Don't forget about direct mail
The other day I was going thru the mail and received a direct mail piece from a hospital system. Then the "news flash - film at 11" type of realization hit. It had been some time since I received any direct mail materials from any of the local healthcare providers. Truth be told, it has probably been a couple of years or more now that I remember receiving any healthcare related direct mail. And that is a mistake in my opinion.
If you have been in healthcare long enough, you can remember a time when besides newspaper ads, Sunday newspaper stuffer, billboard and radio campaigns, TV ads etc., that the majority of healthcare marketing was direct mail- health and wellness magazines, magnets, newsletters, postcards etc. Replaced today no doubt by facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, web sites, banner ads, emails and all other types of social media. Like lemmings rushing over the cliff, healthcare organizations fast abandon messaging distribution channels in favor of the new and more expedient methods of communicating. But is anybody listening, or should I say reading?
Not everyone clicks through on banner ads. Everyone is not on facebook. Not everyone has an Iphone. And guess what, people still read their mail and newspapers.
Are you missing an opportunity via a little used, or should I really say, "out-of-fashion" communication and distribution channel to get your brand messages in the marketplace?
An interesting question.
My opinion is yes, direct mail is still important and can strengthen your brand messaging in the market.
Your brand message needs to be communicated in multiple ways, using multiple communication channels. That would include traditional and online. The healthcare industry tendency is to abandon one communication and distribution channel in favor of another. Many reasons can be sited for not using direct mail, long production times, printing and mailing costs, list acquisition etc.
But if you are the only provider out there in that communication channel, then what is the value to you of having your brand message in an uncluttered healthcare messaging space?
If you think that direct mail is old and passé, then why do Verizon, Kohl's and other retailers continue to spend organizational resources in that medium? It might not hurt for you to take a look at your own mail to see who still uses the technique. Learn from other industries. You may find that your marketing communications plan to carry your brand messaging is not as integrated and comprehensive as it needs to be.
So as we rush to embrace all the new technologies and methods of communicating that our competitors are using, don't abandon the traditional side of marketing brand messaging channels. To do so is a missed opportunity to build your brand and shame on you for missing an important brand building opportunity.
You can reach me at 815-293-1471.