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4 Essential Elements of a Great Healthcare Marketing Print Ad

I recently came across a healthcare print ad published by Hartford Healthcare in the Hartford Business Journal (December 3, 2012), titled “Healthcare Matters: Communications in Health Care”.  For some reason that ad caught my eye and as I read it through, I was captivated by a brilliant marketing piece.

What I took away from that ad is that there are specific qualities that make a print ad interesting to a reader. I believe these are the four essential elements for a powerful healthcare print advertisement:

 #1. Use Standout Imagery

We eat with our eyes first!

compelling image of breakfast pancakes

Outstanding images provide persuasive eye candy to the consumer


The first thing I noticed in the ad was a great image of the President and CEO of Hartford Healthcare in the lower right corner.  I immediately thought “Oh, that’s the guy who runs the show.” Immediately the article felt personal and relevant, as if I knew him. The image conveyed that he is a real person with whom I was about to have a personal conversation.

The primary goal of imagery in advertising is to quickly capture the attention of your audience and to engage or motivate them to read the remaining content.

#2. Reflect Your Brand Identity

In the upper left and right corners I noticed Hartford Healthcare’s simple and elegant brand logo, with its ideal size and subtle, inviting colors. It is important for healthcare marketing strategies to establish brand identity. A healthcare company’s brand is easily recognized by its logo, which helps people to understand what your brand stands for.

However there’s more to brand identity than a mere logo. In a 2009 article titled The Significance Of Establishing A Prominent Brand Identity the author put it this way:

“Trust and credibility are essential to establishing a relationship with customers.

Without them, people have no reason to believe anything about your business.The identity created on a website, through advertising and in interactions with people at a company, persists even after customers leave their computers, close their magazines, or hang up their phones.

Some may suggest that brand is the image, the graphic look, or the logo of a company. But, it is more than that. It’s what people remember.”

 #3. Intrigue and Educate with Content

Here’s the first line of another interesting ad I came across, “The Big Apple is not as sweet as it used to be.” This is what is commonly known as an impact statement or a lead-in statement.  It is a compelling statement designed to hook the reader, draw him in, and persuade him to read further. The article was successful in achieving that goal.

The focus of this piece was to draw attention to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed ban on specific sugary beverages at entertainment venues. I was intrigued by the author’s ability to balance just the right amount of opinion with facts, interesting statistics, and enlightening information including the financial impact of this issue. The effect it had on me was:

1. I felt educated and walked away with a greater knowledge about the issue
2. I understood better the proposed government changes
3. I felt my opinion and input were valuable as reflected in the call-to-action

 #4. Engage with a Call-To-Action

A call-to-action (CTA) charts a path toward a company’s vision or product by asking readers to commit to concrete actions that advance the goals of the company. Your CTA should also include as many contact options as needed to encourage consumers to reach you and find out more about your service.

Hartford Healthcare’s CTA was prominently located at the bottom of the article, in a highlighted area that made it easy for me to contact the company with my comments and obtain further information about this issue.  For more inspiration on CTA’s, check out this  article, which highlights some effective call-to-action strategies specifically for healthcare markets and healthcare marketing strategies.

Quick Wrap-up

Including these four elements in your marketing strategy will help you establish the desired results, which are to quickly capture the reader’s attention with a strong title and appealing imagery, to generate interest and loyalty to your company through branding, to inform and educate through compelling content and to drive consumer behavior through your CTA. Great job Hartford Healthcare in employing these elements and succeeding.

Over to You: What other elements do you consider important for your healthcare print advertisements?

Yvonne Barber 4 Tips for Promoting Your Hospital Brand Strategy


Yvonne Barber is the Wordsmith & Content Marketeer for Design Theory, a Florida-based web design firm that provides social media management, email, domain registration, and graphic design services. Aside from writing content for client websites, brochures, and all marketing communications Yvonne blogs weekly for Design Theory on various subjects and across several social media channels.






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