Out of Network
Promo Marketing had certain expectations when interviewing sources for the health care feature: We'd hear about hospitals and sunscreen, mostly. While we did hear about those, we learned something new: Health care promotions no longer revolve around health care companies or products. The most successful wellness-related promotions were ones for companies outside of the health care market that used items not typically seen at hospitals and health centers. Here's how to tackle the health care market from the outside.
While Scott M. Slade, president of Hauppauge, New York-based Lanco Corporation, listed markets good for health care promotions—health and fitness centers, spas, pharmacies, doctor's offices, nursing homes—he stressed that they are not the only companies interested in health items. "Health care products are also attractive to non-health-related business," he said. He offered an example. "We manufactured a very large quantity of credit card hand sanitizer sprays for a cobranding initiative between Walmart and two credit card companies," he said. "The hand sanitizer container looked like a credit card along with the artwork, which looked like a card. It was the perfect combination of a great branding initiative with a functional form factor and an item that has mass appeal." He listed more opportunities for health care items in non-health fields: lip balms and sunscreen for ski resorts and beach clubs; and hand sanitizers, first-aid kits and pill cases for offices or schools.
If you want to stick to health care clients for the time being, Menda Wright, sales manager/owner of Creative Studio Promotions, Grand Rapids, Mich., suggested making connections with one health care organization to find more. "We have established relationships with key people in these large organizations, and they have referred us to their partners, like the rehab and home health care centers," she said. She added that open houses are a great way to cultivate new business. "We met one of our best clients when she just happened to come to our open house and we hit it off on a personal level. When she was promoted to a decision-making position, she recommended us," she said. Wright listed hospitals, health insurance companies, physical rehab centers, home health care companies and community health service organizations as good in-industry leads in the health care market.
Slade noted that the most popular items for the health care market are ones that work for any industry. "Health care items, such as lip balm and hand sanitizers, are frequently used items with a broad appeal," he said. He added that since users apply lip balm and hand sanitizers often, your client would likely receive increased impressions. Wright added sunscreen and bandage dispensers to Slade's list of typical health care products.
Wright also mentioned product categories that you might not normally consider for health care: beverage insulators, grocery totes, drinkware, pens, athletic apparel, polo shirts, blankets, beach balls and umbrellas. In fact, using an assortment of items not typically associated with health care can be more successful than bundling similar products. "We have tried to bundle items in this category but it has proven unsuccessful," Slade said. Wright, however, has had success using apparel and other non-health items in hospital promotions. She mentioned a popular promotion that used a mix of typical and atypical health care products. The promotion was for a hospital that sponsors an Irish jig race (pictured above right). "We provided 5,000 long-sleeve technical fabric tees, ear bands, texting gloves, windbreakers and hand sanitizer for the runners," she said.