Marketers share appealing content mix for waiting room-bound patients

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What's the most effective content mix to appeal to waiting room-bound patients and caregivers?

Brad Graner
President, health system and pharmaceutical solutions,
Healthgrades

Many health marketers believe the waiting room is an ideal target market, where patients and caregivers are a captive brand audience.

The reality is more complicated. Fifteen minutes isn't enough time to prepare for a meaningful treatment discussion. Consumers want to research all facets of a treatment decision to make an informed choice. That's why marketers need to reach patients before they arrive at a doctor's office.

Today's health consumers research prescription-based and alternative treatment options, ask other patients for their perspectives, and calculate the financial impact. 

While brand websites play an important role, audiences look to trusted third-party sites for treatment info, so it's essential to meet them there.

By reaching consumers via multiple channels, brand activation isn't limited to the waiting room. Instead, patients walk through the door informed and ready to act.



Maria Lissandrello
VP, editor-in-chief, 
Health Monitor Network

Putting yourself in patients' shoes is the first step to creating a product that resonates with readers. 

It requires asking yourself, “What would I want to know if I received a diagnosis of X? What information would give me hope? What questions would I want to ask my care provider? What daily struggles might I face? What simple strategies could help make every day better?” 

Providing the answers in a compelling, credible package assures a powerful mix. 

The result combines condition and treatment info, presented in an accessible way; just-in-time tools patients and caregivers can use both to enhance exam room dialogue with providers and assess their current health status; inspirational stories featuring real-life subjects; and lifestyle pieces with practical tips.

If well executed, the product becomes a go-to resource for the patient or caregiver and a time-saver for the provider.



Joanna Beeman
VP, content director, 
Precisioneffect

Before the waiting room, the patient's experience starts online. Think spokes, not hubs at this point. 

Spending your media budget to drive to a microsite may not be necessary if patients can achieve a KPI right in their digital neighborhood. Rich media can get that done and lets you test multiple entry points. 

Your online content should drive conversation with the HCP about treatment goals while giving consideration to the caregiver experience. The waiting room experience should reinforce digital content while driving urgency. 

Whether via iPad, MedEd TV, or a poster, educate on any aspect of treatment that could make your brand the best choice for that patient. 

In the patient room, provide visual support. Be part of what the patient brings home, if not about your brand, then about the disease in general.



Wills Robbins
CEO and founder, 
Constant Media

Media firms should work with offices to ensure the most effective mix of content. 

Upon network acceptance, we initially query the offices regarding the specific diseases they treat and their particular interests in regard to topics. This enables us to develop a plan for each location. 

We have found the most effective mix is a blend of “trusted third-party” content by esteemed leaders in relevant specialty fields, along with overall health and wellness tips on diet, exercise, and disease prevention. 

We tend to mix the lengths of the clips for variety and also include some clinical animated video if relevant. 

Our network offices have the option to offer suggestions and submit any content they might deem appropriate.


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