Consumer intercepts Content Marketing

Taking Content Development to the Streets

I’ve always been troubled by the fact that most healthcare marketing departments are far removed from the individuals they are working to inform or engage. We spend a ton of time responding to requests from internal clients and managing those demands. The question is how much time do we spend listening to our target audiences? How often are we in front of the consumer/patient/family member to gather important insights? It is not enough to have family and patient advisors. In fact, those advisors quickly become insiders – part of the machine. By engaging members of the community through intercepts, you can gather candid perspectives and insights that will inform your marketing communications.

Last week, while working with Lawrence General Hospital in Massachusetts, we took our own advice and filmed consumer intercepts on the streets of Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover. As a marketer, I’ve always believed that the most important insights come from the individuals we seek to engage. To access those insights, we have to solicit their input, feedback, and listen to their stories. In this case, we were engaging consumers in conversations about cardiovascular health. Our objective was to learn how much people knew about the relationship between cardiovascular disease and peripheral artery disease, and who is most at risk for these conditions. We also asked about their awareness of screenings available for people who are at risk for heart and vascular disease. Every time we do this kind of consumer research I am stunned by how generous people are with their time. We stopped these people without any warning and they would spend up to 20 minutes with us while being interviewed on camera. This is a great exercise for a marketing team – as it was for the team at Lawrence General.

We will use the video from the person-on-the-street interviews to produce content for a new educational themed heart and vascular campaign. Consumers will realize that they are not alone in their lack of knowledge about cardiovascular health. Hopefully, this will make Lawrence General’s Heart and Vascular Center feel more accessible and in tune with the population it serves.

Meanwhile, the conversations with real people who live in the market gave us clear insights into how best to communicate with them through the marketing program. When you’re having these conversations, you quickly understand how easy it would be to develop marketing that is too technical in nature for the general population. The language we use in healthcare marketing is often not written for the average consumer; we all know that, but it becomes very real when you are on the street speaking with the people you hope to inform.

A secondary benefit of doing the intercepts was that the entire team left the two days feeling excited about the need for the communication and for the opportunity that stands before us. I can’t wait to see the final product.

 

 

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