Healthcare marketing is one of the most under-appreciated branches of marketing in existence. We know this, you know this, and everyone else in the industry knows this. It’s hard to get people excited about healthcare, it’s hard to make what is stereotypically a “boring industry” exciting, and it’s hard to market in an industry where there’s very little previous marketing history to go off of.
That’s why when we see healthcare marketing campaigns that are truly original, we can’t help but to have a fan-girl moment. We’re so proud of what we’re seeing in the industry today, of healthcare marketing campaigns that impress and inspire and push the rest of us to do better, that bring our industry to the forefront of conversation and get patients excited and engaged. That’s why we like to showcase some of our favorite healthcare marketing campaigns from time to time, to share the ideas with other people in the industry and recognize the campaigns that are making a name for healthcare marketing. So, without further ado, here’s the campaign we think deserves spotlighting this week:
“Ask The ICD” by Medtronic
Medtronic won the 2015 Internet Advertising Competition award for their web-based campaign, “Ask The ICD”. The concept of “Ask The ICD” is awesome. Medtronic created a website where people who had questions about ICD’s (implantable cardioverter defribilators) could, quite simply, get the answers to everything.
The team at Medtronic understood that patients who are told they’ll need heart implants often find themselves flooded with questions. How will it affect the different aspects of their lives? Are they safe? Will they still be able to run marathons? Can they eat their favorite foods? The need to ask and find answers to these questions is totally understandable, but for whatever reason they noticed that many patients refrained from ever asking the questions on their minds, whether it was because they were embarrassed by them or they felt like they were bothering their doctor by doing so.
That’s why Medtronic came up with “Ask The ICD”, a website where patients who were afraid to go to their doctor could go to find the answers to whatever questions they had, regardless of how silly they might seem. Patients simply go to the website and are prompted to type in their questions. They can ask absolutely anything, from scientific questions about the technical aspects of ICD’s to questions about specific lifestyle changes that might result from getting an ICD.
It’s vaguely reminiscent of Burger King’s Subservient Chicken, which would respond to whatever users typed into the screen, no matter how ridiculous the request was. The best part, though? Even though the website certainly has an entertainment value, it’s primary purpose is to educate people on every aspect of ICD’s and to serve as an invaluable resource for patients. It does what we as physicians unfortunately don’t have the time to do: answer each and every question posed by all of our patients, regardless of the time of day or seriousness of the question. “Ask The ICD” essentially acts as a 24-hour support system and resource for people who have ICD’s, may be getting one, or simply want to learn more. It’s a genius idea, and kudos to Medtronic for thinking of it.