Most health marketing lands about as well as a radio ad targeting deaf people.
We know that’s a bold statement, and we’re not saying that all health marketing lacks insight or creative strategy. But we are saying that unless your audience’s mindset is coaxed from a fixed mindset into a growth mindset, then your business’ own growth objective cannot be achieved. They simply cannot hear you yet.
Healthcare and growth
Healthcare as a profession is firmly founded – arguably far more than any other – on the principle of a growth mindset. Healthcare exists to improve, to better, to cure, to transform.
Every healthcare professional spends many years learning and training, and then step onto a treadmill of continuing professional development. Finally, every HCP swears upon the Hippocratic Oath to treat every patient to the best of their ability and to apply the very latest knowledge to their treatment.
But when we look at HCPs’ willingness to reconsider new drugs, products or treatment pathways, we see something curious: they’re stuck in their ways.
The irony of fixed mindset HCPs
HCPs are often under intense daily pressures; to retain enormous amounts of information, continuous risk management, the responsibilities of lives, treating more patients than they have time, environmental and budget limitations. The list goes on.
Juggling and navigating all of these pressures requires great efficiency. So it’s understandable that a fixed mindset can build over time.
For example, you’re a GP with five patient consultations in one hour. You see a patient with fairly characteristic symptoms, your fixed mindset quickly reaches a conclusion, and you prescribe what you usually prescribe for such conditions. Over time, this builds to a near auto-pilot response.
For more information about how mindsets form and how they function, see our last article on The Science Behind Mindset.
The problem of fixed mindset marketers
For their part, health marketers can be equally resistant to change. Wedded to outdated channels, committed to a generic, characterless tone of voice, framing health issues in a stern, dictatorial way rather than an empowering way.
We’d go as far as to say that health marketing is suffering with category inertia. Paint-by-numbers creative with the same visual language, the same sterile scenes and tired tropes time and time again.
The defence we often hear for this is ‘regulations’. Health will always be strictly regulated, and with good reason. But too many health brands allow their marketing to be stunted and shaped by regulation instead of finding innovative ways to work alongside compliance. This results in a creative strategy that has little in the way of creativity. This does not need to be the case.
Another quality of health marketing that keeps it within a fixed mindset is pandering to stereotypes about HCPs and patients. Like assuming that a 50+ year old demographic are ‘old’ and want to live in the way that our grandparents lived. Assuming that doctors will only listen to cold-hard stats and not their emotions.
How marketers can shift their audience to a growth mindset
Most businesses are seeking growth – that’s a given. But to achieve this is never an easy feat. To convince someone to adopt your product or service requires those people to see a need for change; to realise they have a problem to address in the first place. Without this need in place, they’ll never step into a growth mindset. Or pay attention, understand, consider, compare, and finally choose a new path.
It is absurd, then, that so many brands choose a fixed mindset creative strategy, when they need to achieve the opposite from their audience.
First, it is key to understand mindset fully. And appreciate that disruption and emotion are powerful tools to combat a fixed mindset and encourage reflection. From here, creativity can flow with the power to unlock a decision-maker’s growth mindset.
So what does disruptive creative strategy look like? It rejects stale stereotypes, approaches the issues your audience face in unique ways. It is aspirational, challenges assumptions, and appeals to a HCP as a human with human emotions, just as much as it acknowledges their intelligence and rationality.
To play it safe with your marketing only allows your audience to continue following the status quo. Instead, it is critical that agencies and marketers go way beyond their current strategic and creative rationale to put mindset change at the heart of their creative strategy.
If you’re ready to turn your back on tired and open your mind to growth mindset marketing, please get in touch through our contact form, or by emailing our Creative Director, Phil, directly at [email protected]