By Kathy Roy Gaughran
Senior Marketing Strategist
[Series installment.] Hospital marketing professionals tend to think about content delivery as information sharing. That’s good, but to be effective, the process goes deeper. The most useful creative secret in hospital marketing however, is the ability to tap emotional storytelling.
Author and marketing professor Jonah Berger frames the idea this way: “People don’t think in terms of information,” he says. Furthermore, “they think in terms of narratives. But while people focus on the story itself, information comes along for the ride.”
First of all, creating an appealing and shareable blog, article, website or advertisement means telling good story. Consequently people relate to a well told narrative. “A good story is more compelling than facts and figures,” Dr. Berger observes.
The Professor’s brief side story…
The mini-story about Dr. Jonah Berger’s credentials is interesting. He’s a marketing professor at the Wharton School and bestselling author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On, and Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior.
He is a recognized authority on social influence. For close to two decades, Jonah Berger has been “studying how social influence works and how it drives products and ideas to catch on.” And if you do the math, his expertise began before blogging sites and social media became widely popular.
Hospital marketing and emotional storytelling…
There’s a natural connection between storytelling and hospital marketing. Hospitals are full of emotional tales about the lives of people. Of course, ethics and regulations are initial guides to storytelling. Even so, marketing professionals have a wealth of raw story material to draw upon.
As a result, the application can range from patient conversation to blog pages and to social media platforms. Here’s how and why meaningful information “comes along for the ride” with empathy and emotional storytelling:
- Emotional stories are impactful and memorable
- Emotions connect and bond people with people they like and trust
- Individuals relate to and connect with humans in stories
- People can more easily remember—and easily retell—stories
- Sharable stories are gems of useful information
- Storytelling builds a personal connection between the source and the audience
- Strong emotions drive strong actions and reactions
Most of all, the pathway of effective hospital marketing uses emotional storytelling. Besides connectivity and other benefits, stories fuel references and referrals. “Top of mind means the tip of the tongue,” quips Jonah Berger. And, as a result, word of mouth inspires 20 to 50 percent of purchase decisions.
If your hospital marketing can use an infusion of emotional storytelling, let’s talk about how we can help. Give us a call at 800-656-0907, or connect with us today.