Knowledge is the New Pink

Mammogram

As many of you know, our agency works with several companies that specialize in either the diagnosis or treatment of breast cancer. Our unique position has given us insight into the mindset of women and their physicians on the subject of this terrible disease that is taking the lives of 40,000 women each year.

While the “pink ribbon” campaign has made women aware of breast cancer and the importance of screening mammograms, this has led to a degree of overconfidence with regard to knowing their true individual risk. Women also mistakenly believe that their doctors are up to speed on the latest advances in early breast cancer detection and treatment.

Karuna Jaggar, Executive Director of Breast Cancer Action, recently wrote that pink ribbon culture “distracts from meaningful progress on breast cancer.” She claims that pink ribbon products that spread “empty awareness” have failed to address and to end the breast cancer epidemic.

Then there is the disinformation spread by women themselves. Growing up on Long Island, NY, I was constantly exposed to the notion that above-ground power lines caused breast cancer.  A decade-long study published in The American Journal of Epidemiology showed no correlation whatsoever, but the rumors persist. Other dispelled rumors include the notion that breast cancer is caused by underwire bras, implants, antiperspirants, fertility treatments, abortion and caffeine.

Here are, in my opinion, the most important facts about breast cancer that most women—and many of their doctors—have never heard of but need to know:

While family history is an important risk factor, more than 75% of women who develop the disease will have no known family history. In fact, age is the most important risk factor (over 50), and because women are living much longer than they did 100 years ago, it makes sense that breast cancer would be more prevalent today.

  • Annual screening mammograms beginning at age 40 are recommended by the nation’s leading medical associations and institutions, although many women are still confused by the 2009 United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation and the subsequent announcements by the Canadian National Breast Screening Study (CNBSS), both of which recommend screening every two years and starting at age 50. Major professional medical societies publicly denounced the new guidelines, saying they will cost lives, not save them.
  • Let us dispel the myth that radiation is more damaging to women than mammograms themselves. Not only do the benefits of screening far outweigh the risks, but the amount of radiation exposure has been greatly exaggerated. A modern mammogram exposes a woman to 0.4 millisieverts (mSv), a measure of radiation dose. To put this into perspective, the FAA considers a dose of 20 mSv per year an acceptable level of radiation exposure for flight crews working on commercial airlines. In fact, simply living in the United States for a year exposes you to 3.1 mSv per year from natural sources such as the sun and foods that we eat.
  • While mammograms are important, they do have limitations, especially when it comes to women with denser breast tissue. Breast density, as measured on a mammogram, has been revealed as an important risk factor for breast cancer. Dense breast tissue makes it more difficult to spot cancer on a mammogram, and women who have denser breast tissue may benefit from a supplemental form of screening. Fifteen states have now passed breast density notification laws and many more are sure to follow.
  • Speaking of supplemental screening, there are some exciting new developments in this area. Automated Breast Ultrasound and FAST Breast MRI are two relatively new techniques that are now being used across the country as adjunctive tests to mammography…and with excellent results. While these tests are not typically covered by insurance, the cost is low enough so that they are affordable for most women.
  • For women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, Genomic Tumor Profiling is being used by progressive oncology practices to characterize the nature of their breast cancer and create more personalized, targeted therapy. Oncology and hematology professionals who are using this approach are achieving survival rates that far exceed the national average.

 

Awareness is a good thing, but up-to-date knowledge is even better. It’s important to spread the word to friends, family, physicians and colleagues. Even though this information can be readily found, women are not getting it through regular information channels. Sadly, the national news media these days serve only to confuse the issue by gravitating toward more “controversial” stories, whether or not they are medically substantiated.

There is a great amount of research currently underway, looking at both the causes of, and treatments for, breast cancer. Each year brings new, clinically validated information to light so it makes sense to stay informed.

As always, the best defense in the fight against breast cancer is knowledge. Therefore, let knowledge be the new “pink.”



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Pinterest Isn’t Just for Parties: Why Medical Companies are Prescribing Pinterest for Social Media

Armada Medical Marketing on PinterestWhen most people think of Pinterest they think of recipes, fashion tips and party planning. However, before you dismiss Pinterest for your medical or health care business, think again. The image-bookmarking site currently has 70 million users, and the bloggers over at Digital Marketing Ramblings tell us those users spend an average of 98 minutes a month on the site.

Pinterest works by allowing you to create virtual bulletin boards where you post or “Pin” links to individual boards that you create based on various topics of interest. Pinterest saves the link on your bulletin board as a “Pin,” highlighting any images that go with it, essentially acting as a visual virtual bookmark. Just like Facebook, you can “re-pin” or repost pins, as well as “like” pins. This is similar to sharing or liking a post on Facebook.

The numbers behind the value of a pin are worth noting on this relatively new social medium for businesses. The average pin generates two website visits and six pages views, according to Site Pro News. The potential to increase your search engine optimization (SEO) with Pinterest (i.e., getting your website to show up higher in internet searches) by pinning content from your company’s website is huge. Business Insider found that Pinterest drives more than seven percent of all web traffic back to websites; that’s second only to Facebook and more than Twitter and Reddit combined.

The other big reason health care companies should consider a presence on Pinterest: health care consumers are engaging in buying conversations on the site. A powerful example of this is to do a search on Pinterest for the word “cancer.” Everything from scholarly published research papers, news coverage about cancer studies and treatments, practical advice and inspiration for patients, and products for cancer patients all pop up. Patients at every stage of diagnosis and treatment are forming online communities and talking about multiple aspects of their illness and how to manage them. Most people facing a disease diagnosis are seeking information; Pinterest gives health care companies a way to visually demonstrate to current and potential patients how their test, service or treatment center is best qualified to help them meet their health challenges.

Patient education is another major benefit realized by sharing relevant articles, blog posts and videos on Pinterest. Health care companies can effectively segment their audiences by creating boards with content that specifically appeals to each audience. For example, radiology practices offering both self-referred (vein) and physician-referred (mammogram) procedures could set up Pinterest boards for those respective audiences.

The bottom line on Pinterest: this new social medium is a great way to start and continue key conversations with interested consumers. The formula for success on Pinterest isn’t vastly different than Twitter or Facebook. It all comes down to regularly sharing quality content that’s relevant to your consumers. Pinterest just achieves engagement in a slightly different and more visual way than other social media platforms. Need some ideas on how to get started? Check out how we’re using Pinterest here at Armada Medical Marketing.



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Armada’s On the Move

Armada New Building Exterior

We’re on the move at Armada Medical Marketing! We packed up the office we’ve occupied for the past nine years on 29th Avenue in Denver and we’ve gone ten minutes up the road to a new office in Arvada. We’re still in the process of unpacking, but we are quickly settling into our new space.

Our new address is 6385 West 52nd Avenue, Suite 2A, Arvada, Colorado 80002. Our phone number hasn’t changed; we’re still just a ring away at 303-623-1190. Rest assured while we settle into our new space our commitment to seamlessly serving our clients at the very highest level is still our number one priority.

We remain fully operational, and we would love to hear from you about your medical marketing needs.



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Dr. Seuss and Medical Marketing: Not Odd Friends Indeed!

Armada BoothSpring at Armada means we are gearing up for some of the annual industry conferences at which we attend or exhibit. Our preparations for these conferences had all of us asking, “If we were our own client, what marketing recommendations would we give?” And, then a funny thing happened. A quote from Dr. Seuss found its way into our brainstorming meeting and took hold. Or, to put it in Dr. Seuss terms, we “Thought left and thought right and thought low and thought high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if you only try.”

The question of, “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” inspired us to design a new marketing campaign for our agency. Using the genius and simplicity that Dr. Seuss’s words and characters embody, we decided to creatively position our brand and have a little fun while doing it. Once we nailed down the central theme, our art director got busy creating original Dr. Seuss-inspired characters. Sketches of those characters then became the basis of a new trade show booth we designed, complete with a very Seuss-ical banner display that lets passersby know at a glance that Armada’s core competencies are branding, social media, digital marketing, advertising and public relations.

Direct mailerTo support our new trade show booth, we designed two different pre-show mailers using our original Dr. Seuss-themed artwork and Dr. Seuss-esque language. We also designed posters that serve as tabletop displays of work from our portfolio. The tabletop posters use the same color scheme as the new trade show booth and the Dr. Seuss-like font for an overall coordinated look. We chose teal and lime green as the primary colors on all of the marketing collateral we created to reflect Armada’s new, more modern visual branding launched at the beginning of the year. We have even committed to making our clothes tie-in with the Dr. Seuss theme. What can we say? When we commit, we commit!

We like this approach to marketing ourselves because it is different. It’s eye catching and engages the audience with humor. And, just like Dr. Seuss, meaningful and serious messages are delivered. But in a way that’s creative enough to garner our brand top-of-mind awareness. Or, to quote the poet yet again whose famous words and images have been captivating people for generations, “And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed).”

 



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Keeping the Armada Brand Healthy!

An exciting, challenging and promising 2014 is in store for medical marketing. As a new health care landscape takes shape, Armada Medical is positioned stay ahead of the game, starting with a branding update.

The Armada Medical Marketing 2014 update better reflects what our brand actually delivers. We’re still an agency with an arsenal of marketing firepower, but one that is agilely maneuvering our clients through the turbulent seas of restrictions, regulations and guidelines that impact medical marketing.

As we describe in our opening webpage statement, we understand that highly skeptical and time-challenged audiences require more precisely targeted, persuasive and intelligent messages than ever before—and it was time to update our brand to better reflect that we are uniquely positioned to do just that.

 

Armada Medical Marketing LogoThe Brand

Originally developed in 2002, the Armada brand depicted a traditional “fleet” of ships. This represented the arsenal of health care marketing power and resources that our agency could deliver for our clients. However, the image, style and technology behind the original brand were becoming dated and stale.

Our more modern, streamlined brand identity reflects the forward momentum and continuous innovation that we provide to our clients, helping them prevail over the confusion, the competitors and even the complacency that can reach into the very soul of medical marketing.

The new logo maintains a tie to our original logo and its well-established branding — something our clients and business prospects still recognize as Armada. We kept the original font and removed the drop shadow to further simplify the image. We have also updated the color palette to greens and blues, which are often associated with healing, dependability and freshness. These attributes resonate with sellers and consumers of health care products and services, and are meaningful to health care professionals and their patients.

 

Armada website comparision
The Website

With the new logo finalized, our next task was to update the website with the new branding. Because the old site included flash-based moving parts and navigation, and since flash is no longer supported on many mobile and tablet devices, a total redesign was in order.

The result is a new, fully updated and responsive Armada Medical website that is easily viewed on mobile and tablet devices, as well as traditional desktops. The content has been reorganized so that navigation is easier to see and simpler to use. We shifted the focus from the ship theme to a large, rotating banner of our agency’s strengths. The result is a site that’s much cleaner, easier to read and navigate, and more modern looking in coordination with the updated visual branding.

 

Home Page Scroller

Included in the website redesign is a home page scroller that moves though the major sections of the website. This provides clearly visible and instant access to the most important sections of the site, enabling the visitor to quickly discover what we’re all about.

 

The Portfolio

Armada PortfolioThe Portfolio section of the Armada website also underwent a significant update. The old flash-based technology called up another smaller window on the website (see example of old portfolio), making the images smaller and harder to navigate.

The new section includes a java script portfolio that is responsive (resizes to the users screen) and has our service categories across the top for ease of navigation, with thumbnails below for quick and easy viewing of our work samples.

 

Team Page

We’ve also added a new “meet our team” feature. This may seem like a small addition, but we wanted our clients to feel more connected to us and know the team that is working hard for their company. Visitors can now put a face to the name, and the page comes with a surprise roll-over option to let visitors know we are an intelligent and hard working – but also fun – group to work with!

 

Armada Medical Marketing new branding collateral

The Other Stuff

Of course, after updating our logo and website, our job was still not done. After the rebranding and website updates, all of the agency’s marketing collateral was updated to make sure our new brand was consistent in all of our communications both external and internal.

We hope you enjoy our refreshed new look as we sail through the changing world of medical marketing, experiencing the challenges and rewards of amazing services and incredible technology every day.



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Armada Earns Healthcare Marketing Honors

It was a great night at the Colorado Healthcare Communicators (CHC) 2013 Gold Leaf Awards last night! Armada Medical Marketing sponsored the new-this-year After Party, offering the signature Armada Colada and a raffle of local Denver gifts and goodies.

Check out the CHC’s Twitter hashtag #GoldLeafAwards for complete coverage of last night’s award ceremony. Photos from the event will be shared on CHC’s Facebook page!

 

We’re very proud of the six projects that the CHC judges deemed worthy of awards:

  • Writing: Sales/Marketing Material – “From Manuscript to Medical Marketing” for Atherotech Diagnostics Lab

 

  • Social Media: Other Social Medium – “Broadcasting Breast Cancer Awareness
    on YouTube”
    for Radiology Associates of Hartford

 

  • Collateral over $10,000 – “Mitroflow Valsalva Conduit Collateral System” for Sorin Group

 

  • Social Media: Twitter – “Tweeting to a Physician Network” for Atherotech Diagnostics Lab

 

  • Event: Large – “Changing Hearts and Minds” a campaign for the American College of Cardiology Scientic Sessions for Atherotech Diagnostics Lab

 

  • Media Relations: Proactive Story Placements – “Driving participants to the Mammothon through Effective Media Relations” Radiology Associates of Hartford

For a full list of all of Armada’s awards visit our Awards and Honors page.
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