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Top 5 Patient Marketing Creative Execution Missteps

At ROF, we’ve had the good fortune to both prospectively and retrospectively evaluate the level of evidence supporting the creative concept development for patient marketing particularly within specialty care pharmaceuticals. Most brand leaders will agree that the creative element is the essential ingredient in a successful patient marketing campaign, yet all too often it’s the one element that isn’t accounted for in the overall ROI evaluation.
Throughout our extensive analyses in this area, ROF has identified 5 creative execution missteps across a range of clients, agencies, and specialty categories that inextricably impact patient receptivity to the core brand story.

  1. Indication Over Imagery – Patients/caregivers in specialty care scan media for information about their disease, so screaming your indication should be a priority over the imagery in order to boost campaign awareness
    Logo Color Wheel

  2. Vision Deficiency Unaccounted For – When selecting logo design and brand colors, keep in mind that sometimes gaps in the color wheel exist for a reason and the explosion of red/green tones leaves the ~10% of men with color vision deficiency missing you altogether; the 10-point type that the 20 something art director selects to ensure the visual is as large as possible may assure that the concept literally never sees the light of day
  3. Majority Claims Rule – Patients/caregivers react more favorably to claims that apply to most of the audience so a claim like ‘82% of patients remained stable while on therapy’ versus ‘only 12% of patient progressed while on therapy’ is much more impactful since it communicates a higher probability of benefit to the reader
  4. Don’t Block the Box – Nothing kills a creative execution quicker for patients/caregivers than wall papering over the central imagery with text in print or graphics in video; the emotional connection that you strive to secure with powerful imagery can be completely undone by obscuring it
  5. Placeholder Imagery Muddies Water – Patients/caregivers either fall in love with or develop a strong dislike for FPO stock images more than they do with creative concepts you are trying to test, and these stock images never actually make it to production; moving back to true roughs puts the pressure on the concept not the stock art

I’m sure that your surprised at how simple and self-evident these missteps are. Yet, they continue to bedevil creative agencies and brand marketers. Recently, I have witnessed serial offenders for a single brand with an evolving campaign over the past 12 months. While ‘Groundhog Day’ is an excellent movie with Bill Murray, it’s no way to approach and develop a direct-to-patient campaign in specialty care with any hope of producing a return.

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