Big Data Delivers for South Nassau Communities Hospital
// By Jane Weber Brubaker //
The old adage “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” is aspirational for innovators. Thomas Edison’s approach to innovation boiled down to two ideas: rapid iteration and a focus on customer needs. He defended his process against detractors who asked how it felt to fail 10,000 times before finally inventing a working lightbulb: “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work.”
Like inventors, innovative marketers often learn what works by ruling out what doesn’t. A few years ago, South Nassau Communities Hospital (SNCH) in Oceanside, New York, knew it needed to elevate brand awareness in a market dominated by better-known hospitals on Long Island, and world-famous hospitals in nearby Manhattan. “They are the David in the sea of Goliaths in New York and Long Island,” says Bill Wax, president and founder of healthcare marketing agency Wax Custom Communications in Miami.
Several years ago, Wax and SNCH developed a campaign based on what the hospital leadership believed was most important to consumers. The results were not what they hoped for. “We received feedback that we were pushing the needle just slightly,” says Wax.
Like Edison, they successfully learned what didn’t work, and went back to the drawing board. They developed a second campaign using big data to draw a precise picture of what consumers in SNCH’s target area look like, and what they are interested in. Then they created a campaign tailored to consumers’ specific interests.
In this article we’ll look at:
- The types and sources of big data they used
- What the data revealed, and how it shaped the campaign
- How free Facebook tools helped to optimize the campaign
- The results
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