How Behavioral Science Can Boost Engagement and Patient Action

March 31, 2016
Kirstan Cecil, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer at Saint Agnes Hospital

Kirstan Cecil, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer at Saint Agnes Hospital

“The key to successful health care marketing is being able to anticipate how patients will react to and engage with the messages you are putting out,” says Kirstan Cecil, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer at Saint Agnes Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, which is part of the Ascension Health System.

Saint Agnes Hospital is a 276-bed, full-service teaching hospital that operates six specialty institutes in addition to a variety of outpatient and preventive health services. Challenges facing the hospital in recent years have included keeping its community healthy and understanding how to engage with and attract more patients to take advantage of the system’s preventive health services in both bariatric and cardiovascular service lines.

To address the issue, Saint Agnes worked with its creative partner, Crosby Marketing, to develop campaigns that connected with patients on an emotional level and tapped into the subconscious drivers of behavior.

One example was a new Saint Agnes campaign to encourage prospective bariatric patients to connect with the hospital and register to attend a seminar—the first step in the surgical process.

In the past, Saint Agnes had used before-and-after photos of patients and also included testimonials. “We had good results but we knew we were just scratching the surface,” Cecil says. Therefore, for this campaign, the hospital wanted to make more of an impact so it decided to take these efforts to the next level. “We created a series of powerful TV testimonials and used people of different ages and races with different stories,” she says. Ultimately, the campaign focused on the power of social norming to motivate prospects to take action.

The results from the campaign were impressive. There was an 817 percent increase in Web traffic and a 92 percent increase in seminar attendance and enrollment. In fact, more than 3,000 people have enrolled in bariatric seminars during the campaign push.

To learn more details about Saint Agnes’ success story with this campaign, including the key role of social media, read the full article now: One Hospital’s Approach to Tapping into the Subconscious to Motivate People’s Behavior, and 5 Steps Your Organization Can Try to Replicate the Results.

Best regards,
Matt Humphrey

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