Get Ahead On National Health Awareness Marketing
February was Heart Month. It will be again next year. And the year after that. And the year after that. You probably started planning – and I mean serious planning – your Heart Month awareness campaign somewhere between three months to three minutes before February 1.
“Let’s face it, there’s a lot of awareness to tackle even as you continue to manage the steady stream of physician and administration requests for marketing support”
That’s OK. If there’s one thing healthcare marketers know it’s that there is no down time. You were busy planning and executing your Cervical Health Awareness and/or your National Birth Defects Prevention campaigns for January.
Before that, you were on Toy Safety Awareness for the holidays and before that it was Diabetes and Alzheimers.
Let’s face it, there’s a lot of awareness to tackle even as you continue to manage the steady stream of physician and administration requests for marketing support. In September alone, there are 41 different health issues named in day, week, or month recognitions. I’m not complaining. We need that awareness. In fact, we need more health awareness.
So, how do we as healthcare marketers get ahead?
I say we recalibrate our planning cycles a year in advance, to begin during or directly following the current awareness month rather than two or three months prior to it.
Yes, I’m a little crazy. No, I don’t mind a little pain if it means a more thoughtful and strategic approach to marketing.
“There is no better time to do strategic planning than when stakeholders are engaged. Harness their focus”
So let’s break down the benefits of this recalibration into a few bullets so you can get beyond the craziness and get busy getting ahead.
- The purpose of an awareness day, week or month is to create focus. There is no better time to do strategic planning than when stakeholders are engaged. Harness their focus.
- Shared purpose, energy, goodwill. Take advantage of it all.
- Capitalize on the events and announcements; the pomp and the circumstance. These are goldmines for gathering content and creative assets for next year’s campaign.
- Gather feedback while it is still fresh. Not only is it more accurate but you can use the process to create future buy-in with your operational partners.
- Finally, no one can accuse you of not being on top of things. After all, you did start planning a whole year in advance.
I hereby decree this, the first day of March, to be National Healthcare Marketers Get Ahead of Health Awareness Days. Time to start planning.