Philip Chin, chief executive, Langland

When marketing healthcare brands, reputation is underpinned by trust, which can often be a scarce commodity, but is critical to brand success. Content marketing, when delivered well, can help build trust and drive results by creating and delivering appropriate messaging to a clearly defined audience. That said, it would be overly simple to think that “good” content is “good enough.” To propel a healthcare brand so it becomes part of life for a user, the content created must be true, credible, relevant, and, importantly, emotionally compelling. We live in a time-poor world, where multiple media channels clamour for our attention. This means that opportunities rarely come twice. The content that sticks is insightful and resonates at a deep level. Fortunately, healthcare marketing can draw on a rich source of amazing people, whose stories are waiting to be told. Identifying those narratives and bringing them to life in a creative and engaging manner is as much alchemy as medicine.

Rob Bean, SVP, marketing strategy, Burns Marketing

Today’s marketing environment is noisy—very noisy. To differentiate and propel a brand forward requires putting customers’ needs at the core of the message and then saying things worth listening to. Self-serving platitudes don’t help customers solve problems and rarely generate interest and revenue for a brand. For a brand to understand its customers with greater intimacy, it must create truly believable and engaging narratives. A brand that empathizes with its customer will understand how to better service the customer’s content and buying requirements. Since both messaging and content needs evolve as a prospect moves through the buying journey, brands must ensure that messages are relevant and that conversions feel natural on their path. Be different, make it simple, cause happiness, shake shit up!

John O’Brien, VP, strategy, Merkle Health

To propel a brand’s story, patients must be able to experience brands in a way that’s most meaningful to them. Personal connection is what motivates sharing and advocacy as patients encounter customized experiences across the digital ecosystem. The multi-dimensional brand narrative typically includes the point of entry into the story, brand benefits that differentiate it, how it works, and, finally, the patient support that the brand offers.

Segmentation and persona development are pivotal to uncover insights that inform how stories are delivered. A content map defines the experience and identifies which stories motivate specific personas. Brands that deliver personal values will see patients engage and propel the brand.

Alec Pollak, VP, director of user experience and content marketing, JUICE Pharma Worldwide

A wise marketer today does not cling to the illusion that they can impose a prefabricated brand story onto the world. They meticulously craft an epic, living, brand narrative out of the personal stories of every individual life that her brand touches—stories that reveal the truth of human experience along life’s journeys, both shared and quietly endured. When she builds the brand story from this precious raw material, the concert of personal stories baked inside will resonate and the audience will feel the humanity, the authenticity, and the reality. Only then can the marketer offer up outlets for the audience to express reactions, tell more stories, enter contests, share content, become advocates, like, retweet, upvote, and overall shout brand love from the mountaintops.