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Topic: Advertising/PR

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Help Creating A Marketing Campaign For A Client

Posted by brettstapper on 125 Points
I own an outdoor advertising company in Costa Rica, we have only built and rent billboards for the last two years but just got offered a very good contract with a new hospital in the area which is one of the largest investments in our providence.

They are looking to get direct to the Americans and Europeans living here and also getting people who are already on vacation to realize medical tourism is an option and come back later.

Apart from our billboards, what are some creative, possible BTL advertising solutions that I can offer this client?

I need to creative here!

  • Posted by SteveTheMarketer on Accepted
    You could silk screen the billboard art (or variations of it) on card stock, poster paper, banner nylon or vinyl etc. for promotional projects such as event announcements, special programs for tourists and the like. Of course, the key would be how to distribute these smaller formats. Any ideas on where these might be seen in your area?

    Do they have a written marketing plan? Will they share it with you? Are they planning for social media programs? If you know what they are planning, then you can think creatively about how you can provide added value with your services.

  • Posted by brettstapper on Author
    They did not give me very much to work. They gave us a $60,000.00 budget per year and said, build us a marketing campaign. Not very large but for our company and this country, it is a pretty good budget for us.

    Since we are a tourist area, I was going to target the car rentals, resorts, hotels, etc. for print distribution, also, I want to get magnets made that can be placed on fridges of all the condos, apartments, and rental homes.

    The billboards are the easiest part of the campaign because that has been our business and we understand, this other stuff we are making up as we go.

    I am going to request a marketing plan from them as we move forward.

    What are some other creative ways I could get their brand in front of the tourists and the locals who live here? Have you guys seen anything that really stood out for hospital marketing?
  • Posted by SteveTheMarketer on Member
    First is immediate medical need marketing. Tourist get sick and injured, especially the surfing kind. Where do they go now for help? How do they discover the best place to go when they need help? Is it word-of-mouth from locals and service workers? Is it smartphone apps? Or??

    Second, is longer term, planned vacation marketing for medical needs. For example, does the hospital have kidney dialysis machines? Or other special needs medical care that people will consider when planning a vacation?

    It's really about the planning. You need to see what planning they have first, then research from there.
  • Posted by Gail@PUBLISIDE on Accepted
    Expand your base with social media. If you're a friendly, quality location, word will travel quickly if you share and engage via social media.
  • Posted by Moriarty on Accepted


    Let us grab the core of the issue here: Europeans and Americans.

    This idea is so creative that many professional marketers don't get it.

    YOUR TASK: find out who their **best clients are**. The ones that make them the biggest profits. Focus on them - and find out who they are. They will have something in common. They will all like Frank Sinatra or Pizza Napoletanas for example. This is really difficult to get your head around, and the easiest way is to try it. Do the metrics, get their likes and dislikes.

    Then you can start advertising across the Western world at low rates and reasonable success - the point is that you will find your ideal client wherever they are. Not only that, your advertisement will appeal to them in a way that no other will.

    Try it, get back to me for more detailed advice.

    To your success, Moriarty xx
  • Posted by Gary Bloomer on Accepted
    Direct mail might serve you well—IF you can work with
    the managers of local hotels, time shares, condos, and resorts to place aligned marketing messages in the form of brochures or sales letters in people's hotel rooms.

    Most people on vacation are on vacation: they're not
    in outright buying mode and sadly, most people view billboards as an intrusion—as a visual blight on the landscape.

    Unless your billboards connect with people's needs to
    see a doctor ... by turning left or right .... right here, right now, most billboard messages won't connect with people's attention. Billboards are rather like full page ads in broadsheet newspapers: they look impressive but their results in terms of converting readers to buyers are generally less effective than the people selling billboards or full page advertising would have people believe.

    Sadly, when it comes to creating measurable actions in terms of sales, most roadside billboards miss the mark and are a waste of perfectly good marketing dollars.

  • Posted by peg on Accepted
    Almost all of the medical tourism market (Americans and Europeans) is made up of people facing expensive elective or non-emergency surgery. The vast majority of these people have not been to Costa Rica, so you need to reach them where they live. Their principal concern is cost.

    By comparison, vacationers in Costa Rica are there to be carefree, and will not be terribly interested in medical care as a vacation topic.

    So, to reach the market that matters, one needs an effective online marketing campaign, beginning with a website (and easy-to-remember web address) and including social media and online advertising in specified locales. The billboard on the side of the hospital should also feature the website address. This is the best use of your $60,000 budget. A print or direct mail campaign directed to tourists will not survive the trip home -- it will remain (with your budget) in the waste bin of the hotel.

    FYI, Medical tourism in places such as Malaysia and South Africa is maturing and their marketing offers you good examples to follow. They often work with medical tourism specialists -- essentially travel agents who help patients find the best surgical alternative, and arrange the logistics for them. A bit of Googling will bring you information and examples.

    With respect to Americans, there are two chief concerns to address: quality of care, and cost. They can't afford surgical mistakes because their insurance won't help them -- so your hospital needs to be perfect in the field(s) in which they specialize. One "bad" story in the American press will ruin their opportunity to attract more long-distance business -- medical care in Mexico has suffered from this problem. On your website, you'll need to profile the expert surgeons to build confidence, and also detail the after-care to eliminate questions.

    For example, in the U.S., a knee surgery without any complications costs about $55,000-$60,000. This procedure is not an emergency and can be planned in advance, so it's a good candidate for medical tourism. The same knee surgery in an outstanding Malaysian facility costs about $5,000-$7,000, and includes a week of recovery in a resort-like atmosphere where one's spouse is also included. Add to this the cost of airline tickets (business class usually, because injured people can't always squeeze into a coach seat).

    Similarly, cosmetic surgery in South Africa costs about 20% of what it might cost in the U.S., and recovery can be coupled with a safari.

    For your purposes, focus localized online advertising on American cities/regions that have non-stop service to Costa Rica, such as Miami, Atlanta, Houston and Dallas. It's easier to sell these services in a market with non-stop service than it is to sell connections, which can be hard on those needing surgery.

    Then, the hospital billboard should be designed in a similar style to the website, and it should broadcast the website address. Travelers have cell phones and they'll do their own research from there.

    If you want to reach travelers in their hotel rooms, then buy advertising (or better, compose a short video or slide show as advertising) that plays on their hotel room televisions. You'd be surprised how many times a visitor will watch such a message. Feature an easy-to-remember website address -- it will have more impact than print.

    Hope these ideas help you formulate a worthwhile campaign.

  • Posted by carrie77 on Moderator
    Hi Everyone,

    I am closing this question since it's more than 2 weeks old. We do this to reward the contributions of participants in a timely manner + to give increased visibility to the newer questions.

    Thanks for participating!
    Carrie (Production Editor)

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