Q: How Do I Make the Most of Awareness Months?

A: Whether you’re marketing a medical device or a health care service, chances are there’s a national “awareness month” that you can leverage to improve the effectiveness of your marketing.

To illustrate, I’ll use the example of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. During October, most consumer news outlets are heavily focused on stories related to breast cancer early diagnosis and treatment. This presents an excellent opportunity for hospitals, medical practices, diagnostic imaging centers, biopharmaceutical companies and equipment manufacturers focused on breast health.

 

By integrating multiple components of marketing communications — advertising, direct marketing, public relations and online marketing (including social media) — a savvy organization can generate awareness, build preference and develop qualified leads.

Public Relations

Instead of simply issuing a press release about your organization, find out the trends in media coverage and seek out a unique angle for your pitch. The media are looking to deliver new and interesting information to their audiences, and chances are, you can position your product or service for maximum interest.

Advertising and Consumer Marketing

Consumers are more receptive to your messages because they are paying attention, thanks to widespread exposure from several different media sources. When a topic reaches critical mass like is does during an awareness month, the impetus to take action is high. In addition, consumers who learn about new products and services through advertising or social media will start a dialogue about them with their doctor.

Direct Mail

Physicians are subject to influence just like consumers, and during an awareness month they are exposed to the very same messages and from many sources — including medical trade media. Now is the right time to reach and influence physicians, and direct mail is one of the most cost effective ways to accomplish this.

From a budgeting standpoint, it may make sense to concentrate your resources around an awareness month based on this timeless marketing adage: “Fish when the fish are biting.” In addition to achieving qualified lead generation at a time when market interest is high, your chances for improving brand awareness, preference and recall are better during a highly focused initiative rather than diluting it over a protracted 12-month period.

So, what about an awareness month that doesn’t receive a lot of play from the media? The same rule applies, because media are constantly looking for content and you can be the one to remind them that an awareness month is upon them.

Organizations like hospitals and diagnostic imaging centers can leverage multiple awareness months throughout the year to maintain “top-of-mind” awareness with media. The relationships that are built today with writers, editors and producers can yield many dividends down the road, ensuring that your company is the media’s first choice when developing relevant news stories.

The effort is worth your while — but be sure to begin your initiative early. There is nothing more frustrating than turning on the broadcast news and seeing your competitor in the spotlight.

 

National Health Observances

(For more visit https://healthfinder.gov/nho/)

January

  • Cervical Health Awareness Month
  • Thyroid Awareness Month

February

  • American Heart Month

March

  • National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

April

  • National Autism Awareness Month
  • National Alcohol Awareness Month
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome Awareness Month

May

  • National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month
  • Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month

June

  • National Hernia Awareness Month
  • Cataract Awareness Month

July

  • Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month
  • UV Safety Month

August

  • National Immunization Awareness Month

September

  • National Cholesterol Education Month
  • Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
  • Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

October

  • National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
  • National Physical Therapy Month

November

  • American Diabetes Month
  • Lung Cancer Awareness Month

December

  • National Handwashing Awareness Week
  • Preparing for New Year’s Resolutions

 

Jim is Armada’s President.



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