mobile device for health related activities, according to Information Week. In addition, delivering organic and relevant advertising on social platforms both horizontal ( Facebook and Twitter) or vertical ( enable consumers to absorb quick, snackable information and further their interaction with the brand by liking, commenting and sharing.

Effective healthcare advertising is much more about experience, empowerment and efficiency than rules, eyeballs and impressions. Thinking experience, empowerment and efficiency above all offers a guide to create higher value and longer lasting connections with consumers and patients alike.

1 comment about "3 'E's of Effective Healthcare Advertising: Experience, Empowerment, And Efficiency".
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  1. R.J. Lewis from e-Healthcare Solutions, LLC, August 3, 2013 at 9:26 p.m.

    Nice piece Barbara. I think you are spot on that the industry suffers from "regulatory anxiety" and sometimes healthcare marketers are their own worst enemies as a result. It was put to me this way once by a Chief Privacy officer of a large pharma co. (and it was eye opening), "We have multi-billion dollars brands. All of the targeting and fascinating things you can do in digital are wonderful and exciting. But consider my position. My #1 job is to protect the brands we have. My #2 job is to think about growing them". It's justified risk aversion. But not for everyone, because they aren't all billion dollar brands. Keep the good content coming.

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