Marketing in Health & Wellness: It’s a Lifestyle.
“That’s it. I’m doing it. I’m going to focus on my health. Eat better. Exercise more. Get fit.”
Sounds familiar, right? Whether you have been on this crusade yourself or know someone who has, it is easily the most popular New Year’s resolution. By far.
Here’s the line: “Believe me when I tell you, come January 1st: New year, new me. Until then, I’m just going to have this last doughnut while I can.”
As marketers, is there anything better than an audience that is starving for help and guidance?
Let’s look at the numbers: More than 12 percent of gym members join in January, compared to about eight percent the rest of the year, according to the Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association. As you might suspect, the sudden desire to workout doesn’t last very long because, let’s be honest, it’s difficult to make a lifestyle change. In fact, our friends at Foursquare have coined “Fall Off the Wagon Day.” That’s the day when a rise in visits to fast food restaurants meets a dip in gym visits.
Suddenly, just as everyone is back to their poor habits and increasingly sedentary lifestyle, summer approaches and so does the need to acquire that seemingly elusive beach body. Alas, the vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting begins once again.
As you can imagine, whether you’re a health club, a health care system, a dietician or just a general health care advocate, marketing in health and wellness is a ripe arena… and there’s a lot of players in it.
Unlike the yo-yo diets, marketing in health and wellness is all about consistency. After all, it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle. So, how do you suggest we carve out a good marketing strategy for health and wellness?
Let’s start with your audience.
Speaking to your audience through an authentic voice they can relate to is paramount. You know them and what they’re going through. You can empathize. You understand the struggles and challenges they face and you’re here – as a proven solution – to help guide them through their journey. You must identify personas and what motivates them in order to connect with them and deliver relevant messaging.
Let’s consider the following:
Defining your audience is the trick. But perhaps, maybe you shouldn’t think about your audience in terms of who, but instead, in terms of when and how?
Let’s consider less who you are talking to and focus more on when you are talking to them and how the message is being communicated. Different audiences have different motivations. And without getting too psychological, those motivations are defined by necessity.
- I need to get healthier this year.
- I need to stop smoking.
- I need to look good for our family vacation to Acapulco because you know Aunt Sheryl always has a comment.
You should identify the personas that make up your audience and then methodically plan on how to communicate to them and when that message needs to be delivered.
Oh Yeah, Says Who?
Who are you? What’s your brand? Yes, very important questions, indeed. In fact, these are probably the most important of strategic elements when it comes to marketing.
According to HubSpot: “A brand identity is made up of what your brand says, what your values are, how you communicate your concepts, and the emotions you want your consumers to feel when they interact with your business. Essentially, your brand identity is the personality of your business and a promise to your consumers.”
In order to create your brand identity, you must ask yourself: Why am I delivering a message in the first place? What is our purpose as an organization?
Defining your brand’s purpose is the first step in creating a pathway toward connecting with your audience. That emotional connection will go beyond your logo and your imagery. Ultimately, your brand’s purpose is what creates loyalty.
The Partnership has the privilege of partnering with several industry-leading health care organizations – specifically Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Naples Community Hospital (NCH) in Southwest Florida. Our primary objective is helping them deliver an authentic message that is on-brand. In fact, that is job one of every marketer, whether you do it yourself or have an agency help you – deliver authentic messaging that is rooted in a purpose.
From web development to digital content designed for niche audiences and even above-the-line tactics that cater to a wider audience, we act as an extension of our partner’s internal marketing teams. Working sessions and strategic planning are all key to our collective success and our experience in the field makes us qualified partners.
What Are Your Qualifications?
It seems as if everyone has a family member, neighbor or friend that has “the best” solution to just about anything – especially when it comes to health and wellness (and yes, even marketing).
- “Here’s what you need to do…”
- “Drink this…”
- “Eat that…”
- “Dunk your head in that over there…”
- “Just do some programmatic…”
And while they might have “a solution,” they usually lack accreditation. That’s why you should let your education, experience, and skillset speak for itself. (For what it’s worth, it’s what we have been doing this for the past 40 years.)
At The Partnership, we believe in helping experts tell their story – purposefully and with authenticity. That’s where we are accredited. That’s where we are authorities. And partnering with companies across all arenas, especially health and wellness, creates a symbiotic and educated relationship when it comes to marketing initiatives.
Case in point, reference our work with NCH. Our relationship began with PR/crisis management and has flourished into a full-on marketing initiative. We now manage community relations, develop social & digital content, and have undertaken several web development projects. This is all rooted in identifying their audience, developing an authentic voice, and collaborating with our partners to help them tell their story consistently.
So, after the ball has dropped in Times Square and the summer sun has set on the beach in Acapulco, marketing in health and wellness is an interesting arena that is continuously evolving and brimming with opportunity. And much like your health regiment, marketing for health and wellness, if done correctly and consistently, can be fruitful for your brand and audiences, alike.
Ok. Time to Stretch
We’ve covered a lot. We’ve learned about “Fall Off the Wagon Day;” touched on audience motivations; been introspective by challenging our brand purpose. Heavy stuff, indeed. But what can we take with us to help make us better marketers?
Well, first off, identify your audience. Who is most impacted by your message? Secondly, create a brand that stands for something – has a purpose. Why do you exist and why should your audience care? And finally, are you qualified to be sharing the message? Why should they listen to you?
In this business, you have to be equal parts strategic and emotional. If you’re missing one of those, find someone to help you. A personal trainer, if you will. That way, your marketing approach will be less diet, and more lifestyle.