Coakley's Failed Senate Bid: Four Lessons for Healthcare Marketers

Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media , January 20, 2010

Sometimes you do have to respond to a competitor's ads. But there's a right way and a wrong way to do it. Check out Extinguishing False Marketing Claims and Marketing—Claims You Can't Ignore for some advice on that topic.

The know-it-all who doesn't
Perhaps the most critical mistake Coakley made was one healthcare organizations sometimes make, as well: She assumed that she knew what her audience wanted to hear. While Coakley came off as out-of-touch, Brown convinced voters that he would listen to them and take their concerns to Washington. Maybe your audience does want to know that you have the latest technology. But before running an ad featuring your surgical robot, make sure that's really what will resonate. Because you know what happens when you assume.

Here's a healthcare example. Two of the most important demographics in healthcare are Boomers and women. But this story highlights a report that suggests we aren't really listening or responding to what Boomer women want—and the consequences of assuming: When You Assume . . .You Alienate Boomer Women.

Besides all the lessons in how not to run a marketing campaign, there's one great thing about this election. That is the election—and the non-stop ads and the half dozen daily automated phone calls that accompanied it—is finally over.

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