The Importance of Big Fish in Healthcare Marketing and Advertising

Sorry, but we’ve lost a proper attribution for this great little concept:

The little fish always like to read about the big fish. The big fish seldom care to read about the little fish.

Animated gold fish wearing red sunglasses against dark blue background

Looking Good: The big fish solution in healthcare marketing

And how is this useful to healthcare marketing and advertising? It’s a clever way to remember to target your marketing to the higher side of the equation. The appeal of a product or service is in moving to up to a benefit. Your message connects on the up-side.

It’s part of the fundamental truth in healthcare marketing – that people are buying happiness. They are not buying professional services or high technology. It’s the outcome; they want to become the “big fish.”

In dental marketing and advertising, for example, people don’t buy orthodontic appliances; they want a better smile, a more attractive appearance, or an improved self-image. What they value is to look better for themselves or others.

Medical and healthcare marketing and advertising succeeds where this connection is strong. In the words of advertising guru David Ogilvy: “People buy products that project who they want to be, not who they are.”

The patient in your office wants a “big fish” solution. They want to be better off than when they came in the door. At some level, they picture themselves with an outcome that moves them up on the happiness (or big fish) scale.

Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer & Creative Director at Healthcare Success
Over the years Stewart has personally marketed and consulted for over 1,457 healthcare clients, ranging from private practices to multi-billion dollar corporations. Additionally, he has marketed a variety of America’s leading companies, including Citicorp, J. Walter Thompson, Grubb & Ellis, Bally Total Fitness, Wells Fargo and Chase Manhattan. Stewart co-founded our company, and today acts as Chief Executive Officer and Creative Director. He is also a frequent author and speaker on the topic of healthcare marketing. His personal accomplishments are supported by a loving wife and two beautiful daughters.



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– Jonathan Calure, MD

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