By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
Breaking through the noise and promotional clutter at an important business conference of hospital marketing professionals was a stiff creative challenge. But here’s a brief success story—how a creative approach by Healthcare Success was a big winner at the SHSMD16 conference…without spending a fortune.
Attendees at national SHSMD16 conference (the Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development) are a sophisticated audience. This is a national gathering of experienced healthcare strategists, planners, communications and PR specialists and hospital marketing professionals. My organization, Healthcare Success, has been a SHSMD member, presenter, exhibitor and conference participant for many years.
At last year’s conference, I was inspired to capture the attention of women marketers who represent the majority of show attendees. To do this with a unique and attention-getting fashion splash, I picked Christian Louboutin shoes. Of course, this upscale brand is a recognized status symbol; something most women say they “would never buy for themselves.”
Christian Louboutin is a French fashion designer whose footwear has incorporated shiny, red-lacquered soles that have become his signature. Healthcare Success would give away a pair of the high-fashion shoes. Attendees could register for the drawing at our booth in the exhibit hall.
We promoted the giveaway though our social media as well as an event “goodie bag” stuffer and postcard. Additionally, we built buzz prior to the event via the #SHSMD16 hashtag on Twitter and Facebook live.
This promotional hook was extremely successful. Many people offered feedback, a number of excited people went out of their way to find our booth, and there were over 200 entrants. (And, from a business development perspective, it was an opportunity to meet new people, and prospects for our online marketing services.
The “show shoe” payoff; the winner is…
We created a video of the drawing and announced the winner via social media. And the WINNER of our #SHSMD16 Louboutin givaway is…Camille Strickland from the Orthopaedic Institute for Children. Congratulations, Camille!
We’ll publish a follow-up to this story after we deliver the shoes to the winner. Of course, we’ll film that too. (By the way, the winner can choose an alternative size or different style for comparable price.)
The hospital marketing takeaway idea…
Sometimes you need a new and creative approach to break through the clutter and grab attention with your target audience. (Even when the audience is sophisticated marketing and communications professionals.) The bonus here is that you can have significant impact without investing a fortune.
Plus, it was a lot of fun for everyone…and Louboutin Shoes are far more memorable than a dozen ballpoint pens.
Stewart Gandolf, MBA, CEO
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SHSMD is the only organization for healthcare strategy professionals affiliated with the American Hospital Association, one of the nation’s most influential healthcare organizations. Healthcare Success is a full-service marketing and advertising agency dedicated exclusively to helping healthcare organizations attract new patients, enhance their reputations (brands) and maximize their business success.