How to Reach Your Target Audience When You Don’t Know Who It Is Yet

February 1, 2013

by Peter Hochstein

Peter HochsteinQuick, who’s your target audience?

Some health care marketers might say, “Adult women. They’re the primary decision makers when it comes to family health care.”

Or “I’m building traffic for our pediatric unit. So it’s young mothers.” Or “Couples who’ve had trouble conceiving – for our fertility center.”

But if you’re selling rehab services, you’re dealing with one of the branches of medicine in which you simply can’t pinpoint candidates for your services in advance.

Or as Joan Gubernick, chief marketing officer of Einstein Healthcare Network in Philadelphia, puts it: “When it’s a traumatic injury, it’s something you haven’t planned for, you hadn’t previously been diagnosed with, and you don’t expect. So your decision is in the moment.”

Einstein Healthcare Network operates MossRehab, a 197-bed rehabilitation provider with six inpatient and 13 outpatient locations. “We’re growing,” says Gubernick. The growth is occurring in a local market that she describes as “multi-tiered,” with at least four institutional competitors for rehab patients, as well as skilled nursing facilities and a myriad of outpatient rehabilitation practices.

With MossRehab’s audience consisting of “almost any­one,” the primary advertising task was to “really sur­round the area and get everyone there familiar with Moss,” says Steve Red, president and chief creative officer at Red Tettemer + Partners, the facility’s ad­vertising agency.

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