Your Marketing Influence Casts a Bigger Shadow Than You Know

By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer

cosmo the dog

Cosmo Dog

Editor’s Note: Although he’s on a much-deserved vacation, Healthcare Success CEO Stewart Gandolf unintentionally bumped into an article idea. So, 2,347 miles away from home, Stewart shares these healthcare marketing insights that apply to anyone in healthcare marketing.

Stewart begins with a little story about a chance encounter…

My family and I were walking the beach at sunset in Maui yesterday when a nice lady passed by walking her two Labrador Retrievers.

Since we already miss our goofy dog, Cosmo (a Labradoodle), we asked if we could pet the Labs.

The woman noticed my daughter’s braces and asked to see them more closely. “I’m an orthodontist,” she explained.

We made small talk…and I asked her if she was in private practice. When she said she was, I said. “Go to and sign up for a free newsletter about marketing. I promise that I am not selling you anything. It is a gift that can help you.”

I thought that would be the end of the conversation, but it wasn’t.

She asked how we would market a practice in Maui, and I told her a little about that.

I also mentioned that one of my good friends is an attorney in Maui, and he could probably help her with her crazy homeowner association. (Homeowner associations are ALL crazy.)

We also talked about some of my company’s work with Invisalign.

She said, “Wait a minute. What is your name?”

I told her.

“OMG I get your newsletter,” she said. “In fact, I invited your co-founder to speak for our local dental society a couple of years ago.”

Small world.

We may do some business down the line. But more importantly, the story delivers some genuine marketing takeaways…

1. Being friendly and gregarious can lead to opportunities that would never have happened otherwise.

2. If you are marketing effectively to your target audience, your impact is much larger than you realize. (I am often “recognized” now at professional meetings that I attend.) Many marketing-savvy practitioners enjoy this modest degree of “business celebrity.”

3. You don’t have to always be selling to attract prospective clients or patients.

4. Sometimes, dogs are the universal social connecting point.

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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