CME Marketing

Ok, on the surface, this topic is slightly less interesting to the masses than, say, Michael Phelps, blogs, fantasy sports and other topics covered in my prior posts.

Yet it’s interesting in the sense that it’s an opportunity (and it’s one of my primary responsibilities in my current position). You see, it doesn’t take a good, long look to see that everyone currently does CME marketing pretty much one way. Whether on a direct mail piece or an email, they slap on (in 50 point type) the title of the event, the date, and the location (now called TDL in my lingo). Maybe a sentence or tagline about “What’s in it for me?” from the reader’s perspective. Usually some obscure, odd or conceptual art provides the visual. Then in 10 point type is all the other information — accreditation, agenda, faculty, etc., etc. Then it gets sent out to wherever the list may originate from.

The opportunity is this: wait a minute, hold on. Before I go there, just let me say I may be weakening my competitive position by sharing this information. However, if the quality of CME marketing improves, maybe the expectations and perceptions of CME change, attendence goes up for all of us, and the world is a better place (not to mention patient outcomes improve). Ok, so the opportunity is this: like all marketing, CME marketing needs to make a more emotional connection with the target audience. Throwing a big TDL on a brochure is no longer good enough. People are too busy, it costs too much to travel, and there are too many other options (not even local options, but Internet options that are free and just a few clicks away).

Dare I say, the TDL should be alot less prominent in our messaging. Our message should read and appear more like the marketing that gets our own attention:

  • a headline that addresses a need, question or fear
  • easy bullet points that clearly list benefits of the event/program
  • strong call-to-action and compelling offer (if there is one)
  • Of course, there are other things I think should be done too, but I’m not giving it all away right now. In the next few weeks, I’ll come back to the topic and deliver some more opinion.


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