Health & Wellness This Week

The Right Marketing Mix | 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:

  • A flexible marketing mix: using traditional advertising to reach patients
  • Misfit adds iPad inventor to its team
  • Doctor on Demand connects users to doctors via videoconferencing on a mobile phone

Hospital Gets New Surgery Patients Through Old-Fashioned Technique

Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Michigan increased the volume of hernia surgery patients by 140% using billboards. Of about 150 patients who came to the new hernia center, about 40% of them made an appointment because they saw the billboard. The center receives 10 to 15 calls each day from people who see the advertisement, reported Michael McCann, director of the Hurley Hernia Center of Excellence and chief of Hurley’s trauma and surgical care unit. The McLaren Flint hospital has used billboard advertising too, and reported that they see the best results when billboards are used as part of an integrated media campaign.

Marketing Strategy Insight

  • Don’t be afraid to use a variety of channels in your marketing mix
  • When you’re trying to drive traffic to a specific care center, think local
  • Never forget the importance of targeting – in this case it was critical to target patients in a specific geographic area
  • A billboard can be used as another brand touch point that cohesively brings together an integrated campaign, reaching patients in a variety of different contexts

Doctor on Demand Raises More $21M, Adds High Profile Investors

Doctor on Demand is a mobile app that connects patients to doctors through videoconferencing. They raised $21 million in funding, with a round led by Venrock, and additional funding from Shasta Ventures and Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group. The startup is currently in the Rock Health startup accelerator program, and has previously raised money from investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures, Lerer Ventures, Shasta Ventures, and athenahealth’s CEO, Jonathon Bush. Each visit (video call) costs $40. In addition, the company announced a deal with Comcast to provide Doctor on Demand to all of Comcast’s U.S. employees.  The Doctor on Demand service only charges employers when employees use it, eliminating pay-per-employee and pay-per-month fees.

Marketing Strategy Insight

  • Another move to bring more convenient, affordable healthcare
  • Shows how receptive patients are to engaging in digital health through their mobile phones – consider this when planning your marketing mix
  • Highlights the value of convenience for consumers and employers

The iPad Inventor Joins the Misfit Wearables Team

The latest addition to the Misfit Wearables team is Josh Banko, a former senior engineering manager at Apple. As vice president of hardware, Banko led the team who created the iPad. Misfit currently has two products, the Shine activity tracker and Beddit sleep monitor.  In an interview with VentureBeat, Banko described Misfit’s charger-less product (it relies on a watch battery) as a radical approach, and impressed upon the need to make the product experience fit seamlessly into people’s lives.

Marketing Strategy Insight

  • A reminder of the value of bringing someone from the consumer side to bring fresh insights to a health company
  • There will be an increasing focus on usability
  • The challenge is for companies to design smooth, cohesive experiences that fit within the context of consumer lives
  • Design encompasses the ergonomics, how it feels in your hands, how it looks, how users interact with it, how intuitive it is, etc. – there’s need for holistic thinking
  • You need to know your customer
  • The wearables market is going to get crowded – companies need to find their differentiator and be able to effectively communicate it