Navigating with Assurance

Kandace McLaughlin Doyle, HealthLeaders Media , March 11, 2009

Click to view PDF version.When it comes to a mammography, most women want their results as soon as possible, rather than spending time wondering, "what if?"

Unfortunately, Bay Area Medical Center (BAMC) in Marinette, WI, was without digital mammography technology, which prompted many patients to travel to a Green Bay facility that offered same-day results. Needing to avoid loss of business and continued outward migration, BAMC brought patients the digital capabilities they were looking for and a message of assurance that they needed.

"When it comes to women's breast health the advertising piece is important but when we went back in and looked at the product we were providing we realized that that fell short of what women expected in terms of a mammogram," says John Hofer, director of marketing and public relations for BAMC. "We were creating a period of time where there was a lot of uncertainty. You get an uncomfortable test and then you have to wait for the phone call. I'm not a woman but I had a chance to talk to any number of women about this and that really was the dissatisfier."

After establishing its weakness, BAMC brought in the technology and capabilities the facility needed and also went a step further by introducing a new supportive role and competitive differentiator: the navigator. "The navigator is someone that goes through the results with you," says Hofer. "If there's a need for additional imaging for example, the navigator is there to walk you through it. We in healthcare are a big, complicated, confusing business to deal with. So we don't just hand you a pamphlet. The navigators are really hand holders . . . they're there for you."

BAMC, along with its agency The Roberts Group in Waukesha, WI, created a campaign to inform the public about the new range of services.

The team developed a print, radio, outdoor, and direct mail campaign that incorporated a new service-line-specific branding style. It included a newly-designed logo and service-line specific color schemes.

"We had a planning committee that was instrumental in building the program," says Hofer. Each campaign element also spoke to the target audience's primary concerns while fulfilling the organization's goals. The tagline ‘Life with Assurance' was used throughout as a way to speak to the concerns women had about breast health. Each element also finished with a strong bit of copy, which helped to tie the purpose of the campaign and the overall message together.

Success was tracked by looking at the number of mammographies and the hospital revenue the hospital tracked since the campaign launched. According to Hofer and The Roberts Group, BAMC has seen continued growth in its mammography business. In fact, the Breast Health campaign was such a success for BAMC that the template and creative concept will be used to launch other Women's Services programs in the near future.

Kandace McLaughlin Doyle is an editor with HealthLeaders magazine. Send her Campaign Spotlight ideas at If you are a marketer submitting a campaign on behalf of your facility or client, please ensure you have permission before doing so.

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