BIONEWS   May 21, 2021

Brand Advocates Bring Cheer to the Bottom Line

With ad spend down, marketers are turning to brand advocacy.

Covid and the recession have put the kibosh on marketing budgets. So, CMO's have been looking to do more with what they have through brand advocacy.

Brand advocacy is when a customer supports or recommends a brand that they love. Ideally, you can involve your entire workforce from the bench chemist to the C-Suite.

You need to have buy-in to your company's vision and culture to make this work. We suggest starting with an assessment with focus groups and a brief questionnaire. You're bound to discover beliefs about your company and customer perceptions that may not fit with your advocacy program.

One of our favorite clients was a perfect candidate for brand advocacy, a medical equipment manufacturer, oozed pride in what they built, and the shop floor was always clean. Customers echoed what people internally said about the product, which is always fantastic!


The architecture of a brand advocacy plan.


  1. People selling to people. Your staff needs to communicate with customers and their influencers. Do they listen? Do they promptly return calls? Do they ask for feedback? Can they convey the vision of the company in their own words? Well, they should!
  2. Whip up an event or become part of an existing one that aligns with your product to help a local charity.
  3. Create a resource or website that solves problems for doctors and their patients.

Healthcare brand advocacy on the Web

As you can see, there are many creative ways to create a brand advocacy program. Website and charity tie-ins are especially popular.

Genentech takes on Breast Cancer

Genentech brought together partners Giuliana Rancic, Living Beyond Breast Cancer, and ThirdLove their extensive website, Not One Type, that examines breast cancer as unique to every patient. The site is a hub for information for breast cancer patients, their caregivers, and family.

Mayo Clinic Shares

The Mayo Clinic's Sharing Blog offers patients an extensive amount of original content about all things medical, including medical research to treatment plans and diagnoses.

HealtheVoices' Online Advocacy Community

Johnson and Johnson created HealtheVoices as a resource for the online health advocate and patient blogger community. The J&J also built a web portal, HealtheVoices, for access to online patient health advocates.

More on this:

The 12 most important ways to build brand advocates

Brand advocacy

Nail the Strategy to Boost Marketing Results

What do we want? Sales! When do we want them? Now!

Marketing directors hear that refrain from their bosses, boards, and sales managers, because, hey, who doesn't want sales, right?

But what's the marketing strategy to get those sales? There is an overwhelming number of ways to spend your healthcare marketing dollars, but how should you go about choosing the proper channels, to reach the right audience, with the right content? And you want the most bang for your buck.

So, what are you concentrating on at this moment in time?

Are you launching a new medical device that could be a game-changer? Are you planning to attend a trade show like Vision Expo or the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and want to attract people to your booth? Do you want to give your customers the latest tips and tricks for your medical device? Or let patients know about the benefits of a new procedure? All of the above?

 Do the research.

 Think about the audiences you want to reach. Think about the best routes to reach those audiences with messages that resonate. What's your competition doing? How are you different, and what makes you stand out from them? Should you be on social media, sending out pearls of wisdom over Twitter, or talking with doctors on LinkedIn? Is podcasting the perfect way to talk about your product line of orthopedic medical devices? Are you sending out an e-newsletter on a regular basis? What tactics make sense for you — email marketing, print, digital advertising? You start building a good strategy by doing quality research.

Answering these questions is a good start on defining your marketing strategy. And remember, it's not one channel, one audience, one message deal. You want to create a multi-layered approach and define metrics to monitor progress.

Send us a note, or schedule a meeting, and we'll talk you through it.

Nailing the strategy

Hashtags, The Low-Cost Strategy for Social Media Success

Hashtags can work wonders getting your social media posts in front of the right (and new) audiences. Using strategic hashtags with your posts, you can easily connect your healthcare organization to the communities you're trying to reach.


So, What Are Hashtags?


Hashtags are words or phrases preceded by a hash mark #. And while many use hashtags to lend some humor or irony to a post, hashtags can play a much more critical role by labeling your post's subject and making it searchable within the social media channel. For example, if you made a post on Twitter about how your medical laser is used to treat glaucoma and gave it the hashtag #glaucoma, anyone searching on Twitter for glaucoma could see your tweet. A hashtag is like a signal that makes your post searchable.

Twitter is the originator of hashtags, but other platforms have jumped on board, including Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Using hashtags on LinkedIn can be especially valuable for B2Bs, getting you in front of the right eyeballs looking for your product or service, but isn't following your healthcare organization yet.


Be picky, and choose the best hashtags.

It's essential to use the hashtags that are right for business. Do your research and pick hashtags that fit the content you're promoting, but that will also be getting some traffic. Oh, and make sure the hashtag you want to use isn't being co-opted for less than savory posts. (It's the Internet, it happens!) You can also search the hashtag and jump in on other people's conversations with relevant material. That's putting the "social" in social media! Also, try to keep your hashtags simple and concise. And don't be that poster who has a one-sentence post followed by 15 hashtags.



Jump-start your Healthcare hashtag collection.

Here are a few popular hashtags in medical marketing. Use them as a starting point and look for (and create!) others that make the most sense for you.


Healthcare marketing hashtags:


This one gets used a lot by everyone in the Medical Social Media world and consists of an online community of researchers, practitioners, students, and professionals.


If you have something related to the pandemic, this one is hot.


Important,especially during the past year.

#Telehealth or #Telemedicine

During Covid and after, these are becoming standard ways of conducting business.

#BreastCancerAwareness, #CancerPrevention, #Diabetes, #CovidVaccine

Tags like this and many others call attention to health awareness campaigns. Do your research. Look at several social media channels to see if the tag is already in use and how.

To find more tags, check out our post on 110 Healthcare Hashtags.

Stop procrastinating
Go Non-Fungible

Consider a Non-Fungible Token for a Fundraiser

Non-Fungible Tokens sound like something living in the bathtub. But they're a nifty and sometimes lucrative - way of proving ownership of digital assets stored elsewhere on the Web. For example, you paint a digital masterpiece and buy an encrypted blockchain token to represent it. If the work becomes popular enough, you might auction it off or sell the NFT to an individual buyer.

One of the artists out on the NFT vanguard is Mike Winkelman, aka Beeple. He recently sold a digital artwork for $70 million.

In October 2020, Beeple sold a piece named Crossroads, which morphed into different forms based on the US Presidential election outcome. Four months later, it sold for $6.6 million. Check out platforms like, OpenSea, and SuperRare to see what's getting sold in the digital marketplace.

See Beeple's page at Christie's auction site.

Consumer brands are taking the lead on NFTs at the moment. For example, the wizard marketers at the NBA Top Shot, a sports video highlights, platform recently sold over $80 million worth of NFT video highlights. As expected, blue-chip brands such as Louis Vuitton, F1 Racing, and Nike are jumping in. And musicians including Deadmau5 and RAC are experimenting with NFTs, bringing a wave of mainstream attention.

How can healthcare brands leverage NFTs?

One way is to use an NFT to commemorate a special moment, like opening the hospital's new wing.

Or adopt NFTs as another source of revenue. Fund the creation of graphics or characters representing your brand, then auction them off, sell them as a set or separately to owners or contributors.

NFTs are perfect for raising money for non-profit healthcare organizations your brand supports. And, as an NFT, you have the possibility of selling your NFT anywhere in the world.

But Caveat emptor! Make sure you know your stuff before you jump into NFTs. It could be the difference between brand leadership and a fizzle!

NFTs in greater depth 

Non-fungible tokens, New Scientist

Nailing the strategy

Why We Procrastinate and How to Stop It.

We all do it. Put off simple tasks that should only take a moment but, for some unfathomable reason, we procrastinate doing. Putting a dish in the sink instead of taking the extra moment to load it into the dishwasher. Making that follow-up call to a client. Taking care of some tedious paperwork. Filing. (Do we still file things?) It's easy to understand why we procrastinate on bigger chores. They can seem a bit overwhelming, require a high level of energy or mental focus, or be time-consuming (when can I set aside a solid 4 hours to work on this project?) So why put off the little things?

One possibility is that there could be an element to the task that is new or unfamiliar. I need to change the ink cartridge in the printer, but I've never done it before. Even though I think it's a simple task, I'm not mentally ready at this moment to take on something new.

Another reason small tasks can get put off is that they lack hard deadlines. If there's no urgency, it's easy to shuffle something to the bottom of the deck.

Additional tasks stem from doing the job present another challenge. You need to make a call to a client to see if they've had a chance to look over the revisions for their latest medical device marketing banner ad, and you may not be ready to tackle making those revisions. Or tackle talking to the client.

Tactics for Getting Those Minor Tasks Out of the Way

Just do it. Motivation often follows action (instead of vice versa) so start doing the task. As Sir Isaac Newton said, a body in motion tends to stay in motion.

Exercise the two-minute rule: If something takes less than two minutes, don't add it to your to-do list. Just knock it out.

Schedule it. If it's a reoccurring task, add a hard time on your calendar for getting it done and stick to it. The structure can help turn it into a habit.

Nest it into another task or enjoyable activity. For example, listen to your favorite podcast while filing, or checking in with a client while taking an afternoon coffee break.

Stop procrastinating