How to Promote General Surgery – and Actually Get Results

May. 24, 2018

When you promote general surgery, do you focus on your surgeons’ credentials? What about touting “advanced technology” or the benefit of receiving quality care that’s close to home?

Yes, these attributes are important, but do they motivate someone to take immediate action? Not so much.

Consumers today expect your healthcare organization to have qualified professionals on staff. Promoting a surgeon’s experience is a good way to build credibility, trust, and confidence but consumers need an extra “push” to take the next step.

OK, so that’s where “receiving care close to home” comes in, right? Partly.

Proximity is a priority for many consumers and their families, but is it enough to get them to respond to your call-to-action sooner rather than later? Again, not so much.

So what’s the answer? Sell the sizzle, not the surgery. And think outside of the traditional call-to-action box.

I’ll give you an example...

Let’s say you suffer from incessant heartburn. Which of these messages would motivate you to take the next step:

  • Tracy Sanders graduated from Duke University and has performed more than 100 surgeries right here at our hospital, to help patients suffering from chronic heartburn.

Important information – but what if you featured this type of message:

  • With the minimally invasive TIF procedure, 25 minutes might be all it takes for you to start enjoying life without the pain of heartburn.

Focus on the feeling

We created a highly successful ad campaign for our client, Black River Memorial Hospital (BRMH) that took the “sizzle” approach to selling surgeries. From this ad that focused on “being able to eat the foods you love again” (after a simple TIF procedure) to an ad that described “laughing and living again” (without incontinence), the messaging targeted a problem, offered a solution – and brought it full circle by focusing on how the procedure could change a person’s life.

Consider a new twist on the standard call-to-action (CTA)

While there’s a time and place for the standard “Call now for an appointment” CTA, also consider other options that are highly effective. For example, you might:

  • Direct consumers to take an online symptom assessment/quiz on your website. Then, depending on the quiz results, provide an option to schedule an immediate consultation.
  • Invite your target audience to attend a patient education event. These events provide great opportunities for people who might be intimidated by the thought of surgery. The CTA in this orthopedic ad connected BRMH with prospective patients who attended the event.

When all is said and done...

People suffering from a health condition want to feel better. Plain and simple. Yes, they want to know that your surgeons are highly qualified. Yes, proximity to their home is a big plus. But before they dive into those details, they want to know if surgery can help alleviate or minimize their pain; help them regain or retain their independence; or help them get back to the activities they once enjoyed.

You have the solution they’re looking for. All you need to do is sell the sizzle.

If you’d like to learn more about new ways to promote general surgery in your rural healthcare organization, or if you’d like to pick our brains about a marketing strategy you’re considering, contact us here!

Website by: Craig Erskine

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