Going Local: Mayo Clinic Adapts Its International Reputation to Nearby Markets and Facilities in the Upper Midwest

May 26, 2015

Advertising Worth Noting

By Peter Hochstein

The internationally known Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, is among the world’s few destination medical facilities. Popular perceptions were, and probably still are, that it’s where you go for the gravest cases, the ones that can’t be handled wherever else in the world you live.

Patrick Hunt

Patrick Hunt

Recently, changing conditions in the health care marketplace have expanded this venerable institution’s mission. These days, in addition to its destination facility in Rochester, with satellites in Arizona and Florida, the Mayo Clinic has acquired 70 different community hospitals and clinics in the upper Midwest. These offer what Patrick Hunt, Chairman and CEO of Hunt Adkins, the Mayo Clinic’s advertising agency, describes as “at your doorstep-type facilities from the world’s leading health care provider.”

Adam Brase

Adam Brase

The Mayo Clinic began acquiring these facilities in the 1990s and early 2000s, under the umbrella of a holding company, says Adam Brase, Division Chair—Marketing, Mayo Clinic. Currently, these community practices form a network that treats about half a million patients annually—a traffic volume roughly equal to that of the clinic itself, according to Brase. But the local system’s image was initially somewhat on the fuzzy side.

“We had a fair body of consumer data that showed us that people somehow knew Mayo Clinic was tied to these local community practices, but weren’t sure what it meant,” Brase says.

Further, he adds, “Most folks would associate our brand with highly specialized health care. They did not typically associate us with primary and community care, and in these markets, that was an important distinction for us.”

So with the assistance of Hunt Adkins, a regional campaign was launched in 2010 to “help consumers in those markets understand the Mayo Clinic connection—and particularly the benefit to them in their local communities.”

Read on to explore the campaign May Clinic and Hunt Adkins created to address this branding issue—and learn how the campaign changed over time.


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