A New (and Effective) Spin on Health Care Testimonials

January 24, 2019
Dawn French, senior vice president, marketing and community outreach at White Plains Hospital

Dawn French, senior vice president, marketing and community outreach at White Plains Hospital

In the testimonial-heavy world of hospital advertising, is there a fresh way of doing a testimonial campaign? How well can it perform for you? And what can you do to increase the impact of the advertising?

In our new article, SHCM contributor and veteran copywriter Peter Hochstein looks at a new type of testimonial that has performed very well for one New York hospital. Here’s an excerpt:

Testimonials — especially in TV spots — are almost as ubiquitous in the world of hospital advertising as images of white-coated doctors. Or at least, they’re as ubiquitous as those white-coat images once were, before many hospital marketers decided to avoid them at all costs, in an effort to avoid looking “generic.”

So you’d think that especially in the New York market, where New York-Presbyterian Hospital has been running an emotion-packed, first-person testimonial campaign with a strong media presence for years now, anybody else would be shut out of an approach in which patients discuss how a hospital helped them overcome their ailments and get back to their lives.

If so, you’d be thinking wrong.

In suburban Westchester County, just north of New York City, where spillover from the city’s hospital broadcast ads has the potential to all but drown out local advertisers, 125-year-old White Plains Hospital, with 292 beds and roughly 220,000 outpatient visits a year, has been effectively using its own variety of patient testimonials. The results have been surprisingly impressive.

According to Dawn French, senior vice president, marketing and community outreach for the hospital, a campaign focused on orthopedics led to an eightfold increase in requests for appointments while the ads ran from the fall of 2017 to the spring of 2018.

Read more: “Docu-monials?” Whatever You Decide to Call Them, Testimonials with a Difference for White Plains Hospital Demonstrably Motivate Appointment Requests

Best regards,
Matt Humphrey

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