Breast Cancer Campaign to be Highlighted During August AMA Program

22 07 2011

In June, AMA Milwaukee named the recipients of its Excellence in Marketing awards. The awards are given to Wisconsin companies that demonstrate exceptional marketing strategy, execution and results.

Bvk was honored to receive recognition for a breast cancer campaign developed for Mission Hospital in Orange County, California. Mission operates two facilities and both were experiencing a general decline in mammogram appointments and increased competition from both free-standing, investor-owned sites and competing area hospitals. As a result, bvk was asked to develop a campaign that would increase mammogram volume by 13% (200 cases) over a four week period.

Research had shown awareness of breast cancer was at an all time high. However, less than half of the women who should have been getting screened were taking preventive measures. All of the facts and figures were not moving women to take action. Instead of relying on a rational appeal, a compelling, emotional approach was used by bvk to move women to action.

Bus Shelter Poster

The core message was simple — women die of breast cancer and early prevention saves lives. The twist was in the delivery. Unexpected spokesmen were used, including a father, husband and son who each had all lost a woman in their lives as a result of breast cancer.

A TV spot, bus shelter posters, bus sides, posters, rich media banner ads, a landing page and earned media were part of the integrated campaign.

The work cut through the clutter and proliferation of pink by changing the conversation. Mission Hospital exceeded its volume goal with 267 mammograms scheduled and the best news was that 67 percent of the women scheduling were first time patients.

Learn more about micro campaigns and this particular case by attending the August 16th AMA luncheon at the Italian Conference Center. The event begins at 11:15 a.m. with networking, followed by lunch and three 20 minute presentations.

In addition to bvk, work created by Bader Rutter and Boelter + Lincoln will be discussed. A little insight on each project is offered below. I would love to see you there if you have interest. Registration information and full details for the luncheon event can be found online at 

Dimensional Mailer

Budget: Less than $250,000
Winner: Boelter + Lincoln for client Strattec Security Corporation
Boelter + Lincoln’s direct marketing and PR campaign for automotive lock manufacturer Strattec Security Corporation took top honors in the “Under $250,000” budget category. Boelter + Lincoln helped Strattec launch its BOLT® series of locks in conjunction with several trade shows, including the huge Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas. Designed to raise awareness within the automotive aftermarket and commercial truck industries, B+L created a three-dimensional direct mail piece offering SEMA Show attendees a BOLT® lock sample upon redemption. In conjunction with this piece, they also conducted a short-term media relations campaign to secure coverage in automotive and truck trade and enthusiast media. As a result of these efforts, Strattec surpassed their booth traffic benchmark and admittedly high goal of a 25% direct mail redemption rate by seven percentage points. The media relations campaign garnered coverage in over 80 media outlets, including Consumer Reports, SPEED network and several nationally syndicated radio programs.

Print Ad

Budget: Greater than $1,000,000
Winner: Bader Rutter for
client Dow AgroSciences

After a successful launch of the PowerFlex herbicide product, Dow AgroSciences wanted to build upon their momentum and communicate a harder-hitting message. Bader Rutter was asked to help position PowerFlex as a solution for excellent control of tough grasses and broadleaf weeds in winter wheat. The campaign was targeted at 250+ acre winter wheat growers in 13 states across the Central Plains, Pacific Northwest and the Delta. Because the challenges farmers from each of these regions face are different, Bader Rutter tailored the campaign to each geographic region. They developed an integrated campaign using a combination of television, radio, interactive and print media which featured an iconic image for powerful performance against weeds – a battleship in a sea of golden wheat. The campaign immediately caught the attention of growers and earned Dow AgroSciences a threefold increase in unaided awareness – from 2.9% the previous year to 8.9%.


Cut Through the Clutter with Microcampaigns

11 09 2010

Are you stuck in a rut, implementing the same tactics and talking to the same audiences year after year? Do you need to break through, capture attention and drive individuals to action? Then maybe it’s time for a paradigm shift – moving from marketing campaigns to a series of fully integrated communication tactics using targeted, emotional messages for the symptomatic audience. This powerful, provocative approach can change the dialogue, encourage interaction and reap results.

 Next Tuesday, I will be part of a  fast-paced, interactive session at the SHSMD conference in Chicago that will introduce the concept of micro-campaigns and take you through practical implementation. I will be joined by Gary Mueller, executive creative director at bvk and Keith Whitworth, marketing manager at Southeast Missouri Hospital. Together, we will ask participants to forget everything they learned in marketing 101 and focus instead on human behavior. We will ask you to look at marketing challenges in a different way, working to unearth an interesting statistic or fact and make it so interesting it stops people in their tracks and gets them talking.

And because the resulting tactics themselves are newsworthy, you can stop even more people and generate ample buzz when earned and social media strategies are included in your plan. Storytelling also allows for physician and patient involvement so expertise and clinical sophistication can also be leveraged. Rather than investing marketing dollars to compete, we want you to completely change the conversation. Then, once you have engaged prospects, compelling calls to action can drive traffic to experiential tactics designed to create interactions and build a relationship or sense of community. Only then can you expect to be viewed as a personal, approachable and trustworthy resource.

If you have been itching to shake things up but been afraid to step outside of the healthcare norms and are attending the conference, I hope you will join us from 1:45-3:00 p.m. next Tuesday. We will  be sharing 2009-2010 tactics from a variety of clients and show how providers have put micro-campaigns to work and created highly visible and memorable campaigns capable of generating an exponential return for every marketing dollar invested.

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What Does a Polyp Really Look Like?

6 03 2010

Just ask students in Cape Girardeau, Mo., where three teams of students from the University are building larger than life colorectal polyps. The design contest is part of a larger campaign designed to create awareness of colorectal cancer and the importance of early detection. 

The contest started at 10 a.m. this morning in the local mall and will conclude this afternoon with selection of a winner by a panel of medical professionals and community members at large.

The three polyps will then go on a road show, to help carry forward the message of Southeast Missouri Hospital — early detection saves lives. 

Maximizing its partnership with the mall, the hospital has also installed bathroom stall door clings and has informational take-one cards available providing information on the warning signs of the disease and routing interested individuals to an online health risk assessment for more information and offering a telephone number to schedule a colonscopy.

What a great opportunity to create a buzz by combining both guerilla and viral tactics. Can’t wait to see if the local media picks it up. It all started as a tactic to create a stir but a little imagination and community partnerships made the concept of the oversized polyp expand and grow.

And the winner is…


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It’s Time We Talk.

3 03 2010


Colorectal cancer is a misunderstood and deadly disease that strikes both men and women. It is the third most common form of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. Because of the hesitancy to discuss the disease and its symptoms, it often goes unnoticed and untreated.

Colorectal cancer is 90 percent curable when detected early but those who should be getting screened fail to take action. So how can you reach them? When the rationale approach full of facts, numbers and stastistics doesn’t do the trick, try dialing up the emotion and tackling the underlying issues head on.

To reach men age 50 and older, we first identified the primary barriers to screening. At the top of the list was fear of discomfort and embarrassment. From there it was simple — make men realize how foolish their excuses really are. The result? A 30-second spot designed to break through the advertising clutter during March, national colorectal cancer awareness month.

Colorectal cancer screening will never be something to look forward to, but early detection saves lives. In fact, estimates show as many as 60 percent of all colorectal cancer deaths could be prevented with regular screening.

Is the approach working? It has only been in market two days but I will post the outcomes at the close of the campaign.

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Tips for Marketing in a Down Economy

11 02 2010

A few years ago, I was asked to present a fast-paced presentation offering tips for marketing on a shoe string budget. Or as I like to call them, zero budget tactics.

We all know nothing in life is free. If a human is involved, there is an associated cost unless services are donated. But if you can set staff time aside, there are a number of easy things most organizations can do to stretch a dollar further.

So back by popular demand are my top 25 FREE marketing tips. I have had to dust them off a bit and infuse a healthy dose of new media but I think they still hold. Over the next several days, I will share them.  Let me know what your think.  Are you already doing any of them with success? Have you tried some and abandoned them?  Either way, I hope there will be an idea or two you can use to help you accomplish more for a bit less. 

Sometimes it’s the simplest things that can generate the greatest attention — a message in an unexpected place or delivered in a provactive way. And sometimes you just need to look at things differently and you will discover new approaches to the same old challenges. Consider your community your canvas and have some fun.

25 FREE Marketing Tips (1-5)

#1 – Use fact-based marketing
Conduct simple surveys to gain customer insight.

  • Outside the elevators in your site(s)
  • In your cafeteria
  • In the local mall
  • On a busy street corner

Identify key questions and conduct personal interviews, or create a simple 5-10 question survey and post online — on your web page, social pages, etc. Don’t think you can afford focus groups? Think again. Partner with a local university market research class to help facilitate, if needed.

When you base your decisions and marketing on fact rather than emotion and consumer perception rather than internal perception you are more likely to achieve the results you need.

#2 – Business cards
Are you using both sides of your business cards?

  • Make your cards “keepers” by adding value
  • Consider adding physician referral, class registration and nurse triage lines
  • It’ all about access – add social page links
  • Print coupon to encourage Rx transfer to retail pharmacy or lunch at your bistro
  • Promote second opinion program or other unique patient-centric features

Do you provide general cards to all employees? Might be worth the cost when you figure your employees get asked for physician and service referrals.  Take them off the hot seat by printing resources on the back of a general card and you instantly maximize the number of potential brand ambassadors. 

#3 Make your daily correspondence work harder
Promote your new services/sites/programs, upcoming events or new providers with messages on …

  • The back flaps of envelopes
  • Fax cover sheets
  • The signature line of all corporate e-mail messages
  • On-hold messages for incoming calls

And if you have a short-term message you need to spread but don’t want to invest in printing, you might want to consider creating custom ink or foil stamps to place to help spread the word and piggy back on regularly planned direct mail (invoices, appointment reminders, etc.)

Be sure you don’t forget your own employees. Payroll stuffers are a thing of the past but use banner ads on your Intranet or screen savers or consider mass voice mails to offer updates and ensure your staff is in the know.

#4 Drive web traffic
Today consumers turn to the Internet for basic information — even to online directories instead of phone books. Be sure they think of you as a resource and can find you. Create interest in your web site and drive traffic by including your URL on…

  • Business cards
  • Letterhead
  • Fax cover sheets
  • Brochures
  • Patient education pieces
  • Flyers
  • Recruitment ads
  • Giveaway items

A great number of organizations continue to invest heavily in development of a web site and/or landing pages and fail to promote them.  Simply showing up is not enough.

#5 Add interactivity to your web pages
Make your Web site a destination by keeping content fresh and offering things such as:

  •  Physician Finder with biographies of providers, maps, video clips, etc.
  • Online calendar/class registration with lists of all screenings, lectures and outreach
  • Ask the Expert section and discussion boards to encourage interaction
  • Online health risk assessments, quizzes or tools
  • Online job postings and resume submission
  • Current media releases and video news clips or links to YouTube channel
  • Portable document format (PDF) files of key service line brochures
  • Virtual tours of rooms or units
  • Podcasts, video clips, YouTube links
  • Twitter feeds and links to all social networking sites
  • Consider offering educational programs as webinars

Don’t have a webmaster?  Partner with a local university or recruit a volunteer with the skills you need for basic programming and updates.

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