Channels and platforms for delivering your healthcare marketing messages seem almost limitless. However, the challenge comes in trying to cut through the noise of the millions of other messages competing for your target audience’s attention.
Digital marketing experts estimate that the average American is exposed to some 4,000 to 10,000 messages each day.
Yet, the average adult supposedly has an attention span of eight seconds—less than that of a goldfish. The goldfish stat may just be a myth, but it seems the more information available, the less people pay attention.
According to the American Academy of Arts and Science, from 2003 to 2018, the average amount of time Americans spent reading for personal interest per day fell to less than 16 minutes per day.
So, how do you cut through the noise to grab the attention of your audience?
Disrupt the Disruptions
A couple of months ago, Amazon Care announced plans to roll out app-based healthcare services nationwide and hinted at launching in-home testing services. Around the same time, Walmart Health unveiled its own expansion of digital services. Then Apple jumped in with new features for its HealthKit app to make exchanging information easier between patient and doctor.
For the average healthcare system, trying to compete against such headlines could be daunting. The best strategy is don’t try to compete. Let the juggernauts have their own competing moments—remember the attention span theory. Announce your expansion and new services to an audience with whom you have a connection at a time when they aren’t distracted.
Deliver to Right Place at Right Time
It all started with a donut. When Krispy Kreme offered a free glazed donut for anyone showing their vaccination card, who would have imagined the incentives to vax that followed? Free orders of fries. Pop-up clinics at bars giving shots-for-shots. Sweepstakes for air fares, cruises and Super Bowl tickets. In Louisiana, you can enter the Shot-at-a-Million lottery for cash or college scholarships.
With trust in science, government, the media and even trust in friends and neighbors in partially vaccinated communities being tested, we turn to imagination and incentives to get people to vaccinate against COVID-19.
Why limit thinking outside the box strategy only to COVID-19? Deliver healthcare and wellness solutions to people where they live, work and play. For example, during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in September, rather than a static media campaign consider marketing to men where they are likely gather. Consider setting up weekend clinics for PSA tests at golf clubs or sporting goods stores.
Serve Snack-size Bites
Eight-second attention span; 10,000 daily messages; 16 minutes reading time. Use those numbers to guide your marketing plan. Keep all content short and consumable in snack-size bites.
A popular healthcare newsletter recently posted “Today’s Vaccine Project Newsletter is 2,079 words and will take you seven minutes to read.” Despite the topic, most people now consider these disclaimers before clicking onto the article.
Based on users, Facebook and Instagram remain the most popular social media platforms. However, Twitter may have most influenced how people consume media. Even though it has increased the character limit to 280 characters, tweets getting the most engagement still tend to be between 71 and 100 characters.
Listen to Your Audience
For years, healthcare marketers have used the marketing funnel to direct messages to key audiences where they are in the journey from top of the funnel awareness to bottom of the funnel action. However, 2020 turned the funnel upside down.
No longer can you assume that consumers follow the path from top to bottom. The fluidity of the pandemic dictated communicating with audiences in a more timely manner. You don’t want to lose momentum. Changing consumer patterns demand changes in patient experience