The Buyer’s Journey Part 1: Awareness

by Tim Hanners - 10/06/15

In order to engage—and, ultimately, convert—your target audience, content must be created and distributed with a purpose. 


How can healthcare marketers identify what consumers want and on what channels to engage them?

The Rules Have Changed

The marketing landscape has changed drastically between this Radio Shack newspaper ad and today:


All of the information in this ad can now be found on online and, with smartphones becoming mainstream and increasingly more sophisticated, users are able to access the Internet from anywhere at anytime. As a result, the number of Internet users has increased to 2 million new users per year—a number that is continuously growing.

According to Smart Insights, mobile use has reached the tipping point and surpassed desktop usage. At True North, we know that 60 percent of our healthcare consumer audience engages with content from a mobile device. Without a doubt, this has an impact on the types of content marketers must provide. Content must be easily found, engaging, and formatted appropriately to be viewed on screens of all sizes.

Create Content Your Subscribers Want to Read

How do healthcare marketers create the most relevant and engaging content for their audiences? In our recent survey of more than 5,000 healthcare content readers, we saw a strong preference for lifestyle-focused content. In fact, the top three selections are Nutrition, Staying Active, and Holistic Health. 

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Cleveland Clinic, one of the industry's most innovative marketing leaders, published a blog post focusing on Chinese medicine that went viral and continues to drive traffic to their holistic clinic today.

Hospitals that deliver content that is uniquely tailored to their audience and addresses their specific needs typically experience a 6:1 return on their marketing investment. 

A Delicate Balance

Your top neurosurgeons may be disappointed that readers don’t want to read about the latest surgical technology or the newest addition to their practice. Audiences are seeking content that is relevant to their interests and helpful in answering their questions.

Here are the top health concerns indicated by our survey participants:

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The top health concerns are not a surprise, but consider what is missing. 

No respondents asked to see more information about advancements in medicine, new technology, or a letter from the CEO. 

Hospital updates are still important and must be communicated. However, the 6:1 ROI starts to dwindle when hard-sell’ content (such as advancements in medicine, technology, staff changes) outweighs content that’s relevant and useful for your audience.

When hospital news and lifestyle content are blended, you can still get the word out about the latest technologies while delivering engaging and meaningful content that establishes a relationship between your hospital and your community.

Key Takeaways

  • Readers are still engaging with print, but are also consuming content online.
  • Audiences respond best to lifestyle-focused, soft sell content.
  • A blend of lifestyle-focused content with hospital-specific details sprinkled throughout experiences a 6:1 ROI.

Learn more about engaging your audience where they’re looking for wellness resources:

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