Five Acid-Test Questions to Create Highly Effective Healthcare Advertising

By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer

healthcare-advertising-acid-testThe formula for creating highly effective healthcare advertising is never simple. But the chemistry works best when you can answer several critical questions before you begin. It is a simple acid test to evaluate your intended advertising message and/or website.

With the target audience clearly defined, the first two questions are marketing’s Problem—Solution fundamentals.

  • Problem: Have you clearly defined the individual’s need? What does the audience need or want? Hint: It’s how they feel; what they need or want, and not what you want to sell.
  • Solution: What is the answer to their need? Has something been blocking the answer previously? How can you help? Hint: A patient’s solution is a return to health and happiness.

The three vital healthcare advertising questions…

Above and beyond the fundamental Problem-Solution elements are three even more significant questions. How does your intended advertising message communicate these issues and answers to the prospective patient?

  • What do you do?
  • Can I trust you?
  • Why you?

What do you do? Provide the audience with an awareness of how—unlike anyone else—you answer their needs. This is not about a procedure, but about delivering personal and emotional benefits in answer to their medical problem.

Can I trust you? The “purchase decision” in healthcare is far more personal than in most service industries. Does your intended advertising message support the practice and provider reputation?

Why you? Differentiation—your unique selling proposition (USP)—is the single most important ingredient in effective healthcare advertising. Do you explain why or how you are different and/or better than the competition or other solutions?

Plus these two important bonus ideas…

Carefully craft your healthcare advertising message around these five core ingredients. And then ask: Does the individual know exactly what to do next? Is there a compelling call-to-action? Have you motivated them to immediately take the next step?

Also, are you clear, concise and convincing about your USP? This tiny slice of message is what patients are most likely to say about you when making referrals, references and online reviews. If they get the USP message, and are able to share it with others, your healthcare advertising will have been successful.

Being brief isn’t easy. Many people need help with USP. Inevitably, providers and practitioners have difficulty expressing that compelling single idea about differentiation. We would be glad to work with you on doctor marketing, so give us a call at 800-656-0907.

Stewart Gandolf, MBA, CEO

Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer at Healthcare Success
Stewart Gandolf, MBA, is Chief Executive Officer of Healthcare Success, one of the nation's leading healthcare and digital marketing agencies. Over the past 20 years, Stewart has marketed and consulted for over 1,000 healthcare clients, ranging from practices and hospitals to multi-billion dollar corporations. A frequent speaker, Stewart has shared his expertise at over 200 venues nationwide. As an author and expert resource, Stewart has also written for many leading industry publications, including the 21,000 subscriber Healthcare Success Insight blog. Stewart also co-authored, "Cash-Pay Healthcare: Start, Grow & Perfect Your Cash-Pay Healthcare Business." Stewart began his career with leading advertising agencies, including J. Walter Thompson, where he marketed Fortune 500 clients such as Wells Fargo and Bally's Total Fitness.

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