Winning with the Triple Crown of Healthcare Advertising

By Kathy Roy Gaughran
Senior Marketing Strategist

Gold "Marketing Plan" block letters on graph-paper backgroundThe elementary formula for success in healthcare marketing and advertising is to engage a prospective patient with a meaningful answer to their problem at the right time.

The recipe sounds simple enough, but putting it all together…well, it’s complicated.

Here’s how to organize your tools and build your marketing, advertising and promotional plan around the three main categories: OWNED, PAID and EARNED media. It’s sort of the triple crown of healthcare advertising.

Perhaps the strongest characteristic within Owned Media and Paid Media is that you control the message and thus communicate your brand message. Earned Media, as the name implies, is driven by the consumer or audience, and reflects the (hopefully positive) outcome or consequence of the other two categories.

Communications Categories infographic

These terms are sometimes used as a marketing-speak shorthand, but they aren’t buzzwords. Here’s how the respected research outfit, Forrester, defines and summarizes each media type along with their benefits and challenges.

Forrester media types chart

Success—achieving overall and individual goals—comes from a coordinated execution of these elements…in the right combination, emphasis and timing. Some marketing plans are more effective with the aid of an experienced professional agency. All three components are vital to healthcare marketing success.

Kathy Gaughran


Kathy Roy Gaughran
Senior Marketing Strategist at Healthcare Success
In her career, Kathy has helped over 4,000 clients all over North America achieve their growth goals. As an award-winning strategic marketing planner, Kathy has been involved in both the high-level strategies required for long-term sustainability, plus the tactical execution used to accomplish the day-to-day successes. Kathy’s clients include practices with annual revenues well over $10 million and with annual marketing budgets up to $900,000. In addition, Kathy is an accomplished speaker, appearing at countless national, local and state healthcare associations. Kathy is a member of the American Marketing Association and The Direct Marketing Association.



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