Successful Healthcare Advertising

Successful Healthcare advertising depends on…

  • The healthcare need in question
  • The goal of the advertising
  • The time needed for behavior change
  • Where people are during the advertising
  • Why people are where they are during the advertising
  • What people are doing during the advertising
  • The degree to which the need is felt as a want
  • The expertise marketers have in behavioral economics
  • The design of every interface before and after the advertising

It’s the last part – the design of the interfaces before and after the advertising which is most critical.

There is no grand unifying theory for advertising in Healthcare because there is no one problem in Healthcare.

One ad in Healthcare is unlikely to win any big scores. This is the source of confusion which the Web has thrown into the marketing mix.

Last century’s conception of advertising arose out of limited Interfacing technologies. That’s what’s changed. Thinking about advertising as a discrete, stand-alone process no longer holds up.

The discrete view of advertising worked last century because limited channels held in the flow of attention. The Web has broken open the channels into infinitesimal pours, and so attention leaks out of every pour.

Rather, the key to understanding advertising in light of the Web is the Interface.

What is the Interface? It’s everything:

  • The printed page
  • The television screen
  • The radio sound
  • The desktop
  • The laptop
  • The mobile device
  • The pharmacy counter
  • The physician’s office
  • The grocery aisle
  • The electronic billboard
  • The QR code or MS tag
  • The online community
  • The unexpected place

But here’s the thing: you must forget to think about desktop, laptop, mobile, email, Twitter, Facebook, blogs. They’re all Interfaces.

So think Interface. Think about Interfacing.

Advertising is just one of many Interfaces along an ever-growing continuum of interfaces.

Once you understand the continuum of interfaces which you could build online, offline and the yet-to-be-explored interfacing in between those worlds, you’ll have a better understanding of what makes successful healthcare advertising.

If a social interface is needed, go build it. If simple scheduled messages are needed, build the app. If video content is the enhancing interface for eduction, shoot the vid.

Successful Healthcare Advertising depends on an understanding of Interface in all of its forms.

Successful Healthcare Advertising depends on forgetting about thinking about just Advertising and on starting to think about Interfacing.

Just know: Interfacing is hard work. Which is why you must pour love into every part of your work.


0 Replies to “Successful Healthcare Advertising”

  1. Phil, this is the key statement in your post “There is no grand unifying theory for advertising in Healthcare because there is no one problem in Healthcare”

    If we can begin to determine the problems people are seeking to solve we can improve the interface because we are speaking directly to a need. Adult learning and healthcare work hand in hand to drive change.

    Thank you for this wonderful and well considered post.


    1. Hi Mark,

      Yes, it’s key to be in places where communicators can speak to specific
      needs/questions, etc.

      It can take a lot of effort to develop the robust kind of active, responsive
      presences need for today’s media landscape, but I think we’ll see some


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