A major teaching hospital needed an upcoming ad campaign to really come through…

Capital campaigns are familiar to anyone working in healthcare. Jersey City Medical Center (JCMC) was about to launch their most challenging campaign to date, and they realized that a consumer-focused advertising campaign was needed. However, a series of key stakeholder interviews revealed that some stakeholders felt JCMC had a weak brand image and low awareness. The medical center was also up against competitors in New York City and it was assumed that people preferred the big city hospitals.

The marketing department wasn’t convinced. Key person interviews are important, but consumer input is as well. The marketing team knew that they needed to analyze the opinions and perceptions of consumers in their primary and secondary service areas to develop a picture of what their brand stood for.

A Partner in Market Insight
The hospital partnered with Bruno and Ridgway to develop core research objectives and a comprehensive questionnaire. Once approved, the research project consisted of 230 consumer interviews done by phone over a period of five days.

The objectives were to determine:

  • the competitive position of the hospital
  • key strengths (as well as weaknesses)
  • critical brand attributes
  • the level of choice captured in terms of the consumer’s mindset

The data revealed that the hospital:

  • had strong brand awareness
  • was the hospital of choice by more than double its nearest competitor
  • was recognized as having facility newness, which demonstrated innovation and being on the cutting edge
  • had a high level of technology, physician leadership and strengths in certain service lines

Using Research to Build a Brand
The results from the consumer assessment study became the foundation for the general advertising and capital campaign communication initiatives. The campaign included a strong voice and multiple mediums. It also communicated the relationship the hospital maintained with the community, which the survey results clearly demonstrated. The style of the ads was also driven by the research, which provided a blueprint on how to stand out in the crowded NYC marketplace.

Confidence Through Ad Testing
Based on the research, the ad team developed three concepts and tested each. The ads were tested with a panel of consumers representing a cross-section of the population in several media formats including print, outdoor, television and radio. All the executions were tested for likeability, meaningfulness, believability and persuasion.

“We Belong to You” became the winning theme. Bruno and Ridgway’s proven ad survey approach was critical in assisting the client in choosing the winning campaign. It also provided the marketing and communications team with the tools to present the “right” concept to the medical leadership and senior executive team. Any potential bias that existed toward a particular ad was quickly changed once the data was presented. The decision was obvious.

Award-Winning and Outperforming
The campaign launched in the fourth quarter of 2015 and concluded at the end of May 2016.

The pretest ad metric scores for “We Belong to You” were rated “best in class.” Using an average baseline of 50%, the ads scored in excess of 65% in all three rating categories, with an overall campaign rating of 63%.

A unique marketing microsite was created for the ad campaign to measure results using metrics such as website visits, landing page views and new appointment requests.

Based on the targeted mediums, the campaign clearly outperformed, both in strategic placement and ad content. Within twelve months, the capital campaign generated over 20% of its baseline fundraising goal.

Click here for a downloadable PDF with the award-winning ad.

Using Consumer Insights to Drive the Development of an Award-Winning Brand Campaign