The first healthcare marketer to grow an avid and active fan base

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Our community-building is a virtuous circle of inspiration between our healthcare system and our communities.

These are not the typical words of a healthcare marketer. We don’t expect them to be talking about avid fan bases and active participants in co-creating new value. We don’t expect them to be comparing their brands to Kiehl’s, Lego, Sharpie, Benefit Cosmetics, Red Bull

And you know what, you’re right. I fabricated this quote. But why can’t this be the case? Why can’t healthcare systems and hospitals have active fan bases? Who laid down the law that healthcare marketing must follow a set pattern of self-describe, proclaim and repeat (albeit now across multiple platforms).

True community-building (with the result being “a virtuous cycle of inspiration between provider and customer”) SHOULD be a vibrant component of the healthcare marketing mix. With the competitive provider landscape changing – and the impact of this being more choice (particularly for more “routine” medical conditions) – loyal fans means more people wrapped more tightly around their brands, which means competitive insulation and more profitable business.

We’re thrilled at the extent to which one of our Trajectory healthcare system clients has embraced their (our) new tagline of Advancing Health. Transforming Lives. We’ve witnessed how in a very short time it’s become the guidepost for much of their decision-making, both internally and externally. And this “platform” idea gives them license (in fact the responsibility) to create the energy that moves their communities forward – in ways that feed their interests and passions.

True community-building helps both client brand and communities grow stronger – based on a “virtuous circle of inspiration.” I know, there are places like Mayo Clinic that have really stepped out to provide their communities with new and greater forms of value. But as I’m sure you agree, these examples are way too few and far between.

What’s your POV?

Eric Brody

Eric Brody is President of Trajectory, a brand and marketing firm specializing in creating momentum for businesses across the health + wellness continuum. The common threads are consumers who want to get well, stay well and play well, and brands that fulfill these aspirations and goals.

11 thoughts on “The first healthcare marketer to grow an avid and active fan base

  1. Its true, many brands, healthcare in particular, tend to go with tried and true approaches of what’s expected. Not many have the courage and/or deep insight to forge ahead into unfamiliar territories. After all how would anyone know it was a healthcare brand if it didn’t walk, talk and act like a healthcare brand is expected to? It would be refreshing to see more brands behave unexpectedly, but still genuinely.

  2. Agree that this opportunity is not being capitalized on enough in healthcare. The ones who do it well have a huge advantage and the ones who do not are quickly losing ground.

  3. Thanks Tony. Appreciate your feedback.

    Really would be wonderful to see a healthcare system or hospital step out and create new forms of value that really address and amplify customer passions – rather than barrage them with corporate speak.

  4. Always good to look outside the category for inspiration and this is a perfect example. You’re right, there is absolutely no reason a healthcare system can’t foster the type of fan base that a Kiehl’s, Lego, Sharpie, or Red Bull does. Great insight!

  5. Mark,

    Thanks for your feedback.

    Agree, outside role models always great for new insight and ideas.

    And yes, no reason healthcare can’t do!

    Eric

  6. So true. I think about the changes in healthcare reform and how medical homes and care management are going to be an essential cornerstone of care delivery. But what a wonderful thing to really FEEL like your healthcare provider or hospital wants to deliver an unparalleled experience – where YOU as the consumer (because every patient is) want to become a true BRAND ADVOCATE, a true fan of your healthcare team. We all complain when things are not done properly or the care we receive doesn’t match our expectations, but wouldn’t it be great to have the kind of care that actually CHANGES OUR EXPECTATIONS. Boy, then we would all become fans, and ultimately LOYAL fans!

  7. Thanks for comments Randi.

    Will just take one healthcare system to step and build an avid and active fan base — then others will certainly follow. Right now, Mayo is probably as close as it comes.

    Eric

  8. An inspiring post for healthcare marketers and a distinguishable approach that will differentiate providers, who for years have been caught up in the “sea of the same” (when it comes to healthcare marketing). Taking a fresh approach will be an eye opener for the consumer who has been overburdened with dissimilar information that has created more confusion, and hindered their decision making process rather than facilitate it. Will be interesting to see what healthcare providers are up for the challenge and begin to shift the paradigm in healthcare marketing.

  9. Carrie,

    Thanks for your comments. As you say, “a totally fresh approach” would be welcomed by consumers and important to a healthcare marketer in terms of distinguishing itself from others and providing the kind of marketing that consumers would actually welcome.

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