The Importance of Big Fish in Healthcare Marketing and Advertising

By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer

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 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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