DM to Mammogram Centers Yields Brisk Response

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Expectations will likely be raised among participating health care companies sponsoring On Target Health Solutions' on-site direct marketing initiative dubbed Healthy Advice for Women.


The specialty health care marketing company's custom information displays were initially scheduled to be placed in about 1,400 mammography centers across the United States, but Tom Campbell, executive vice president and general manager of On Target Health Solutions, Cincinnati, OH, said the company's program has netted 20 percent more than expected centers agreeing to accept the displays.


"Our hit rate has been significantly higher than expected," said Campbell. "Historically, we get about a 50 percent success rate when we target doctors' examining rooms. And when we developed the mammography program, we hoped to get about the same response. But within the next four to six weeks, we should be in nearly 1,700 locations."


The coast-to-coast campaign sponsored by AstraZeneca, Novartis Alza and Duramed Pharmaceuticals was begun with an estimated goal of reaching 9 million female patients age 40 and over. The program enables the companies to target women with a variety of information pamphlets offering advice and data related to their health issues -- including breast health, osteoporosis, overactive bladder and hormones. It is believed to be the first major direct to consumer program ever aimed at mammography centers nationwide.


According to Campbell, "We actually stumbled across this opportunity in a brainstorming session. But we did conduct interviews with over 500 center directors before we decided to hit the ground running."


On Target Health Solutions says 85 to 90 percent of women over age 40 have a yearly mammogram and predicts that its Healthy Advice for Women program will reach about 50 percent of them. The printed materials are presented in personalized displays placed in patient receptions areas, their dressing rooms or X-ray room areas. Each unit consisted of six patient education booklets -- four sponsored 12-page booklets and two nonsponsored eight-page booklets, a self-risk assessment abacus and advertisements from the sponsoring pharmaceutical companies. The annual guaranteed reach was 9 million women based on insurance reimbursement tracking numbers but may now exceed 12.5 million. However, full inclusion in the program still requires that each participating hospital-based mammography center conduct at least 75 mammograms per week.


Of the four sponsors currently using the program, two are promoting their prescription drugs, but the other two are also hoping to build databases.


Mike Collette, president of On Target Health Solutions, said the displays offer an "ideal forum to reach adult women at a time when they are thinking about their health and seeking health care information." He said that the Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, estimated 65 percent of women over age 40 are currently having annual mammograms and that targeting women in those locations is very effective.


To track the campaign's effectiveness, the company is using a variety of feedback mechanisms including a quantitative audit report that tracks patient visits, a booklet takeaway report, a display unit and an advertising awareness recall study.


Collette said the program was designed to offer superior value -- one he argues is on par with traditional print media. "The cost per thousand is comparable to a targeted print buy; however, the Healthy Advice program delivers the added benefits of a superior editorial environment, professional impact and the ability to cut through the clutter."


Founded in 1987, On Target Health Solutions specializes in developing marketing and media consumer programs for pharmaceutical companies. The company says it places an emphasis on targeting customers at the precise time and place that their interest in a clients' brand is likely to be at its peak.
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