Connecting to Health Consumers | Health & Wellness This Week

This article is part of ParkerWhite’s weekly series, “Health and Wellness This Week,” a roundup of the latest healthcare marketing news and what it means for your marketing strategy.

This week we look at:

  • The problem with patient portals
  • Why healthcare companies are looking to “mainstream” agencies
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering’s new marketing campaign from Pereira & O’Dell

What’s Wrong with Patient Portals?

Healthcare providers are struggling to increase adoption of patient portals, which is impeding successful completion of meaningful use stage 2. This is part of the requirement necessitates  more than 5% of patients an eligible provider sees to use a patient portal to view, download, or transmit to a third party their health information. Brian Eastwood, Senior Editor of suggests the problem is rooted in marketing. Studies have shown that between 30-50% of patients don’t even know about the availability of a portal, suggesting lack of information and awareness is the problem.

Marketing Insight

  • Encourage doctors to talk to patients about the availability of a patient portal
  • Consider utilizing marketing automation to trigger emails after a patient visit, reminding them of the availability of their health information and providing instructions about how to access it online through the patient portal
  • Include helpful resources that explain what the patient portal is, how it works, and how to accomplish specific tasks with text and graphics distributed and promoted through content marketing

Mad Men in Healthcare?

John Barker, President and chief idea officer, BARKER, suggests that more healthcare brands are looking to “mainstream” agencies with little healthcare experience because the ACA has forced brands to do more than just sell based on features and benefits, but create meaningful relationships with consumers. Healthcare brands need to create emotional resonance with the target audience, which isn’t very different than what consumer brands like Nike and Apple have been doing.

Marketing Insight

New Campaign for Memorial Sloan Kettering Highlights Message of Hope

Pereira & O’Dell launched a new campaign for Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) hospital, which is focused on cancer care. The video aims to address fears with a reassuring message about their scientific prowess, with the campaign tagline “More science. Less fear.”  Some of the headlines used in outdoor ads and print ads include: “There Will Never Be One Cure for Cancer. There Will be Millions,” and “Our Goal is to Save More Than Your Life.” MSK explained that they were looking to break through the noise and showcase what makes their hospital different. Insight

  • Healthcare companies need to find ways to connect with consumers in ways that provide meaningful differentiation
  • Think about how patients/consumers want to feel, their worries, fears, wants, and needs, build out good buyer personas
  • Find powerful ways to communicate your message with brevity and clarity
  • Notice the way the video keeps your attention on one thing at a time, and gives enough time for you to digest the information
Connecting to Health Consumers | Health & Wellness Blog - PW