Huntsville Advertising Agency

Healthcare Marketing: Steve Jobs a Traditionalist?

 Jobs was an innovator but when it came to advertising he was extremely traditional.

As we mourn the death of Steve Jobs, there is much being written about him.  He was a visionary.  He was brilliant.  He was a genius.  He understood people.  And he had a keen understanding and sense of marketing.

Steve Jobs taught us about digital and how it can effect, impact and change our lives.  Jobs was on the forefront of technology.  He was always one step ahead.  Maybe more.

So isn’t it ironic that this visionary who understood how to communicate and connect with people was a huge traditionalist when it came to his approach to advertising?  Look at Apple’s media buying.  With a budget of $420 million in 2010, over 90% was spent in traditional advertising. Television, newspaper, magazines, circulars and outdoor made up the majority of Apple’s media expenditures.   Apple in fact, was in the top 10 in the nation for expenditures in outdoor.  Less than 10% of their advertising was digital.  And what little digital advertising Apple utilized, the majority of it was an extension of their television campaigns.

And equally as ironic, is the man who understood and connected with the consumer had almost no presence on Twitter and Facebook.  Apple only recently established a YouTube channel but has comments turned off.

So what does this say to healthcare marketers?  The principle thing is obvious, traditional media is not dead.  In fact, to build a strong brand traditional can be extremely effective.  This is not to say digital advertising or social media efforts are useless.  But it is to say traditional advertising methods are still workhorses.

Steve Jobs taught us that success consists of simplicity, clarity and a big idea.  Sounds old school doesn’t it?  But the genius of our generation used old school to change our lives and our culture.    When it came to advertising, the man who taught is to go digital went very traditional.

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Healthcare Marketing: 10 Tips for More Effective Social Media Marketing

Scientific research indicates that certain proven strategies can enhance social marketing efforts.

Healthcare marketers are striving to improve their social media efforts.  There are a lot of varying strategies espoused, making it difficult to know which ones are most effective.  Social networking is certainly not a proven scientific endeavor.   There are some basic competencies required, but it also involves some degree of art, intuition and luck.

Dan Zarrela describes himself as an award winning social, search and viral marketing scientist.  He is the author of several books and numerous articles about social media.   He is a noted student of social marketing and is recognized as a knowledgeable expert.

Zarrela posted an article discussing how to make social marketing more scientific. His points are excellent and are the basis of the ten tips listed below:

1.  Experiment with different strategies to discover what works. Conduct your own research.  Try different things and learn what is most effective for your hospital.

2.  Audience size is important. Certainly you want a quality audience but quantity is very important.  Hospitals need engaged followers but also need a large number of them.

3.  Find and target your influencers.  Among your fans/followers there are key influencers.  Usually it’s those who were early adopters of social media.   Extra attention and care should be given to them.

4.  Bigger and louder works – to a point. It’s possible to yell over the social media clutter but only for a limited time.   If you yell too much, you will be tuned out.

5.   Personalize the conversation with your audience.   Make it personal and authentic.  Everyone likes hearing his or her name. And to be the center of attention. Know that!  And use it to your advantage.

6.  Avoid link fatigue.  Don’t wear your audience out with too many links.  Your audience will grow tired and lose interest.

7.  Make your brand cool. I know that’s somewhat difficult for hospitals but find ways to help your audience improve their reputations and status by being associated with your brand.

8.  Avoid information voids. Rumors and misperceptions form when there is a lack of information.  Always get out in front of every potential crisis.

9.   Don’t talk too much about yourself. Take it easy on yourself.  No one wants to be engaged in conversation with someone who talks about himself all the time.   How boring is that!

10.  Use call-to action.  As is true with every type of marketing, you ultimately want your audience to take action. Compel your audience to do so.  And make it easy for them to do so.

Healthcare marketers are  still learning when and how to do social marketing effectively.  And we are learning more and more everyday.   Trial and error and experimentation will teach us a lot.  But learning from those who  have experience and who are avid students of social media can certainly improve our learning curve. That’s why tips listed here are so very helpful.

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