The Power of “You”

December 31st, 2009

When it comes to marketing, most health care organizations tend to talk mostly about themselves.

“WE have the latest and greatest technology.”

“WE have the best doctors and nurses.”

The consumer is exactly what Alegent Health has built their entire approach to heath care around. As the largest health care system in Nebraska and southwestern Iowa, their approach has not only stayed true to their mission as a faith-based organization to always put patients first, but it also helps differentiate them from their two largest competitors.

However, health care isn’t just a low-interest category. It’s a no-interest category.

So how do you convince consumers that you really do everything you do for them, when they don’t really want to think about you in the first place?

You let THEM tell the story. And you let them do it in a way that is true to who they are, and that compels other consumers to want to hear their story, too.

Alegent Health put some of their patients in front of a camera and let them tell their stories. These patients talked about their diagnosis and treatment, but most importantly, they talked about the things that were important to them in their lives, and how Alegent Health helped them get back to those things.


A car accident left her paralyzed from the waist down. One of the first things that the Alegent Health rehabilitation team asked her was what kinds of things she wanted to be able to do. Tumbling was the number one thing on her list. The rehab team didn’t stop until she was back to coaching tumbling and doing forward rolls herself.


Alegent Health’s immediate diagnosis and treatment had Joe and wife, Mary Lou, attending an Irish Tenor’s concert just days after he had a heart attack. His recovery also meant he was able to celebrate his 50th wedding anniversary with Mary Lou and their family.


Through her treatment for Stage 3 breast cancer at Alegent Health, her nurse navigator not only helped her find ways to address her son’s fears about what she was going through; but also connected her to the Patient Advisory Committee – a place where she feels she’s using her faith and talents by helping others facing her same situation.

Patient testimonials aren’t a new concept; but the way Alegent Health is using them is. Three thirty-second television spots capture a small, but compelling piece of each patients’ story, driving viewers to see the complete story at Alegent.com/stories. On the site, consumers can share their own personal health care stories, view additional featured stories, and link to related information from Alegent Health. This allows consumers to experience the Alegent Health brand, even if they don’t currently need health care.

The campaign is also supported through online video and banner ads; radio and print ads; and materials distributed through the various Alegent Health sites of service. The patient stories have been promoted via Facebook and Twitter and are available on YouTube.

In the first 9 weeks of the campaign, the videos have been viewed 6,700 times at Alegent.com/stories, 5,200 times on YouTube and have had over 11,000 unique page views.

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