This blog was actually borrowed from comments made by Procter & Gamble Global Brand Building Officer Marc Pritchard as he spoke to the 4As annual conference. I used it because I think he’s onto something.
More and more we are being driven by data. We have so much at our disposal. No wonder it’s referred to a “Big Data.” And marketing professionals, including those in healthcare, are making decisions and developing marketing plans based on the data. But too many times I’m afraid that leads to creative that is mediocre at best. We run the risk of being devoid of the big idea that connects rationally and emotionally with the consumer.
Data can help avoid risk or help improve our odds. Data can provide insight or sometimes confusion. But data doesn’t tell you to put an actor around a group of kids and interview them (AT&T), or develop a campaign around the line “The man your man could smell like” (Old Spice). Procter and Gamble’s “Moms have the best Jobs” television spot was not inspired by data. And neither was “Just Do It,” “Got Milk,” “Think Differently,” or “Think Small.”
Consumers are moved by emotions. Brands connect with consumers with emotion. And that’s no truer than in healthcare marketing. In a world where we have so many ways and so much power to connect with consumers we cannot just pour our message into as many channels as possible. That’s just noise. It’s the power of an idea that separates you from the numbness.
Christoph Becker, writing for Adweek put it very well when he stated, “For an idea to have value in the world of marketing communications it must make you feel; it should provoke laughter, touch a nerve and create excitement for a brand. There should be generosity of spirit in what we do. Even if we have messages for the head, we should always seek to gain entry through the heart. To be humanly relevant our work should be founded on emotion.
He continued, “the challenge is to remember this truth: our laughing, crying, loving, loathing, silly, serious emotional minds are always in charge. This is something the most successful—and iconic—businesses understand instinctively.”
As healthcare marketers we have so much information at our disposal. And we should use it to sharpen our focus and hone our efforts. Yet never forsaking the pursuit of that emotional connection that far exceeds ordinary communication with consumers.
I will conclude with Becker’s final comments,
“There has never been a better time to reach our customers, but we have a choice. We can use all the technology and channels at our disposal merely to amplify our messages to the point of noise. Or we can use those gifts to give life and purpose and never-ending expansiveness to our ideas, to reach people in ways that matter, to ignite emotions. That’s my dream.”