Medical Marketing can Learn from DRTV.

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Medical Marketing can Learn from DRTV.

Ask for the order! What Medical Marketing can learn from DRTV.

We live in a world of flaccid me-too medical marketing, where doctors and corporate health care systems trade bragging rights over the latest amazing treatment or device. A world where TV and radio stations are more than happy to empty your wallet running ineffectual medical marketing that leaves ordinary people (you know, those people you’d like to get as new patients) unconvinced. Or even worse, apathetic.

Are you searching for new ways to take your medical marketing materials to a new level? Maybe even prove to your administration that advertising really works? Incorporating a few ideas from late night infomercials might be just what you need. I’m not suggesting your healthcare system or medical practice start making commercials with giant flashing phone numbers and an announcer shouting “Call collect! Call direct!”. But if you want your next healthcare organization marketing plan to deliver results, it won’t hurt to take a few hints from marketers who live and die by results.

Time for a little honesty: none of these tips are the holy grail of marketing. If you’re a student of advertising, you’re aware of many, and maybe all of them. They are truly fundamental. But that’s what you do when your game is off — you go back and study the fundamentals. Take note of these tips, and think about how you could use them to make your medical marketing more effective.

First of all, your patients only listen to one station: WIIFM. If you want new patients to pay attention and respond to your message, you’ve got to play it on their favorite station, WIIFM – What’s In It For Me. You’ve got to showcase the main advantage of your medical practice or healthcare system quickly, and just as quickly explain why it matters to them.

Less We, More You. Take out as much of the ‘WE’ as you can (as in “WE now offer Cyborg Knife Laser Beam Surgery, the most technologically advanced surgery known to modern man.”) and put in more ‘YOU’ (as in “YOU will have less pain, a smaller incision, and shorter recovery time with Advanced Cyborg Knife Laser Beam Surgery.”). When you get potential new patients to imagine how your health care system will make their life better, you’re on your way to having a patient for life.

Words Matter. Keep your unique selling proposition short and powerful, use language that’s easy for regular people to swallow. Then repeat as necessary until maximum results are achieved. This tip alone will help you stand out from your competition.

Harness the Unbeatable Power of a Dramatic Demonstration. You see it over and over again in infomercials and DRTV – a man soaking up a liter of cola with a a high tech cloth, a duffer who can now drive a golf ball straight and true, even the before and after pictures for weight loss products. The power of a dramatic demonstration can’t be overstated.

If the advantage of the Amazing New Cyborg Knife Gamma-Ray Surgery is a smaller incision and a virtually unnoticeable scar – show us how insignificant the scar will be. If it helps people recover more quickly so they can get back to their normal life, show a patient bowling only a few days after surgery. Every successful Direct Marketer understands this simple fact: In the battle for mindshare, a dramatic demonstration is the ultimate weapon. In this case, seeing really is believing.

In future articles I’ll share more Direct Response tips you can use to beef up your healthcare organization marketing plan. Right now I’ll leave you with a critical one:  Don’t forget to tell people how you want them to respond – they’re going to want to respond, and you need to make it easy for them. If you want them to call and sign up for a free guide, or a no obligation health screening, tell them, and make sure they can read your phone number! Don’t try and hide it – make it easy to read, and leave it on screen long enough for Grandpa to walk to his desk, get a pencil and write it down. You know how you want people to respond to your advertising – make sure you they know. You’ve worked hard to make medical marketing materials with real impact, don’t lose it in the inches here