On July 17th I’ll be presentation at Spirit of Women’s National Executive Meeting taking place at The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas, Nevada. The subject of my talk is “Marketing as Community-Building.”
In the bullets below I’ve listed a few of the themes I’ll explore within my presentation (because it is Spirit of Women, the focus of my presentation is woman-centric):
- Marketing has fundamentally changed. The focus has shifted from marketing “to” women, to marketing “with” women. For marketers, the task is now to engage women and thereby deepen their relationship with our brands.
- Healthcare marketing, to be effective, must create value for the target audience. Traditional advertising is very weak on value. We must look beyond traditional advertising for today’s solutions.
- The ideal way to engage female consumers is through community. In that sense, healthcare marketers need to now see themselves as community-builders. A huge part of our job needs to be the creation and maintenance (care and feeding) of online communities/environments where women can gather, share ideas and experiences, and learn from one another. We (healthcare organizations) can infuse those environments with resources and expertise.
- Communities focused on wellness and prevention are ideal tools for addressing the challenges of population health management. They provide platforms for health education and engagement. The goal should be to engage consumers in their own health and well-being.
- The effort spent building “communities of shared interest” has the potential to pay big dividends for the healthcare organization. The individuals who frequent the communities are likely to become brand advocates and generate positive word-of-mouth about the organization. Their word-of-mouth marketing is far more valuable than traditional consumer advertising. There is also the very real likelihood that through these communities we can impact the health and lifestyle behaviors of these individuals.
- The environments that we create, whether they are our organization’s websites or social media sites, have to deliver a rich and engaging brand experience. If you want to attract female healthcare consumers, you have to offer them more than a static, brochure-like experience. So the question is, how do you use these platforms to bring your brand to life for the end-user? How do you bring value to their experience? As a case in point, one tool healthcare organizations are turning to is online video. What is more engaging – reading a physician’s bio or watching a video where the physician introduces herself to the viewer? Video is inherently more engaging than the static page of text.
Do these themes seem to be pertinent given your observations about the future of healthcare marketing? What do you think about the notion of marketing as community-building?