Maria Garrido – The Innovation Mindset in Healthcare Marketing

“Meaningful for meaningful’s sake isn’t enough. We need to ensure that there is return on our meaningfulness.”

Published on May 24, 2018


IN ADDRESSING ITS THEME of “Developing an Innovation Mindset for Today’s Healthcare Industry,” the 2018 VITAL Healthcare Marketing Conference needed to host a speaker with a fresh take on what makes brands tick. There would be no better place to start than with the very branding of healthcare itself, and how it could resonate more strongly within target audiences, in a time when traditional ideas of brand loyalty are decreasing in prominence.

The answer was found in Maria Garrido, CEO of Havas X and Global Chief Insights and Analytics Officer of Havas Group. Maria’s talk was grounded in the Meaningful Brands study, an 8-year study and framework that is refreshed annually and aims to explore the link between meaningfulness and brand success. Meaning refers to the way that brands bring tangible benefits to people’s lives, and according to Garrido, the healthcare industry is definitely lagging behind in meaningfulness.

Meaning can be split into three benefits: Functional benefits, which refer to positive developments in a brand’s products and services, such as category leadership, quality, price, and innovation; personal benefits, or the ways brands can improve people’s lives; and collective benefits, which describe how brands can benefit communities and society as a whole. Garrido said that, like most healthcare markets, APAC brands are hugely driven by functional meaningfulness. “The point of entry is definitely functional,” she says, of how marketers should plan their campaigns around meaningfulness.

However, unlike other regions, where the hierarchy is typically functional as a major point of entry, then personal as second and collective third, Asia sees a balance in meaningfulness between personal and collective, suggesting that the approach shouldn’t exactly be the same for Asia. As a whole, Garrido believes that healthcare brands should be better fulfilling personal needs, where many brands are found lacking in performance.

Garrido emphasized that all these metrics aren’t without meaning. “Meaningful for meaningful’s sake isn’t enough. We need to ensure that there is a return on our meaningfulness,” she said. The result of a brand being more meaningful? Up to nine times greater share of wallet, significantly improved KPI performance, and overall greater financial value. That’s something on which no marketer can afford to turn their back.


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