Colorectal Cancer – A Sensitive Condition
One condition that is on our minds around this time of year is colorectal cancer. Fortunately, the number of people being screened is rising. Folks are starting to understand the importance of family history, and people are starting to talk about this sensitive condition more openly. That said, as a marketer, how do you set yourself apart from the crowd when it comes to marketing to this audience?
Health Assessments as a Low Barrier
Last Fall at the SHSMD conference, I had the pleasure of sharing some thoughts around marketing to sensitive conditions. Medicom Health suggests using a health risk assessment (HRA) for a low barrier for consumers who are interested in learning more about their risk. Marketing an HRA can be done through both digital and non-digital means. SEM and sponsored social posts are excellent ways to target users, and can drive valuable traffic to your assessment. It may be useful to include other marketing tactics such as building out a comprehensive landing page with doctor profiles, misconceptions about screening procedures, information about preparation, and even scheduling options. However, that’s not to say that non-digital tactics won’t work! We’ve seen successful outdoor marketing campaigns with vanity URLs, direct mail via CRM, even screensavers in the waiting rooms that drive traffic to HRAs.
What You can Do
As March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, we understand it may be tough to set your system apart from the crowd. So what can a marketer do? Consider injecting a little bit of humor into your campaigns! One of my favorite campaigns from my days as a hospital-based marketer was simply a shiny red Corvette with the tag: Time for routine maintenance on your tailpipe. Things like this work because consumers see themselves as people, not patients. Images of someone sitting at a computer, on the golf course, or walking their dog can feel overdone and are more likely to have lower ROI. Appropriately-placed humor with a solid call-to-action, like an HRA, can be the ticket to cutting through the noise this month. It’s not about making light of cancer—it’s about alleviating the heaviness of what can be an intimidating procedure.
As you consider your tactics for campaigns this month and in the future, make sure your calls-to-action are:
- Easy for users to act on
- Able to show ROI
- Meeting consumer where they are
Make sure your calls-to-action are sticky so a user:
- Is compelled to complete it
- Is willing to share their contact info
- Trusts in the source
- Expects to get something from it
- Enjoys and SHARES with their network (bonus points!)
Make sure you have a nurture plan in place to keep driving your targets to encounters.
Growing up in a family of providers to critical access hospitals, she took note early on of the importance of quality healthcare and proper outreach. From there she went on the work as a marketing manager for a small system in south central Wisconsin, eventually moving into clinic management and liaison work.
In 2014, she shifted gears to the SaaS-vendor side of healthcare and spent years in the CRM space, where she worked remotely doing client work, running trainings, and developing relationships. A good portion of her time is spent face-to-face with clients talking through operational hiccups, ways to best target consumers, appropriate use of budgets and most importantly – how to measure effectiveness of marketing dollars.
Bridget has a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin – Platteville, M.A. in Public Relations from Webster University and an M.A. in Counseling from Lakeland University. She is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development, and Forum for Healthcare Strategists.
Latest posts by Bridget Thomas (see all)
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