Word of mouth and social media are more trusted than traditional advertising

Nielsen surveyed over 25,000 consumers online across more than 50 markets across the world to study their attitudes towards trust, value and engagement in advertising. You can find the full report here.

In a nutshell, peer recommendation is the most trusted channel, trusted “completely” or “somewhat” by 9 out of 10 respondents worldwide. Conversely, online search, banner advertising and video ads are trusted by fewer than half the respondents.

As an interesting side note, the study found that Europeans tend to be the least trusting of advertising.

If you agree that Neilsen’s results are valid:

  1. Word of mouth trumps all other forms of advertising
  2. Doctors have consistently come out on top of polls of the most trusted professions for the past 25 years (90% of people believe doctors “tell the truth”

What actually happens in healthcare marketing

Large companies offering elective medical services do not

  1. invest more in customer service and social media (customer opinions posted online) that stimulates positive word of mouth
  2. lead their advertising messages with the expertise of their doctors carrying out the procedures

Because the larger players are more visible, and because smaller companies admire and mimic the marketing practices of the larger companies, most healthcare businesses:

  1. spend considerably much more money on advertising than they do on customer service and social media
  2. use communication tools associated with big brand advertising that sells a lifestyle (which conversely, don’t enjoy a tremendous amount of trust)

The healthcare marketing takeaway

For years, we’ve been advising our clients to do the focus on customer service as a means of generating positive word of mouth. More recently, we’ve been recommending those same clients to establish social media channels (such as Facebook Pages, LinkedIn Profiles, Twitter Profiles, and YouTube channels) where their customers can spread the word about them.

Alas, the majority of their competitors – large and small – dogmatically focus on traditional advertising (TV, newspapers, radio) and interruption marketing (text messaging and the above). Good news for our clients, I guess.

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What our clients say…

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Meet our Founders

We’re passionate about helping leaders of high-quality, growth-minded practice owners double their revenue

Rod Solar

Founder & Fractional CMO

Rod co-founded LiveseySolar and acts as a Fractional CMO for our customers. He’s on a mission to help transform the lives of 10,000 people with vision correction surgery by 2024. To achieve that, he inspires his customers to make confident decisions that will help 50,000 people take the first step towards vision correction.

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LiveseySolar completely transformed the way we were approaching this… We’ve gone from having just the dream of having a practice to having a practice up and running with people making inquiries and booking for procedures… It’s extremely pleasing. We feel lucky we connected with LiveseySolar.

— Dr Matthew Russell, MBChB, FRANZCO, specialist ophthalmic surgeon and founder of VSON and OKKO

Laura Livesey

Founder & CEO

Laura Livesey is the co-founder & CEO of LiveseySolar. She has developed powerful refractive surgery marketing systems that increase patient volumes and profits for doctors, clinics, and hospitals, since 1997.

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Rod and Laura know as much about marketing surgery to patients as I know about performing it. They are an expert in the field of laser eye surgery marketing. They know this industry inside out. I believe that they could help many companies in a variety of areas including marketing materials, sales training and marketing support for doctors.

— Prof. Dan Reinstein, MD MA FRSC DABO, founder of the London Vision Clinic, UK