“Why the health sector often fails and what we can learn from it?”
There is much to learn from the marketing failures of the health sector. They are far too focussed on short term wins, and constantly need to find new buyers to replace the old. When it comes to your brand, are you in it for quick bumps in your bottom line or are you after something longer term?
Consider your own encounters with the health sector.
Ever joined a gym or gone on a diet or started taking a vitamin or herb? Did you stay with it for a month, six months perhaps a year maybe even two? What happened?
Marketing is creating an emotional connection with someone to generate a response. I want to look slimmer, so I join a gym for example. In a short period I may feel or see the results. The problem is, once you see the initial goals reached, many people will start to lose interest. There is limited marketing to those who have started on a fitness journey to keep going.
Historically, big change requires time no matter how easy it is to see right from wrong. Take the abandonment of slavery, when the line was finally drawn in the sand and it was ended, it was the result of arguably hundreds of years of messaging and wider changes in behaviour. It didn’t just happen because someone woke up one morning and said let’s get rid of slavery. Human nature does not work that way.
Going back to the health sector and you see it is generally more focussed on getting you buy initially, and then relies largely on you staying with the product or service because you feeling good within yourself should be enough of an incentive.
It’s the revolution versus evolution approach to marketing. Let me give you some examples of how this can work for your brand…
Ask yourself: What are you trying to do with your product or service?
Are you trying to create an evolution? or revolution?
See, the problem with revolution is you’re asking two people to make an instant change, to adopt your product or service like that. The reality is: That’s not how it happens.
Good products and services take time to adapt particularly if they’re really different and then you want them to be sustained. That’s the problem with so many things which ask you to make a change in your lifestyle, like going to the gym. It’s one thing to convince you to get in the door and take up that membership.
It’s another thing fears to sustain it because things that are sustainable take a time to adapt to, and so it is with new products and services as well.
If you want people to make that change like they did in the smartphone, it didn’t happen in one go. The world didn’t suddenly take onboard a new smartphone and see the need for it.
But now, over time everybody, pretty much as one.
So if you want that to happen, learn the lesson. Revolutions take an evolution. They take time in order for people to adapt them, adapt to them, and for it to be sustainable.
If you want to have customers who stay with you long term, then the goals need to evolve gradually. You never stop building the relationship and marketing the next step.
The health sector is full of brands selling alternative medicines, therapies, gyms, personal trainers, weight loss centres etc. They are selling one dream without really marketing a reason why they should stay. What’s more, in many cases the revolutionary approach means people have reacted without going on an educational journey first, so the changes they make will be far greater than any one-off diet for example.
Education is the friend of evolution. Slowly helping people see the benefits of your product or service will help them buy into your brands journey. It allows you to keep moving the goalposts.
When the first smartphones came out we had no idea how capable they would become. When we buy the latest version we are wowed, so why two years later do we buy another new one. We are marketed to on features we did not even know we wanted and we quite happy without before, but we have been educated into the journey.
It gets down to one of the core problems brand leaders have, recognising they have multiple audiences. Each one requires its own marketing and communication approach. Never forget existing clients are one of those audiences. Indeed there may be multiple audiences within that section of your audience, based on anything from demographics to state of mind.