A prescription for powerful storytelling

prescription drugs

Photo: Eric Hunsaker (CC)

Health care is a topic we’re talking a lot about these days. Insurance, home remedies, side effects, medical breakthroughs and addiction are but a few of the things likely to come up in casual conversation.

Marketing the industry comes with its own set of challenges, primarily tight restrictions on disclosures. What’s surprising is that the United States is one of the few industrialized nations that allows direct-to-consumer mass marketing for pharmaceuticals.

One way to reach people in an information-cluttered world is through storytelling, says Jim Curtis, president of Remedy Health Media. In his article for MM&M, he offers five ways to incorporate storytelling in health care marketing.

These options can apply to other industries, too.

  1. Use data to validate, not explain. Stories should take priority over statistics and charts.
  2. Make the customer the hero. Rather than the brand, the drug or the doctor.
  3. Aim to enlighten, not to sell. Empowering consumers to ask questions and do research can be a more persuasive tactic.
  4. Universalize the story. Not everyone deals with a specific medical condition, but they do understand the fear, anxiety and hope that come with diagnosis and treatment.
  5. Use the flexibility of digital media. Make sure the story works for various screen sizes and social channels.

Learn more about using storytelling in marketing on Jim’s post.

We have many tools when it comes to marketing within our industries. For health care, storytelling can become an effective way to break through the clutter and engage people with empathy and personal connections.

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About Wade Kwon

Wade Kwon is conference director for Y'all Connect. See his full bio.

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