GA Sessions: Once upon a time in healthcare, the art of storytelling to engage your audiences!



Once Upon a Time in Healthcare… The secrets to change behaviour in medical and pharma marketing

What makes for a good story?

Think of your favourite book, television show or film. Then think about what happened – not specific scenes or witty comebacks your favourite character shot back at a foe as cool as James Bond strapped to a bomb, but how did the story unfold? What happened in the beginning, the middle, and the end?

Did the main character have their life thrown upside down and have to make their way back home to face a villain? What tools or tricks did they need to acquire to finally overcome? Did they meet anyone along the way? And almost as importantly, what did they learn from all of it? In storytelling, that’s called The Hero’s Journey.

The Hero’s Journey refers to a wide-ranging category of stories that features a character who leaves on a mission or journey to seek something out. They face obstacles, often times they face a foe, and then they ultimately triumph[1].

Emotion is also key to good storytelling. In comedy, you root for your hero and in drama, fear is often what gets you on the Hero’s side – either their fear, or your fear for them. Ultimately, you feel the need to see them win, like this little fella here:

Clips from the John Lewis Christmas advert

Now I’m sure you’re wondering – Chris, what does any of this have to do with marketing in healthcare specifically? Well, it couldn’t be more relevant.

Here at Get Animated+, we have to think about the story a lot. When a client reaches out to us, we often wonder what part of the Hero’s Journey is their company or brand on, and how we can help them. Are they trying to reach a new customer base? Do they have a new product or service that isn’t gaining any traction? What are they missing, story-wise, that is going to help them triumph? What emotion do you think your audience will relate to the most? Fear? Shock? Humour?

We also ask ourselves how we can utilise storytelling to change the behaviour of the audience. How can we get them to associate a brand or a product with the right feelings? How can we get them to pick your product/service over another?

You know the answer…through powerful and evocative storytelling!

Look, the market is noisy and there are so many channels to choose from, but creative storytelling is a clear way to ensure your marketing messages are effective.

I’m sure that you’ve thought about your marketing as a strategy, but each aspect of your promotional or educational content is a story. I sometimes like to think about your customer as that main character who needs to view your marketing, brand, product, or service, as something that is going to help them on their journey. Or you could think about your product as the main character, and how the product, or your company, finds its way into the hands of those who need it.

No matter what path you decide to take with your story there are always three things you include.

Characters. Every story features at least one character, and this character will be the key to relating your audience back to the story. This component is the bridge between you, the storyteller, and the audience. If your audience can put themselves in your character’s shoes, they’ll be more likely to follow through with your call-to-action.

Conflict. The conflict is the lesson of how the character overcomes a challenge. Conflict in your story elicits emotions and connects the audience through relatable experiences. When telling stories, the power lies in what you’re conveying and teaching. If there’s no conflict in your story, it’s likely not a story.

Resolution. Every good story has a closing, but it doesn’t always have to be a good one. Your story’s resolution should wrap up the story, provide context around the characters and conflict(s), and leave your audience with a call-to-action. But don’t limit your thinking to video or animation. Storytelling is everywhere. Storytelling can be used to promote and advertise, or it can also be used to teach.

But don’t limit your thinking to video or animation. Storytelling is everywhere. And nowhere better to use this craft than to teach complex subjects.

Clips of GA+ video:

This was created by us, and in this interactive video and game, the aim is to teach people the way that wounds heal through the story of your body’s cells fighting a wound the way firemen fight fires. It’s memorable while always ensuring that the technical and medical information is correct and complies with the appropriate regulatory boards. Now we’ve attached a story to the process in viewer’s minds.

So, think about your product or service…

What stories have you told in your marketing or customer outreach? Have you told any? If not – why not? You have all of the data you need at your fingertips already. According to the Office for National Statistics, £33.1 billion was spent in R&D in 2016[2]. It’s time to put those unique insights into action.

We want to help you tell your story! There are customers and patients who can massively benefit from the wonderful brands, devices and services you provide. They need to know your story! So, if every piece of marketing and promotional material acts as a medium for powerful storytelling, it’s time to think outside of the box.

From Virtual Reality and educational tools for healthcare professionals, or using gamification to educate and inform patients of all ages, to medical or promotional animation, we’ve got experience in all of it, and we’ve got what it takes to turn your story into one that will connect.

The fundamentals of stories are connections – connecting you to your customers, and your customers to your product. Great storytelling can set you on your journey to being synonymous with whatever you make, the way LEGO is synonymous with building blocks or Kleenex is synonymous with tissues.

It wasn’t always that way for those companies – it started with a good story, told at the right time, and told to a receptive audience. So, last question for today – what’s your story?

Don’t know? No problem – we’re here to help you find it and tell it. Are you ready to cut through the noise and get creative…or more importantly – GET ANIMATED!

Remember, nothing is more powerful than a good story.

Thanks for listening, keep smiling and we hope to hear from you soon.





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