Physician Advertising Mistake #11: Not Knowing How to Evaluate Creative Materials

By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer

One of the great rewards of working with doctors and healthcare executives for over two decades is that we have a treasure chest of experience that we share with clients. We’ve seen first hand those things that are most effective in marketing a practice, hospital and organization.

We love success stories in medical marketing and advertising. But we also appreciate that the mistakes of others can hold valuable lessons. In knowing about and avoiding a marketing mistake, you save resources (otherwise wasted), and your physician advertising efforts are more likely to be successful.

Here’s one of the critical medical advertising mistakes that doctors and hospitals make every day. We see this so often, we call it Number 11: Not knowing how to (objectively) evaluate creative materials in marketing and advertising. Have you ever found yourself in the following picture?

You’re planning a new advertising effort—let’s say a series of three newspaper ads—and everyone in the office has an opinion. From physician partners to the front desk to the back office, a collective chorus feels they know what’s best. In fact, some members of the defacto “committee” are rewriting the ads. You can imagine how this tragedy ends.

The core problem here is that most individuals are not skilled and experienced in writing, designing, creating or evaluating advertising materials. Everyone has an opinion, of course. And good questions and input have value.

Creating and evaluating marketing materials is not a matter of a subjective vote by committee. Ultimately, it is not a matter of what an individual or a group in the office thinks they like or don’t like.

Highly-effective materials are created by professional talent. These are people who understand the audience and have a clear rationale for the words, design, media and a dozen other variables. If you have a health care advertising agency, ask them to explain the rationale. If they understand healthcare marketing and attracting new patients, listen to well-supported recommendations.

Whether you (or the committee) personally like the materials or not is not the measure. A message that speaks clearly to the patient and gives them reasons to take action, is likely to perform well for you.

“There’s only one thing more painful than learning from experience,” according to Dr. Laurence Peter, “and that is not learning from experience.”

You’ll find a related article here (Medical Advertising Critical Mistake #9).


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.



Your proposal will include:

Competitor Intel Icon
Competitor Intel
Recommendations Icon
Our Pricing Icon
Our Pricing

...and much more!

“Despite practicing in a hyper-competitive market, our new-patient counts are double what they were for the same time period last year. Hiring Healthcare Success was one of the best business decisions I have ever made.”

Headshot of Jonathan Calure
– Jonathan Calure, MD

List of recent conversions