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Health messaging challenged by Obamacare-recall bid—what’s working?

by | May 23, 2017 | Public Relations

Consumers are influenced to make healthcare decisions when they see and hear the words “knowledgeable,” “trustworthy” and “cost-effective” in comms messaging, including advertising and marketing, according to a new public opinion poll from LAVIDGE and Mosaic Multicultural, which found a number of surprising and insightful consumer sentiments about how people are responding to healthcare marketing messages.

The newly released 2017 Southwest Healthcare Marketing Report also reveals consumers prefer television and direct mail over other mediums. In addition, the statement, “We treat the problem, not just the symptoms” strongly resonated with consumers. Surprisingly, the survey revealed that consumers do not prefer messages that feature testimonials from family and friends.

Healthcare stats

“With healthcare ad spending continuously on the rise, this is the ideal time for marketers to understand how to effectively get their message across to consumers,” said Tim Trull, managing director of strategy at LAVIDGE, in a news release. “Our original, comprehensive survey is exactly the tool the industry needs to resonate with their target audience.”

Having this consumer healthcare marketing data comes at an unprecedented time—with the Trump administration working to repeal and replace the controversial Affordable Care Act, insurance premiums are skyrocketing and the U.S. is facing a critical nationwide shortage of physicians.

Despite this tumult, healthcare advertising is booming—$9.7 billion was spent on healthcare ads in 2015, the last year full statistics were available for the U.S. That’s a double-digit percentage increase over the previous year. Healthcare facilities, practitioners and insurance carriers are aggressively competing for consumers’ attention.

Unique to the healthcare sector, the new report will put an end to guessing what consumers respond to. Elements of the far-reaching survey focus on consumer preferences regarding marketing messages (words and statements) and media.

The findings determine several things about the way consumers respond to healthcare ads:

  • Most effective media for consumer healthcare marketing is by television and direct mail
  • Top three words that influence consumers to visit a hospital, see a physician and/or purchase health insurance are knowledgeable, trustworthy and cost-effective
  • The commonly held belief that close friends and families are our greatest influencers is being challenged: “Your friends recommend us” is consumers’ least favorite marketing statement
  • “We will treat the problem, not just the symptoms” is the most influential messaging statement

Download the complete report here.

LAVIDGE and Mosaic are full-service advertising, public relations, communications, consulting, interactive and multicultural marketing agencies headquartered in Phoenix, AZ. WestGroup Research conducted the poll and surveyed 500 consumers from throughout the Southwest. The report provides original insights for healthcare executives on precise tools and tactics to market their services effectively.

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