Is Advanced TV in Your Media Plan? How to Safeguard Share of Voice this Political Season

Right now it is understandable that COVID-19 coverage is dominating the airwaves (and likely your own communications, too). But when that subsides, we will still find ourselves in the midst of an attention-grabbing election year. Huge coffers of political ad dollars will be dispatched to command as much share of voice in your market as possible between now and November. The question is: How can you break through the noise so your own TV advertising dollars are well spent in the face of so much competition for consumer attention?

The answer: Advanced TV. And here’s why:

Experts predict a 57% growth in political ad spending this year, with a total ad buy of $6 billion. That’s a jaw-dropping amount, yes, but consider this: The majority of those dollars ($4.4 billion) will go to broadcast TV, cable TV and radio buys, while the remaining $1.6 billion will go toward digital videos, primarily distributed via Facebook and Google.

See the opportunity there? Advanced TV is not a notable part of the political advertising media mix – but it can be in yours.

How can you break through the noise so your own TV advertising dollars are well spent in the face of so much competition for consumer attention? The answer: Advanced TV. Here’s why: Click To Tweet

Television has evolved far beyond the living room, and your under-50 audience segments are spending more and more time on non-traditional TV outlets. According to eMarketer, the number of U.S. “Pay TV” (cable, satellite, also known as linear TV) households in America is steadily declining, while “Non-Pay TV” (internet streaming, also known as advanced TV) is growing at the same rate. Consumers want the anywhere, anytime convenience that advanced TV provides, so meeting them on those platforms helps capture the share of voice you need, even as political ads amp up elsewhere.

RELATED: Exploring the Advanced TV Ecosystem: Options for Amplified Targeting

The appeal of advanced TV advertising doesn’t end there. Consider these benefits, compiled through collaboration with our digital media partners at Goodway Group:

Advanced TV empowers you to meet consumers where they live, work and play. Studies show that Millennials, Gen Z and Gen X consumers already spend close to 1.5 hours/day watching advanced TV (with Boomers coming close behind at just under an hour per day). Growth in streaming platforms means advanced TV viewership continues to rise, creating crucial new audience segments that your linear TV media buy will have trouble engaging, particularly in a national election year:

  • “Cord-cutters” – those canceling their cable and satellite subscriptions
  • “Cord-nevers” – those who never had cable or satellite subscriptions in the first place
  • “Cord-togglers” – those who view a mix of linear and advanced TV platforms

Cord-cutters are expected to be upwards of 55 million people by 2022, with another 40+ million cord-nevers and counting. Bottom line: Pay TV consumption is expected to drop from 68% in 2019 to 57% by 2023, and streaming media consumption is overtaking traditional TV channels in top markets across the country.

Going digital enables much more precise, data-driven targeting. Better targeting makes your advertising dollars stretch further. Meaning, you can eliminate wasted ad impressions by making sure your ads reach only prospective customers, avoiding those whose behaviors, interests and demographics indicate high unlikelihood to buy. Advanced TV’s robust data (which can be leveraged alongside your own first-party/CRM data and other third-party data sources) enables you to make reliable, data-driven decisions about when, where and to whom your ad should air. As a result, you’ll reduce wasted impressions that come standard with linear television buys. But speaking of wasted impressions via linear TV…

Sophisticated advanced TV reporting will illuminate smarter strategies for linear TV buys. Your advanced TV media buy will capture, analyze and report on audience behaviors and engagement levels as your ads play – such as what times your primary targets are engaging most with your ads, what types of shows they’re watching, and how many times they need to see your ad before taking action. Integrating advanced TV into your media mix will unlock new insights that can drive other parts of your media plan as well, including linear TV.

Advanced TV audiences are often more engaged – which is visible in real time. Rather than just playing it as “background noise” (as is common with stationary living room TVs), consumers who stream TV tend to be more actively tuned into the content they’re consuming, giving you a better window into how, where and when to best resonate with them. The ability to see results in real time allows for rapid adjustments in campaign parameters for improved effectiveness, greater ROI and a healthy share of voice.

For all those reasons and more, smart 2020 marketers will go to advanced TV, where they will find many customers but few political advertisers. As we continue transitioning to an ever more online environment, secure your share of voice in a very crowded media market – deploy smart media strategies so your messages meet the right people at the right place and time.

RELATED: The Secret Behind Share of Voice (How It Drives Market Share)

About the Author

Julie Amor, Chief Strategy OfficerJulie Amor, MHA, President and Chief Strategy Officer for Dobies Health Marketing, has 30 years of experience elevating healthcare brands. Share your thoughts with her by tweeting @DobiesGroup, connecting with us on LinkedIn, or by commenting on our Facebook page.

Exploring the Advanced TV Ecosystem: Options for Amplified Targeting

TV and digital media consumption are on the rise, particularly right now as social distancing and self-isolation takes hold across the country. Advanced TV, which has been steadily growing in popularity for the past few years, is well poised to help consumers fill their time and escape from topics like COVID-19 and the 2020 election by watching what they want, when and where they want it. That’s the consumer-centric offering of advanced, non-linear TV, which is expected to be in nearly half (43.5%) of U.S. households by 2023.

As a healthcare marketer, have you incorporated advanced TV advertising into your media mix? If not, it’s time to get started. I discuss the benefits of advanced TV advertising in detail in this blog post, and I encourage everyone to read it if you’re interested in learning more about how to protect your share of voice in the hyper-crowded ad spaces of 2020. But first, if you could use a breakdown of the basics of advanced TV advertising options, this is the blog for you.

So, what exactly is Advanced TV?

According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, advanced TV is, “any television content that has evolved beyond traditional, linear television delivery models.” Compliments of our digital media partners at Goodway Group, the following information provides a good overview of the various types:

Connected TV

Example: A viewer watching television through a Roku device sees your commercial on the HGTV streaming app.

  • Connected TV ads are served on televisions via over-the-top devices (Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, Hulu, Roku, Apple TV, etc.)
  • They are also served on smart TV apps and gaming consoles
  • As the most evolved inventory in the advanced TV ecosystem, Connected TV offers broad reach alongside highly sophisticated audience targeting capabilities
Exploring the Advanced TV Ecosystem – Options for Amplified Targeting: Click To Tweet

TV Everywhere

Example: User accessing her Hulu account from a tablet sees your commercial while watching The Hunger Games.

  • These ads play on streaming apps created by TV networks, which require a login to access
  • The ads are only shown on mobile, tablets and desktop devices.
  • Generally skewing to a younger audience
  • Tracking is available on cookie-enabled devices, making this a particularly good tactic if you have click or activity goals

Video on Demand

Example: A viewer with a Comcast set-top cable box sees your commercial while watching an on-demand episode of Chopped on the Food Network.

  • These ads are shown during on-demand viewings via set-top box apps through a cable or satellite provider
  • The ads are only shown on a television, and they complement your linear TV buy by extending reach to other audiences

Programmatic TV

Example: Viewer watching the latest episode of This Is Us live on their television sees your commercial because it was purchased through a programmatic platform.

  • This type involves linear inventory that can be purchased programmatically and served during live programming
  • These ads are only shown on televisions, and are limited to national campaigns only
  • With the largest scale, programmatic TV is a great fit for brand awareness campaigns seeking national exposure

From highly engaged audiences to data-driven optimization tools and a heightened ability to reach key audiences where they live, work and play, there are many reasons why advanced TV advertising increased 276% from 2017 to 2020. The steady, ongoing rise in advanced TV spends by TV advertisers further reflects a healthy overall sense of optimism and satisfaction with ad performance on these platforms.

RELATED: Is Advanced TV in Your Media Plan? How to Safeguard Share of Voice this Political Season

RELATED: Meaningful Insights to Guide Your Hospital Advertising Strategies

About the Author

Julie Amor, Chief Strategy OfficerJulie Amor, MHA, President and Chief Strategy Officer for Dobies Health Marketing, has 30 years of experience elevating healthcare brands. Share your thoughts with her by tweeting @DobiesGroup, connecting with us on LinkedIn, or by commenting on our Facebook page.

Level the Competitive Landscape for Your Health System

Bring your local market into focus with data-driven insights

During my career as Vice President of Marketing for a large academic medical center, we were considered a marketing machine. As the market leader, we owned share of voice and grew our share of market year after year, consistently outpacing our competition in customer engagement.

As brands with the greatest market share, market leaders typically enjoy the largest profit margins. On a local level, they are the powerhouses of the industry, household names with significant brand awareness. Market challengers – those vying for the position of market leader – must cause positive disruption among competitors by differentiating themselves from the market leader, thus elevating themselves above the competition.

Share of voice is a critical metric for consumer marketing. Quite often, when hospitals evaluate share of voice and competitive positioning in the context of the full competitive landscape, they find their ad spend is not enough. Why? Because increasing share of voice is essential to market share growth.

Moving the dial on top-line growth requires a smart, strategic approach to advertising – and to be strategic, you need data that bring your entire advertising landscape into focus. Click To Tweet

Data-driven marketing decisions have the power to elevate a market challenger to a market leader, securing market share growth and building both volume and preference. soviews+, a proprietary media market profile tool, arms hospitals and health systems with essential, exclusive data to inform creative and strategic decisions. soviews+ empowers hospital leadership to evaluate their current brand positions, shape positioning strategies and fine-tune advertising tactics.

The only interactive competitive media market profile designed exclusively for hospital marketers by hospital marketers, soviews+ delivers hard-to-find, specialized insight. With presentation-ready findings delivered right to your desktop, soviews+ analyzes and packages market intelligence on your top competitors – including share of voice, media spend, media mix, core messaging, creative samples (spot TV, print, digital and social), and more. By combining creative strategy and marketing analyses with spend data for you and your top competitors, soviews+ uncovers details you need to know about your advertising landscape, so you can enhance strategic decision-making in your local market.

To schedule a brief online demonstration of soviews+, contact me online or reach out to me directly at

Reader Tip: For a detailed, empirical analysis of the relationship between share of voice and share of market, I recommend reading, “Budgeting for the Upturn – Does Share of Voice Matter?”. Among other revelations, this study by The Nielsen Company shows when share of voice exceeds share of market, you gain “excess share of voice” points that, at the right threshold, will quantifiably produce extra market share growth.

About the Author

Julie Amor, Chief Strategy OfficerJulie Amor, MHA, President and Chief Strategy Officer for Dobies Health Marketing, has 30 years of experience elevating healthcare brands. Share your thoughts with her by tweeting @DobiesGroup, connecting with us on LinkedIn, or by commenting on our Facebook page.


The Secret Behind Share of Voice

What does your voice say in 8 seconds?

With brands vying for consumer attention, a clear strategy for share of voice in market is critical. Studies show the average consumer is exposed to up to 10,000 brand messages a day, and the average person’s attention span is now just eight seconds. What does your brand say in eight seconds?

Having spent 15 years as VP Marketing for a large academic medical center, I understand the competitive landscape of healthcare and the challenge inherent in reaching consumers with an authentic, meaningful message. And today, as President and Chief Strategy Officer for a healthcare branding firm, I share this experience with clients. Because the secret is: all things equal, share of voice drives share of market.

What does your brand say in 8 seconds? Learn the secret behind share of voice. Click To Tweet

What you need to know about share of voice:

Share of voice is the percentage of overall advertising an organization owns in its market, and it is a strong indicator of future growth. A study by The Nielsen Company shows when share of voice exceeds share of market, you gain “excess share of voice” (SOV-SOM=ESOV). Excess share of voice of 10 points produces an average of 0.5% extra market share growth.

Market factors and quality of advertising strongly contribute to SOV’s success. For example, smaller brands face a daunting feat to grow market share through SOV alone and will require above average, highly effective ad campaigns.

Those in the lead market position have the advantage. On average, brand leaders achieve 1.4% of market share growth per 10% of ESOV, compared to 0.4% for challenger brands. This advantage is attributed to the fact that brand leaders already have market recognition and awareness to propel growth.

Nationally we see the healthcare industry launching or relaunching more consumer-friendly brands. Good news: brand launches or relaunches typically achieve 15-25% greater growth per point of ESOV than the norm. That’s because launch campaigns have something new to say that consumers want to hear.

What does all this mean to the hospital branding and marketing professional? Brand is an investment. It takes a long-term, sustained commitment to build a quality brand that engages with its audiences. I recommend you know your SOV in market, and be strategic in your media spend to ensure you maintain the desired market position. Reductions to media investments will likely damage a brand in the long term. It is more difficult to regain market position than to maintain it.

Know your SOV in market, and be strategic in your media spend to ensure you maintain the desired market position. Click To Tweet

We know quality, repetitive communication is imperative to reaching your audience. As Jaime Mateos of IE School of Human Sciences & Technology states, “Repeated messages and frequently retrieved information will generate a strong footprint which is easier for consumers to access in the future. But the message needs to be relevant and engaging.”

The Nielsen Company research suggests that to grow market share, five guiding principles can help navigate the correct levels of SOV investment:

  1. SOV alone is not enough. Using the right copy is critical to drive returns.
  2. SOV/SOM differential matters. Excess SOV delivers growth, typically 0.5% for a 10-point differential.
  3. Brand size matters. Market leaders drive greater returns from SOV than challengers.
  4. “Newness” delivers higher gains. Launches/younger categories respond to ESOV at higher levels.
  5. Short-termism is dangerous. Correct level of SOV + quality campaign = stronger brands.

Tools that track and manage share of voice, share of market and provide analysis to be strategic in your approach are important planning resources for savvy marketers. Download our brief on smart advertising strategies and explore soviews+, a competitive media market profiling tool that provides hard-to-find insights to guide your healthcare marketing, branding and advertising strategies.

After all, as the saying goes: however beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.

About the Author

Julie Amor, Chief Strategy OfficerJulie Amor, President and Chief Strategy Officer for Dobies Health Marketing, has 30 years of experience elevating healthcare brands. Share your thoughts with her by tweeting @DobiesGroup, connecting with us on LinkedIn, or by commenting on our Facebook page.

From Brand Challenger to Brand Leader

Three Strategies for Hospitals to Take the Lead

Picture of triumph on a mountaintop to represent making the ascent from brand challenger to brand leader (healthcare marketing)Like any competitive environment, hospital markets include two key types of players:

  • Brand Leaders – The most dominant or recognizable brand in the market typically enjoys the greatest market share. Also known as a market leader, a brand leader usually drives the largest profit margins, making this spot highly coveted by competitors.
  • Brand Challengers – Challenger brands are not the category leaders in the market. Rather than simply competing in an existing product or service line category, a brand challenger aims to change mindshare by finding new ways to differentiate or segment its brand from the market leader.

With the right strategies and tools in place, challenger brands have an opportunity to rival long-established leaders by creating and executing effective, data-driven marketing and advertising strategies that help them effectively compete.

According to The Nielsen Company, “Challenger brands have to take a different approach.” In terms of advertising and market messages, Nielsen’s research suggests that for every 10% excess share of voice achieved (which is calculated by subtracting market share from share of voice), challengers only see 0.4% market share growth, compared to 1.4% market share growth for leading brands. As a result, a brand challenger needs an advertising strategy that is at least 3.5 times more effective than the market leader’s strategy to truly move the dial and capture greater market share.

[View our infographic to learn more about the dynamic between share of voice and market share.]

The key to creating and executing effective market strategies is data. When you use data to drive marketing, branding and advertising plans, your hospital will significantly improve its ability to compete in market. These three approaches combine strategy with data to deliver a competitive advantage:

1. Evaluate your current brand position to reveal new opportunities

What you convey about your brand – and how you hope others perceive your brand – must always align with the experience you actually provide. To continuously build volume, preference and market share, it is important to give your brand a thorough, objective evaluation.

Exploring consumer and employee perceptions of your brand will inform your brand strategy, which should outline your differentiators and brand promise (as well as how to keep that promise), serving as a filter for future business, marketing and creative decisions. In addition, assessing your competitors’ communication brings insight to create a sustainable value proposition for your brand. This ongoing process requires continual maintenance and dedication over time.

[To determine your brand’s health, view our step-by-step brand assessment and strategy checklist.]

Brand building is a complex, interconnected process that requires authentic insight, objective decision-making and careful, sometimes even calculated effort. Insights from brand scout+ empower you to identify differentiators, design key messages and rally your team around a brand promise that will ultimately create a more authentic experience for your customers.

2. Use data-driven insights to guide marketing and positioning strategies

A marketing and positioning strategy is the compass that allows companies to successfully navigate the nuances of an ever-changing healthcare market. A smart and sustainable strategy should always precede marketing tactics. When you formulate a strategy before moving to creative tactics, you enhance your organization’s ability to elevate your market position relative to your competitors. Leveraging the power of information through market research, competitive studies and consumer insights will allow you to make more informed decisions to drive greater market share and brand equity.

Effective marketing and positioning strategies – also known as maps+ – provide key insight into your organization’s market position (including where you are now and where you can be in the future), as well as your competencies and capacity, viable differentiators, opportunities and challenges, and more. From there, you can develop on-point marketing imperatives and tactical plans to improve your market positioning, and grow market share.

3. Analyze competing campaign messages and performance to fine-tune advertising strategies

Understanding your competitors’ market position, share of voice and advertising spend are critical knowledge points to making informed advertising decisions. According to Nielsen, a brand is more likely to gain market share if its share of voice is greater than its share of market. Simply put, increasing share of voice is essential to market share growth – but how do you increase share of voice?

A comprehensive competitive market profile leads to better, more proactive recommendations for your organization’s local advertising strategies. Timely, reliable data and creative samples from competing campaigns and market presence—including core marketing messages, share of voice, media mix, advertising investment analyses and creative samples—are key to gaining traction in your local market through advertising.

A competitive market profile from soviews+ evaluates each of your top five competitor’s messaging strategies, matching them against the industry’s top consumer drivers to identify the space they claim in your market. These insights inform and assist your efforts to be more competitive and targeted with your media dollars.

Empower your organization by creating a healthier brand, formulating a smarter marketing and positioning strategy, and challenging the competition. Keep an eye on your competitors and identify new opportunities for differentiation or segmentation in your market. Through the use of data-driven insight, objective decision-making and highly strategic planning, you will be better equipped to reach your targets with pinpoint precision and ultimately drive market share, top of mind awareness and consumer preference.

The Dynamic Between Share of Voice & Share of Market

An Infographic for Hospital Marketers

Share of voice is a critical metric for consumer marketing. Quite often, when hospitals evaluate share of voice and competitive positioning in the context of the full competitive landscape, they find their ad spend is not enough. Why? Because increasing share of voice is essential to market share growth.

For example, if your hospital is the local brand leader, excess share of voice is a worthwhile investment because it supports greater gains in market share than it does for competing brands. Likewise, if you’re competing against a brand leader, your advertising strategies need to be several times more effective than the brand leader’s to grow market share. The following infographic explains the dynamic between share of voice and share of market in more detail:

Infographic: Share of Voice & Share of Market

The key to creating and executing effective ad strategies is data. For the tools you need to analyze your positioning and guide your hospital’s advertising strategies, it’s time to discover soviews+:

Breaking Through the Noise

Optimize your share of voice to grow market share

As a hospital marketing leader, you know how noisy the competitive landscape can be. As the industry shifts toward a consumer-centric healthcare marketplace, it seems every hospital and health system is vying for the same patients—and they all have advertising dollars devoted to buying the largest megaphone.

In today’s hyper-connected world, consumers are bombarded by advertising messages at every turn; one estimate suggests consumers are subject to 3,000 to 5,000 messages each day. Healthcare is no exception, so what is your strategy for determining reach, frequency, and key messages to best position your healthcare organization? After all, if you’re in the orchestra, it’s better to play the trumpet than the piccolo.

Amplify Your Voice for Bigger Gains

Clever ads alone rarely produce sustainable results, so the relationship between your ad buying strategy and your market share growth should be treated with care. It is important to understand the correlation between share of voice (SOV) – defined as your organization’s percentage of the total media buying in your industry for a specific time period – and share of market (SOM), which is your percent of the total revenue for that same time period. You probably already know your market share, but your SOV can be more complex. Knowing your SOV relative to your competitors, however, can be critical to your strategic advertising efforts for top-line growth.

The Nielsen Company published research that sheds light on this relationship between SOV and SOM. They found that with everything else equal, you are more likely to gain market share if your SOV is larger than your SOM. This “excess” share of voice is shown to have a very direct effect—an increase of 0.5 percent additional market share when your SOV is 10 points higher than your SOM.

Of course, rarely is the math that simple. The same research found that a lot of factors play into this, including the size of your brand, whether you are the brand leader in your industry or a brand “challenger,” and of course, the level of sophistication in your creative campaign. If you are the brand leader, for example, a 10-point differential can net you as much as a 1.4 percent market share boost.

Even with multiple variables, savvy marketers can still make this research work for them. Dave Beckert, a media planner, gives this advice:

“Smart marketers investment spend (SOV slightly exceeds SOM) to some degree to deter attack. To show major gains in SOM, you must create or exploit disequilibrium … using advertising spending as an offensive weapon, based upon an analysis of the competitive situation.”

Use the Right Tool for the Job

As the former VP of Marketing for a major academic medical center, I cannot overemphasize how necessary it is to have competitive market data driving strategic recommendations for media planning and creative concept development. In addition to providing the foundation of those recommendations, I needed the competitive data to secure support for the marketing and advertising budgets I proposed. The only problem was that collecting a comprehensive market analysis of competitors was incredibly arduous and time-consuming.

Now, that’s no longer true. The need for robust competitive market data is still great, but the work that goes into creating those market profiles is not, thanks to an innovative product called soviews+.

Share of Voice: Sample dashboard from soviews+, for competitive media market profiling for hospitals

Custom designed for hospitals and health systems,soviews+ packages comprehensive competitive market profiles into a single interactive tool, empowering you to view and compare what competitors are saying in your local market with only a few clicks. soviews+ lets you see and hear your competitors’ creative assets for TV, print, digital and mobile advertising. Additionally, soviews+  provides a market analysis of each hospital’s key positioning messages, SOV and ad spend. These analyses provide much-needed clarity and the competitive advantage to aid in capturing a larger SOV for your organization.

I recommend soviews+  because it was designed for healthcare marketers by healthcare marketers, and it offers meaningful insight to guide healthcare advertising strategies. You can finally answer such questions as, Should we be buying magazine display ads? and Will that many TV spots even make a difference? soviews+  gives you the power to see your local market differently – and when you can stand up and see who is playing in the orchestra, you can finally decide if you need to pick up a louder horn. If you are a hospital marketer, that should be music to your ears.

Julie Amor is the President and Chief Strategy Officer for Dobies Health Marketing and has more than 20 years of experience elevating healthcare brands. Share your thoughts with her by tweeting @DobiesGroup or by commenting on our Facebook page.

Healthcare Marketing & the Sandwich Generation

How to Reach Consumers Who Make Healthcare Decisions for Many

The Sandwich Generation comprises Gen Xers and Boomers who are providing care and support for parents as well as children/teens.

My mom, my daughter and me on Mother’s Day 2015

Like most wives and mothers, I have a say in all healthcare decisions for my husband, my teenager, and myself – but my influence doesn’t end there. As my 80-something mother becomes increasingly reliant on loved ones to take the reins for her well-being, I now play a role in her healthcare choices as well. This makes me a member of the “Sandwich Generation,” tasked with caring for a parent as well as a dependent.

It’s a well-populated place, this Sandwich Generation. According to Pew Research Center, nearly half of all U.S. adults age 40-59 fit the definition. Smart healthcare marketers will seek our attention and recognize that:

  • We are key decision-makers as healthcare consumers, given our involvement in multi-generational healthcare needs; and
  • This position we occupy in our families can be stressful, so sometimes what we need most is helpful guidance from trusted sources that bring information to us in easily digestible formats, rather than waiting and hoping we’ll find it ourselves.

Gaining the Attention – and Trust – of the Sandwich Generation

From one healthcare marketer to another, here are some tactics to consider when you want to win the hearts and minds of this influential market segment (the majority of whom are Gen X):

Go digital. Not surprisingly, people in the Sandwich Generation are busy. Pew found that nearly one in three (31%) report “always feeling rushed,” compared to less than one in four adults (23%) outside the Sandwich Gen. Because we are more pressed for time, trying to reach us via traditional print channels won’t bring much return – particularly during the busy work/school week. How and where you will find us online:

  • Social media – target the Sandwich Generation with paid advertising on social media outlets to reach beyond your following. Facebook is Gen X’s favorite social site, and Pinterest – with its small-but-growing user base largely comprised of women (often the household’s primary decision-maker in matters of health/healthcare) – is worth consideration as you plan your social content calendar. Time your posts and ads to catch us in the evenings and on weekends when we have more time to engage and dive in. [Check out these tips for directing the conversation on social media.]
  • Advertise on news websites and blogs – digital display ads grab our attention when we’re catching up on news, looking up how-to’s, etc. Search and/or site retargeting tactics will keep your ads in front of us as we go about our business online.
  • Host your own blog – post relevant, helpful content, such as topics around parenting and managing the health, wellness, and fitness of our children (mostly tweens, teens and young adults), ourselves (42% Gen X; 33% Boomers), and our parents (age 65+).
  • Online videos – whether it’s pre-roll advertising (those :15 and :30 ads that play before the main video), or clips you host on YouTube and include in your blog and social shares, videos can be a great way to expand reach, and even go viral if done well. [Check out these best practices from Advertising Age on determining video length.]

Let us know where you can offer value. Be as forthcoming and accurate as possible about the costs for a given exam, test, procedure, hospital stay, etc. This will be much appreciated by the Sandwich Gen because the dual caregiving roles impose financial strain for some. When asked by Pew, only 28% of Sandwich Generation respondents described their financial situations as comfortable, compared to 41% of non-Sandwichers (and the former outnumbered the latter by nearly 2:1 in the “just meet basic expenses” category).

Speaking for my fellow Sandwichers, we do not want to cut corners when it comes to our loved ones’ well-being. But, as we save/pay for kids’ college educations and in some cases provide financial support for aging parents, we do actively look for ways to avoid spending more out-of-pocket than necessary. If you can offer greater savings/higher value, let us know about it. And, if your organization is in a position to teach us how to self-manage the health and wellness concerns of our aging parents to the fullest extent we are able, that’s value. Make it known.

Be transparent about quality, too. Value is important, but so is quality. We don’t take our role as healthcare consumers lightly, and we want to rest assured that we’re providing quality care for the people we love. If your organization is a hospital, publish your quality rankings/recognition online. If you’re a surgery center, publish your low complication and infection rates, and outcomes data. Help us make truly informed healthcare decisions for the good of our families, and you’ll be that much closer to making loyal customers out of us.

When you let the unique needs, wants, and demands of your target consumer base drive your advertising messages and tactical plan, you give your healthcare company much better odds of getting noticed. And, when your target consumers do take action and you follow through with exceptional experiences at every encounter, you gain their trust and loyalty – and they, being mostly Gen Xers, will reward you with positive online reviews, social shares and word-of-mouth referrals. Content development people like me live and breathe this notion every day. We let the needs and perspectives of our audience lay the foundation for a tactical approach that serves meaningful, on-point content and gets results.

Color Psychology in Healthcare: Choosing the Right Colors to Represent Your Healthcare Brand

color psychologyIn marketing, as in life, first impressions matter. Research shows it only takes about 90 seconds for a customer to form an opinion about a product—and a surprising percentage of his or her assessment (62-90%) is based on colors association with the product.

When it comes to healthcare branding and marketing, color psychology is an important part of defining and communicating your brand identity. Pink is often used to represent breast cancer awareness, while red signifies immediate danger or emergency response. Blue represents loyalty and trustworthiness, making it a popular color for many corporate logos in the healthcare space (think Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Healthcare and Aetna). But should your healthcare organization choose blue as your primary color just because it is “safe” and universally accepted? Not if you want to differentiate yourself and stand out from the crowd.

So, what color(s) should you choose? Unfortunately, there is no universal textbook answer when it comes to choosing the right color palette for your health organization. Different colors evoke unique emotions in everyone, but a deep dive into factors like which customer segments you want to attract and what you want to convey to them can help you land on the right colors for your corporate identity. Just as physicians ask questions of patients when trying to diagnose a condition, healthcare marketers and designers must ask the right questions to determine the appropriate color palette:

  1. Who is your target audience?

Healthcare marketers must consider the audience they are targeting—men or women, upper class or middle class, traditionalists or millennials. Different colors speak to different groups. Choose a color that resonates favorably with the people you want to reach, and make sure your color palette is culturally friendly—meaning, if you are promoting your services or products to different ethnic groups, it’s important to understand what colors mean in their cultures, which can vary. As a health organization, you don’t want to unintentionally offend or scare away potential customers by using a color that signifies death or mourning, for example.

  1. What colors are your competitors using?

What do your competitors look like, and how can you stand out from the crowd? Avoid confusion with other brands by staying away from your competitors’ colors. This will make it easier for your audience to identify your brand.

  1. Are you using colors that work well across all platforms?

Consistency improves audience recall of your brand. The trick, of course, is to maintain a uniform look and feel across all messaging platforms. What works well on a billboard might not replicate well in newsprint, for example. Choose a color that can be adapted for multiple mediums. Your audience will be better able to recognize your presence and more inclined to engage with your company.

  1. Are you portraying the right personality with the colors you have chosen?

Purple may be seen as an acceptable color in healthcare, but does its association with royalty and sophistication best lend itself to a health system located in an area that’s heavily populated with low-income families? Consider the core purpose of your health organization and business model, and use colors that align with those qualities.

When it comes to selecting colors for your corporate identity, a strong understanding of color theory should be at play. Remember, color has meaning, and it should add to your message—not deflect or detract from it.

How Competitors Can Fine-Tune Your Advertising Strategies

Must-Have Information for Effective Hospital Marketing

What advertising messages are being launched in my local market?

What do those creative campaigns claim, show and say?

What share of voice (SOV) do they hold and what is their reported market spend?

In my former roles as a healthcare advertising professional and VP of Marketing for a major academic medical center, questions like the ones above were always on my mind. To drive effective advertising strategies, my team needed information that brought our entire competitive landscape into focus. We needed timely, reliable insight on our local market competitors – key positioning messages, SOV and spend analysis.

The Challenge: Gathering & Analyzing Market-Wide Hospital Advertising Insight

Until now, finding and packaging this type of data was time-consuming and never as fruitful as I hoped. Using media spend reports only gave me dollars reported, but I needed to know much more than that. For starters, I needed current creative assets – capturing those across the market from multiple media outlets was difficult enough – then came the arduous tasks of:

  • Analyzing creative to determine local competitor messaging and market position
  • Calculating share of voice and share of market for each competitor
  • Using this insight to define and better position my own organization’s marketing and advertising strategies
  • Presenting the culmination of this data to my C-suite colleagues

Sounds like a lot of work, right? It was. However, a comprehensive market analysis like this was critical to my ability to (1) make well-informed, strategic recommendations, and (2) secure support for and confidence in, the marketing and advertising budget and strategy I would propose.

The Solution: A Single Source for Competitive Hospital Advertising Data

I am writing this article because I feel compelled to share that I have found a solution in soviews+ – a revolutionary tool because it offers a marked change in direction – packaging a comprehensive market analysis of competitive advertising strategies into one online interactive tool.  The presentation-ready profile can be linked directly to your slide deck, analyzed and shared.  Moreover, it provides data-driven insight that helps infuse strategy into your advertising and positioning recommendations – and what could be better than that?

We all know well-planned and strategic advertising efforts generate revenue. A market profile from soviews+ brings strategic positioning and justification to the messaging, placement and budget necessary to be more effective in local market advertising.

As someone who has been through the rigor of strategizing creative campaigns without a tool like this, I can honestly say soviews+ is revolutionary, leading-edge and comprehensive. It fully supports a data-driven approach by bringing must-have information right to your desktop. Fellow hospital marketers, I encourage you to let soviews+ guide your direction forward.