Healthcare Marketing: The Power of Storytelling

Robby Krapfl | October 27th, 2014

Healthcare storytelling

Everyone loves a good story. Healthcare consumers are no different.

Why do we enjoy watching movies and reading books? It’s because of the stories they tell. Humans are able to experience an emotional connection with a story. A great story can make us feel a certain way.

As healthcare marketers, we need to focus more on storytelling. 80% of our decision-making is based on emotions, whereas objectivity and practicality make up the other 20%. What does that tell us? People make decisions based on their emotional response. In order to change consumer behavior, marketers must appeal to their emotions first and foremost. How? Storytelling.

When’s the last time you listened to great keynote speaker? Did he or she engage the audience with a powerful story or did he or she just read a bunch of statistics off a PowerPoint? The odds are, if they provided a compelling story, you were engaged, listening to every word and anticipating the outcome. You paid attention. You remembered the message.

Marketing healthcare isn’t like marketing anything else. The health and well-being of our families and friends is a top priority. When they are put in jeopardy, we experience a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Healthcare marketers must harness these emotions and make a connection with their audience. Once we have created that emotional connection and engaged our audience, we have the opportunity to change their behavior.

Does this mean we should abandon the traditional four P’s of marketing? Of course not. Facts and statistics will always play a role, but providing this information with a real, emotional connection to the heart and mind is essential.

The next time you want to market your healthcare services, institution and outcomes, think about telling a story. After all, if a picture is worth a thousand words, what’s a story worth?

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