Marketing in the Shadows.


Except for the appointment reminders I receive from my primary care physician’s office, I don’t receive a lot of healthcare direct marketing. And I’m fine with that. Beyond the usual objection to receiving too much information, I know that anything sent to me would be a waste of marketing dollars. I’ve known for a long time that women make the healthcare decisions for themselves and their family. My household is no different.

So my interest was piqued when I saw a letter from Similac—the infant formula maker—that was addressed to me. The enclosed letter invited me, the “mom-to-be” to join a program called StrongMoms where I could interact with other pregnant women. My wife and I got a chuckle from it. The next day I received a box with a glossy, 52-page brochure, $20 worth of Similac coupons and two canisters of Similac infant formula. Talk about an expensive mail piece. All the pieces were very well produced and all of the communications were smart and on target. As a healthcare marketing professional, I was very impressed with the strategy and the tactical delivery vehicle of the campaign.

All of these good ideas were wiped out when the tactical execution took a wrong turn to my mailbox. Clearly, this mailing should go to a female who is pregnant. Somehow it wound up going to the wrong spouse of the household about 12 months too late. My wife and I did have a baby girl almost 10 months ago. It made me think of one of my favorite T.S. Eliot quotes:

“Between the idea and the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow.”

In this instance, Similac was marketing in the shadows.

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4 Responses to “Marketing in the Shadows.”

  1. Seth Says:

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  3. Jeff Davis Says:

    Thanks for the input, David. They really should scrub their direct mail lists for a campaign this important.

  4. David Hall Says:

    Good example of poor follow through. If you get one aspect of your campaign wrong, your credibility takes the hit..possibly reducing your customer base. I am surprised at what a great mail piece that was though! sheesh, all that work and it was 12 months late!

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