Finding a voice in a cluttered venue

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Point-of-care marketing is emerging as a critical venue for reaching patients. With so much activity going on, is this space in danger of becoming as cluttered as any? Where are the opportunities to break through and educate patients?

Robert Grammatica
Practice leader, global dir.
Rapp Collins Healthcare

While there’s no question that these environments are becoming increasingly cluttered, there are checks and balances against saturation built into many of them. On the pharmacy side, retailers are expert at mapping, measuring and optimizing the physical “real estate” within their stores. They know when, or if, too many promotional messages reach a point of diminishing returns for both advertisers and their stores. At clinics, hospitals and doctors’ offices, healthcare professionals are becoming wary of all kinds of promotion. Certain messages are acceptable in the waiting room, but off-limits in the exam room. Caregivers and staff will naturally dictate what is acceptable from a clutter or promotional standpoint. Like any media, the ability to break through (and get high ROIs) is directly related to relevance: get the right message to the right patient at the right time and in the right place…or store aisle.

Jan Weinstein
SVP, group media director
Draftfcb New York

Point-of-care has long been an important (yet cluttered) venue to reach patients.  It is the area that receives support from both consumer and professional budgets. The patient can be exposed to a vast array of media depending on the specific environment, from brochures to cover wraps on magazines, from TV to wallboards featuring disease and brand messaging. Patients are exposed to branding on appointment cards, tissues, pens, posters in the exam room and more. The way for pharma marketers to stand out here is the same as it would be in any media environment—with clear, relevant and attention-getting creative. Our consumer and professional practices work side by side, sharing learnings that help us deliver the most compelling messages that will impact the patient and physician, and result in increased sales.

Tara Taylor
VP, associate media director

Point-of-care is not only the very last touch point advertisers can tap into prior to a consumer seeing the physician. The fact that consumers are at the height of concern about their health while sitting in the doctor’s office makes it that much more appealing.  Pharma has seized this opportunity for years, and clutter already exists. The key is getting the consumer to interact with your information over the one sitting right next to it.  A multi-sensory approach can help. For instance, one of our client’s past campaigns involved a video with health tips and information directing them to take an educational brochure located below the screen. The critical piece is what you’re saying. POC advertising has to be done with the utmost sensitivity and genuine patient concern.  Entertainment can only catch their eye. Education is what keeps their attention.

Christopher Culver
Hospital Media Network

Point-of-care marketing is an emerging venue for marketers. Both endemic and non-endemic marketers are seeking new ways to gain share-of-voice in the healthcare environment. As a cluttered media environment is a concern, I believe that marketers’ need to improve communications will be answered by public/private partnerships that generate more efficient messaging opportunities. Our network of static and digital displays gives marketers the opportunity to educate, reinforce and increase their communications in hospitals and healthcare centers. Networks that offer continuity of message in an uncluttered, informative and attractive manner work best.
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