The “So What?” and “Who Cares?” Challenge: A Universal Test for Healthcare Advertising

so what? who cares? challenge questionsThese two little questions, which seem perilously close to being disrespectful, can save you from wasting precious healthcare advertising dollars. In fact, they can help lead you to a higher Return-on-Investment (ROI).

Let’s say you or your staff is planning a new advertisement. Use these questions as the first challenge to the prospective advertising message. The test works across the board—for hospitals, group practices, manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and/or medical practices.

Here’s how to take the “So What?” and “Who Cares?” challenge.

ASK: “So What?” What you’re really asking: “What’s the compelling benefit?”

Is there an important benefit or value proposition clearly stated in this message? Let’s say this is an ad about a high tech piece of equipment. Nobody cares that you have the most advanced (and expensive) wonder-widget, but they do care that it can help solve their problem or answer their need better than anyone else. The answer to “So What?” is something important to the target audience.

ASK: “Who Cares?” What you’re really asking: “Who’s the target audience?”

Does this message communicate to people who need to know, and is the media going to reach them? It’s about finding exactly the right mix of message, media and audience in need. The answer to “Who Cares?” is making a precision connection with the reader with the need or problem.

Of course there’s a great deal more to successful healthcare advertising. But the “So What?” and “Who Cares?” challenge questions are easy to remember and provide a quick assessment tool. If the planned (or previous) advertising message doesn’t deliver a sharp answer to these initial tests, you know there’s something wrong or more work is needed.

Until then, hold on to your marketing budget and refine your advertising message. And if you need help with that, reach out to us. We can help you with an unbiased and objective answer to these questions.

Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer & Creative Director at Healthcare Success
Over the years Stewart has personally marketed and consulted for over 1,457 healthcare clients, ranging from private practices to multi-billion dollar corporations. Additionally, he has marketed a variety of America’s leading companies, including Citicorp, J. Walter Thompson, Grubb & Ellis, Bally Total Fitness, Wells Fargo and Chase Manhattan. Stewart co-founded our company, and today acts as Chief Executive Officer and Creative Director. He is also a frequent author and speaker on the topic of healthcare marketing. His personal accomplishments are supported by a loving wife and two beautiful daughters.

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