Experiential marketing involves messaging you can touch, feel or view in a physical space – an interactive kiosk with a touch screen, for instance. Experiential expenditures by healthcare are growing because they are sometimes more effective than traditional promotion expenditures and influence consumers’ decision-making more than ever before. Experiential marketing can play an important role in fueling the growth of a healthcare brand, ensuring the brand takes "an active part" in consumers' conversations.
Other business sectors like banking and credit cards have seen the benefits of this. American Express’ “Shop Small” digital storefront allows shoppers to interact with interactive displays and learn about local retailers in Seattle. With simple hand gestures, shoppers curate a personalized wish list of cool products from the merchants. Shoppers can then either receive a short code to their wish list via mobile text or print their wish lists on-site as physical keepsakes. In both cases, they receive the relevant store and product information to help them find their items at small shops across the city.
The problem American Express solves is similar to one faced by hospitals: As healthcare organizations acquire or realign specialized services, there is a greater need to cross-promote and communicate what services their system-wide healthcare brands offer. The various service lines are, in effect, similar to a congregation of local retailers. And like those retailers, employees of each service line don’t necessarily cross-promote other services.
So why not do what American Express did and use experiential marketing to educate patients on all the services your hospital has to offer?
Here’s an example of experiential marketing we did for Holy Cross Hospital, promoting their orthopedic services at an area mall: Holy Cross Interactive Mall Display.
Another great environment for experiential marketing is right in your own hospital, where you have a diverse captive audience of patients, their family and friends and other visitors. A good grandson waiting as his grandmother receives care could interact with an experiential display in the waiting room and receive branded information about the various procedures your hospital offers – learn where to get them and what to expect from them, see doctors explain them, watch videos of what other patients say about them, engage in an interactive game about them, receive a short code via mobile text or print information about them… and so on and so forth.
Essentially, the use of experiential marketing is to get visitors participating with your healthcare brand – kind of the evolution of what interactive advertising was a few years ago – and a way your brand can "extend a hand" to touch, engage and convert the visitor.