The Biggest Challenge with Health Care Advertising? Health Care Advertising

The challenge with most health care advertising, is health care advertising. If you take any campaign and do the old “swap the logo” trick, you quickly realize that the plethora of disingenuous, vacuous imagery and rhetoric is a sea of sameness.

What is fascinating to me is the somewhat separatist nature of health care marketing overall. The business of health care has and continues to change rapidly, but we seem to still be marketing in relatively traditional ways. The details, rules and restrictions are certainly unique and require a deep level of expertise to ensure all the I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed, but the process of delivering a message that shifts the needle for a brand remains the same whether it’s health care or automotive or fried chicken.

As with any campaign, success metrics need to be identified along with a deep dive on the audience and environment. From all that data – hard, soft, big and small – a unique strategic insight must be identified to enable a singularly focused idea to be created. While this feels like table stakes, it doesn’t appear to be happening very often. That may be the reason we see a great


It’s a Jungle Out There: 3 Reasons Health Care Companies Should Look Out for Amazon

Recent unconfirmed reports have speculated over whether tech giants like Amazon and Apple are gearing up to tackle their next frontier – health care. With both companies being leaders in their markets, do they stand a chance of disrupting an industry where other tech experts, like Google and Microsoft, have failed? There are three reasons why Amazon and Apple may have a chance.


They know digital

The digital health technology market is rapidly changing. Many health systems and insurers are moving over to electronic health records (EHR) systems for greater patient-centered care and the space is ripe for the picking. CNBC reports that Amazon is looking at opportunities that involve pushing and pulling data from legacy electronic medical record systems and make the data available to consumers and their doctors. Who better to accomplish this feat than a company with a reputation for secure online transactions and customer convenience? Amazon stands a chance at gaining market share because they are an established and trusted brand with credibility in records keeping.

Apple has also been hyped as another tech leader likely to enter


Skinny Repeal: How the latest proposal to repeal ACA may impact you

Skinny Repeal. It’s not the latest weight loss treatment. Or a sequel to the Poison song “Unskinny Bop.” And, it’s not at all related to my favorite skinny vanilla latte. It’s the most recent effort on the part of Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare). Here’s what you need to know […]


Digital Revolution’s Impact on Patient Engagement

Patient engagement has created a digital revolution in health care communications.

Digital technology gives health care companies, providers and patients unique access to a wealth of information like never before.

Mobile apps, patient portals, social media and many other web-based health care information channels are finding their way into health care communications strategies. Telemedicine is making headway, too.

Keeping abreast of the complex and rapidly evolving health care ecosystem can be daunting and many health care clients are only just beginning to realize the enormous role digital technology can play.

Joel Erb, Padilla’s new digital growth expert, says health care clients increasingly seek digital solutions for more patient engagement, particularly as the industry continues to shift from a fee-for-service model to a pay-for-performance one.

Digital patient engagement is helping improve patient care outcomes and reduce health care costs. To learn more, I sat down with Joel to get his take on the connection and upsurge of digital patient engagement services.

What trends are you seeing for patient and customer engagement?

Patients want more access to not only their health records, but every aspect of the patient journey –…


How Cell Phone Games could aid in the Battle against Childhood Obesity

From my early elementary days all the way to my late college years, one could label my physique as chubby. Or husky. Or flabby. Or pudgy. Or chunky. Or whatever politically correct description you prefer to use for fat.

While my struggle with weight has had many effects on my life, I also became acutely aware of the numerous campaigns that were launched to battle the bulge for children like me. Many of these initiatives are still running and many more have come along. Unfortunately, there have not been any lasting results.

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According to the latest numbers from the CDC, “for children and adolescents aged 2-19 years… the prevalence of obesity has remained fairly stable at about 17 percent.” This is a slight increase from past years and equivalent to about 12.7 million youths.

Where are these fit-kid initiatives falling short? Based on a new study published in the August issue of the journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers determined that the average American teenager is as sedentary as a


Move Over Digital Health

The future of health care is not a device or a drug yet to be discovered. As the market for digital health technology continues to expand, trailblazing hospitals are preparing for digital medicine instead. Here are a few of the latest ways digital health is changing.

Demand for new positions

The health care industry’s shift toward electronic health records has spiked demand for new positions and teams. Many progressive hospitals are building clinical innovation teams called upon to apply the same rigor of evidence-based health care principles to digital medicine. That means doing no harm, delivering effective and patient-centered care, and doing so in a timely and efficient manner while incorporating digital tools and capabilities. Other hospitals are hiring nurse informaticists, a role that combines a nurse’s traditional skill set with expertise in systems, analysis and design. Why? Because engineers and IT professionals just don’t have the clinical expertise to introduce and manage these systems, not to mention prevent potentially life-threatening technical errors. The future of health care will be counting on these staff members to actively test data to make sure accuracy and transmission between devices and systems is working properly.


How influencers are changing the way we talk about health care

Whether it’s on the news, Facebook or comes up over drinks, there seems to be one particularly hot topic of conversation right now – and that’s health care.

Sure, a good portion of my workdays focus on health care because of the clients and colleagues I work with, but this is different because I’m hearing and seeing more conversations about health care outside of the workplace – likely due to the ongoing uncertainties of what health care is going to look like under the Trump administration.

These uncertainties have influencers using their platforms to raise awareness about the health care debate and what it means for consumers. Last month, we saw late-night comedian, Jimmy Kimmel, trade in his typical joke-filled monologue to discuss his newborn son’s heart surgery and the importance of access to affordable health care. Kimmel simply stated that that before Obamacare, “if you were born with congenital heart disease, like my son was, there was a good chance you would never be able to get health insurance because you had a pre-existing condition.”

This is a line that struck a chord with many of Kimmel’s viewers, ultimately


Is #StatusOfMind on Your Client’s Mind?

I’ve gotten in the bad habit of checking my social media platforms from bed every morning when I wake up. Twitter gets me the news. Facebook shows me who had a baby or got married (yes, I’m in that stage of my life.) Instagram makes me want to quit my job and travel the world. Out of those three platforms, guess which one is the most detrimental to young people’s mental health? Instagram.

Researchers from the Royal Society for Public Health in conjunction with the Young Health Movement published the report entitled #StatusOfMind, which looks at the positive and negative effects of social media on young people’s health and well-being. The researchers surveyed almost 1,500 young people, ages 14 to 24, from across the U.K. Based on the ratings participants gave each social media platform, the five most popular platforms were given the following ranking:

  • YouTube (most positive)
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Snapchat
  • Instagram (most negative)
  • While the researchers acknowledge there is still much to be learned about social media’s impact on mental health, much of the report really resonated with me.

    One participant from northern Ireland wrote: “Instagram easily makes girls and women feel as if…

    Consumer Marketing

    Is the Amazon Effect Coming to Health Care?

    I think it’s safe to say that Amazon is a household name for most American consumers. There’s also a name for the disruptive impact the company has had on consumers and businesses alike — the Amazon Effect.

    For brick and mortar retailers, the Effect has resulted in store closings, supplier price re-negotiations, and weak attempts to mimic the Amazon distribution model. It’s even having a ripple effect on grocery shopping, since retailers like Walmart have had to re-energize food and beverage sales to compensate for merchandise revenue lost to e-commerce.

    So what does all this have to do with health care?

    Amazon has been toying with the idea of breaking into the multi-billion pharmacy market for years. And according to a recent article, it’s getting more serious. Amazon is investing in new executive health talent, including Mark Lyons from Premera Blue Cross, and they’re already selling medical supplies and equipment, such as walkers and wheelchairs, heart and oxygen monitors and wound care supplies. Sure, prescription medications will present some new regulatory hurdles, but somehow I think Mr. Bezos will be undeterred.

    If successful, Amazon’s latest plans will cause the greatest…


    Applying a Doctor’s Office Standard to Health Care Studies

    Communication within the walls of a doctor’s office has improved greatly over the past 40 years. There was a time when women would awake from a breast biopsy to find that she had breast cancer and that a mastectomy had been performed – without her consultation.

    Patients are now completely involved in the decision-making process due to the recognition that every decision cannot be viewed as strictly a medical judgement, but as a patient value judgement.

    As a result, doctors present treatment options, with variables and trade-offs, in an unbiased and straightforward fashion. This is because doctors are cognizant that patients react differently based on how a treatment is framed, especially in outcomes.

    As a study on framing medical choices highlighted, people opted for procedures with a “90 percent survival rate” over a procedure with a “10 percent mortality rate,” despite the outcome being identical.1

    While the doctor-patient communication channel has grown significantly, it pales in comparison to the growth of health care information available through social media and online sources.

    A 2016 study performed by the American Press Institute (API) found that 51 percent of Americans get their news from social media.2