Weekly Recap - November 17, 2017

It's science. Spreading kindness improves your well-being. Kind, kinder and kindest. This Chrome extension lets you moderate your social media. Gens X, Y and Z love giving back. Not surprisingly, this new donor base turns to social media for charitable content.

DETAILS, Please

On World Kindness Day, this organization put up walls to spread love. That might sound contradictory. Let's put it this way—these walls are essentially murals that encourage people to put kind words out into the world.

Lionsgate's Chrome extension turns negativity to positivity. #ChooseKind. The tool uses machine learning to spot offensive content and put a banner with a more positive message over it.

'Tis the donation season. We're bringing up transparency again. Donors want to be sure their money will actually make it to the people who need it. Go figure.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

Talk finance to me: how to market your financial brand to women. Marketing is not a one size fits all proposition. Especially when it comes to financial services. According to a 2013 Allianz survey, 54 percent of women believe that the financial services industry is geared toward men.

Looking for Millennials? Seeking marketing magic? Hit the library. Ask a Millennial to explain the sharing economy and she'll tell you about Uber, Airbnb and TaskRabbit. Ask a Mature, and she'll show you her library card.

THE Topic of conversation

Millennials. Discover who Millennials are, why it's important to market to them, and how you can increase brand loyalty and engagement. Download our free whitepaper "8 Rules of Marketing to Millennials."

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Talk finance to me: how to market your financial brand to women.

Marketing is not a one size fits all proposition. Especially when it comes to financial services. According to a 2013 Allianz survey, 54 percent of women believe that the financial services industry is geared toward men. While this data is a little dated, this perception has not really changed all that much. According to CEB Iconoculture research, there is a 12 percent gap between men and women that own stock. There is still a gender disparity at play.

How can this still be, if women across generations tend to take the lead on family investments?

(Source: CEB Iconoculture Research)

Let's take a look at the contributing factors...

  • Disruption in income: Perhaps your income is supporting your child care fees? Saving for a house? Saving for your children's higher education? All occurrences disrupt income.
  • Earning less: Yes, it is 2017 and women are still not making the same wages as men. That said, less income means less investment opportunities.  
  • Impact of caregiving: Caring for aging parents is becoming yet another role women are taking on, even while they still work. Some women are taking part time jobs to care for family members during the other hours of the day.
  • Shifts in marital status: Divorce and division of assets in and of itself is a contributing factor that affects women's financial status.
  • Living longer: Women are living longer than expected, so they are financing their expenses longer as well.

Approach at your own risk.

According to CEB Iconoculture research, men and women are motivated by different values when it comes to taking financial risks. Per their data, men are motivated by a confidence challenge, which explains the 12 percent gap in stock ownership compared to their female counterparts. In contrast, when it comes to risk taking with finances, women are motivated by the consequences, security, learning more about the risk and trusting the institution they are receiving advice or investing in. For women, the number one priority is financial security.

You know what they say, "when you assume, you make an..."

It has been assumed that women lack confidence, are financially fragile and reluctant to trust. Instead, women want marketers to know that they are aware and calculating their risks. They are seeking financial stability by setting a higher bar for themselves, but they are also swayed by solutions to achieve their goals.

When opportunity knocks.

It may seem silly, but marketers should know...

  • Don't market to women like they are men
  • Don't market to women with risks

But...

  • Do market to life stages: buying car/house, saving for children's higher education, home improvements and leaving an inheritance for the family.
  • Do offer expertise on financial needs: Save for unexpected expense/vacation, pay down debt, invest in retirement
  • Do offer the pros of investing

For more on Financial Trends, subscribe to our Marketing Statement – a quarterly account of industry insights.

Weekly Recap - November 3, 2017

Women are still underrepresented in STEM careers. This powerful campaign hopes to help change that. There's a note for that. Apple stylizes the music note to represent different genres and artists. Unlocking cities. Uber says ridesharing is crucial for reaching cities' full potential. Never Stronger. Nike references Houston's devastating hurricane in World Series ad.

DETAILS, Please

This historical PSA encourages girls to defy stereotypes and pursue the sciences. Check out the stories of these female pioneers in the STEM fields. The 30-second videos were created to raise students' interest in careers in chemistry.

Apple Music builds a new visual identity around its musical note. Marketers won't want to miss this advertising eye candy. While promoting a brand redesign, the campaign pays tribute to artists like Sia, Dr. Dre and Drake.

Uber thinks inside the box. Uber uses a visual metaphor to humanize traffic problems. Cities around the world can relate to this powerful imagery.

Nike salutes the World Series champs. Houston Strong. A simple tribute for the Astros' first World Series win.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

5 tips teens can teach your brand about social media success. Teens are the true CEOs of social media. They decide the rules, they set the trends and they have the power to turn Average Joes into stars…

Marketing Statement - Fourth quarter 2017. Blissfully ignorant. That's one way to describe the financial state of Millennials as they head down the aisle today. Many know little or nothing about their partner's spending habits...

Healthcare Checkup - October 2017. HCIC was a definite highlight this month with the newest digital and Internet developments – see our take. Plus, lots of other happenings and trends for you from DNA kits to virtual reality marketing to the opioid addiction public health…

Before the big day, fiancées aren't talking finances. Picture this. You're standing at an alter in front of your family and friends. You're vowing to love someone in sickness and in health. For richer or for poorer...

THE Topic of conversation

Communicating with Visuals. Did you know that 93 percent of communication is visual? Amplify your marketing and discover how your brand can communicate visually. Download our latest free guide, "Communicating with Visuals."

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Weekly Recap - September 15, 2017

Girl power! How a small statue rocked the advertising world. Not just Millennials. One-third of the U.S. population cares about company reputation. One-click ordering is the answer. Quick and painless checkouts could mean billions for retailers. Want to get the most out of your video campaigns? Contextual targeting may help improve your reach.

DETAILS, Please

Fearless Girl stole the world’s heart and brought this company millions in free marketing. The iconic girl standing opposite to Wall Street’s Charging Bull created a social media storm, but the marketing campaign had a deeper purpose. Don’t miss these insights from the campaign’s creators.

‘Corpsumers’ care as much about a brand’s values as its products. Millennials, high-earners, and parents seem to agree. Check out these stats from MWWPR to see how ethics affect consumer  buying decisions.

How the end of Amazon’s ‘1-Click’ patent will change web-wide checkouts. Before Prime, the simplicity of checking out was a huge component of Amazon loyalty. Now, retailers all over the web may start implementing simplified purchasing.

When it comes to marketing on YouTube, context is key. Consumers seeking out and watching certain content provides distinct signals about what they may be interested in buying. Here’s how to use those signals to reach the "unknown" demographic.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

Skinny websites, snackable content and more from Digital Summit Detroit. Digital Summit Detroit 2017 delivered. In less than two days, the conference covered all means of email, content, website and mobile trends. Lots for marketers to consider and capitalize upon. A few highlights we just had to share. 

THE Topic of conversation

Millennials. Discover who Millennials are, why it’s important to market to them, and how you can increase brand loyalty and engagement. Download our free whitepaper “8 Rules of Marketing to Millennials.”

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Weekly Recap - September 8, 2017

Got data? Here’s how LinkedIn has become THE place for business-to-business digital marketing. Gens X, Y and Z all agree on this. Check out these stats from Influenster to see how women of all ages feel about branded content. Don’t mess with Texas. Matthew McConaughey uses the classic tagline to bring attention to hurricane relief. Price cuts aren’t always enough. Here’s how brands are attempting to build loyalty and compete with Amazon.

DETAILS, Please

Here’s how LinkedIn changed to become a hot social network. It’s not just somewhere to put your digital resume. Over the last two years, LinkedIn has evolved to become an essential marketing tool for reaching an executive audience.

How and where women prefer interacting with branded content. No surprise here - women of all ages tend to dislike branded content that is political. They prefer authenticity and entertainment.

The Ad Council and Matthew McConaughey join Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. The storm may be over, but the clean-up has only just begun. Here’s how the ad industry made a formal effort to aid hurricane victims.

Amazon cuts Whole Foods prices by as much as 43 percent. On its first day owning the grocery chain, Amazon marked down many items and suggested there’s more to come. To survive, other brands need to create human connection and build loyalty.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

Why longer sales cycles make for happier consumers.  Impulsive buyers may seem like a marketer’s dream. Theirs is more of a buyer’s jaunt than a journey. But as tempting as carpe diem consumers may be, they come with a lot more buyer’s remorse, according to CEB Iconoculture research.

THE Topic of conversation

Authenticity - Authenticity. Discover which brands are getting real and how to market authenticity across genders, generations and ethnic groups. Download our free whitepaper “3 Rules to Creating an Authentic Brand.”

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Sex may be memorable but does it sell?

Sex may be memorable but does it sell?

Consumers remember sexy ads, but they’re fuzzy on the details—like product and brand.

This according to a study published at ScienceDaily.com. Researchers considered 78 peer-reviewed advertising studies published over three decades, measuring consumer recall among men and women.

"We found that people remember ads with sexual appeals more than those without, but that effect doesn't extend to the brands or products that are featured in the ads," said University of Illinois advertising professor John Wirtz, the lead author of the research. “… Certainly the evidence indicates that the carryover effect to liking the ads doesn't influence whether they're going to make a purchase.”

Ads in the study featured models partially or fully nude, touching suggestively or seemingly anticipating a sexual encounter. Other ads used sexual innuendoes or embeds, which are partially hidden words or pictures that communicate a sexual message.

Not surprisingly, the study found that men and women react differently to sexy ads. Men, on average, like ads with sexual appeals. Women, not so much. For the latter, promiscuity in advertising was met with outright negativity.

The fear of alienating an entire gender may be prompting some brands to reconsider their advertising strategy. Remember when Carl’s Jr. hired Paris Hilton to bite down into a messy burger after handwashing a car in a bathing suit? The fast food chain followed up the 2005 campaign with similar model burger capades for more than a decade. Carl’s is now leading with product, cheekily dismissing the sexy burger bit as the story of an heir gone wild. 

Of course there’s a place for sex in advertising. 

Advertising is about meeting consumer needs and wants. (Consumer: I’m hungry and I don’t have a lot of time. I’ll grab a burger on the road.)

Stray outside your wheelhouse and you may generate some buzz. (Paris Hilton is eating a burger is sexy. I need to share this. …) But if it fails to meet that sweet spot where your brand and product should meet, your clever advertising will unlikely produce sales. (Oh, look! McDonald’s. …)

Sex is most appropriately used when your brand is naturally linked to desire and allure of the romantic variety. If your brand can honestly stake a claim in that arena, then apply sex judiciously. Think jewelry, fragrance, apparel, luxury. But show some restraint. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind.

Don’t use sex for sex’s sake.

In addition to Carl’s Jr., other notable brand offenders include GoDaddy, Hardee’s and Mr. Clean. (A man of few words, but many muscles?  What does that have to do with my messy house?)

Don’t be afraid to use humor.

Humans are hard-wired to react to sex. The limbic system of the brain is in charge of fight, flight, feeding, fear, freezing-up and fornication (“Your Lizard Brain,” Psychology Today, April 22, 2014). Sex gets attention. It can break through, which is why it’s often used in advertising. But it can be off-putting when a brand shows a lot of skin just to get attention. (Skin! Skin! Skin!) There needs to be a point or at least a payoff.

That’s why the Terry Crews and Isaiah Mustafa Old Spice commercials were so effective. They were overtly sexual and hilariously self-deprecating. They take liberties with the connection between scent and attraction to comical heights. It works because the strategy is grounded in consumer wants and brand truth.

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Women have money to invest. So, what's stopping them?

Women have money to invest. So, what's stopping them?

When it comes to banking, women are just as likely as men to have the basics—checking, savings, mortgage, retirement plans. In fact, women typically research and initiate bank relationships for the family.

But when it comes to stocks, mutual funds and life insurance, women are far less likely than men to invest. Some estimates suggest the opportunity presented by female investors is at $5.4 trillion.

Some blame the gender disparity on confidence, specifically lack thereof. Trust for financial institutions and overall financial stability are also often cited. And while there’s credence in these factors, the leading driver is actually lower risk tolerance, according to CEB Iconoculture research.

It’s the bird in the hand is two in the bush philosophy. Women, very generally speaking, are more goal-directed and trade less. She sticks to the safe options on the menu, trading a lower return for a safer choice. She fears losing principal, and worries about having access to cash when she needs it.

To learn more, Fidelity Investments studied couples in a committed relationship. When asked if they’d be willing to invest a substantial amount to achieve potentially higher returns—even if it meant possibly losing some or all of the investment—only 4 percent of women said yes, compared to 15 percent of men. A Wall Street Journal story on the subject considered several studies which reached similar conclusions.

So, how can financial institutions convince women to invest outside the lines? Spend less time trying to build her confidence and more time emphasizing the practical and even necessary benefits of risk.

She’s eager to learn. Ninety-two percent of women want to learn more about financial planning and 83 percent want to take more control over their finances, according to other Fidelity research.

Make haste. A new crop of online financial planning firms has popped up, promoting a by women for women value proposition. Among them, WorthFM, SUM180 and Ellevest.

For inspiration, consider 6 ways brands are empowering women in 2017.

Marketing Statement - Third Quarter 2017

They’re tech natives. They’re constantly connected. They value diversity and social justice. And they can’t balance a checkbook. So, how can financial brands turn Gen We’s weakness into a win-win? And (of course) Millennials, too. Well, these people care less about YOLO, more about adulting. They like reading Money Diaries, a blog about women working small budgets in big cities—because after all, girls just want to have fun with finance. Still, they’re reluctant to stray outside of conservative investments, and the reason may surprise you. Additionally, some estimates suggest the opportunity presented by female investors is at $5.4 trillion. Now we have your attention...

How banks and credit unions can connect with Gen We. A recent report by the Organisation (“s” intended) for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) suggests that many teens aren’t financially literate. The findings, released in May 2017, are from an international student assessment, which tested 15-year-olds in several countries.

How to market to young Millennials. We’ve heard the stereotypes of young Millennials. But is there any truth to them? This generation isn’t all YOLO, all the time. They’re not frivolous or irresponsible in their attempt to live for the moment. And when it comes to adulthood, they’re definitely not delayed.

Money Diaries is the Millennial woman's Bridget Jones. I wonder what’s in her wallet? That’s the gist of “Money Diaries” at Refinery29, a New York-based website that publishes the daily personal financial decisions of Millennial women.

Women have money to invest. So, what’s stopping them? When it comes to banking, women are just as likely as men to have the basics—checking, savings, mortgage, retirement plans. But when it comes to stocks, mutual funds and life insurance, women are far less likely than men to invest.

QUICK study

From insights to innovation: Applying creativity to connect the dots. The 2017 Iconosphere gave us lots to think about. Our creative director captures five key takeaways.

The 3 Pillars of a Successful Onboarding Strategy in Banking. The key to moving the needle is your ability to understand why someone decided to start doing business with you — and continues (or doesn’t continue) to do business with you.

How to find a rainbow at the end of a troll storm. Blame it on the anonymity of the internet or the juiced up political environment. Whatever the prompt, trolls are inescapable. Arm your brand with these tactics to manage a troll attack.

How Quicken Loans' New CMO Moved from Fiat to Home Finance. Mortgage marketing can be tricky— Quicken Loans learned that last year when the Detroit company was hit with social backlash for over-simplifying the loan process in its first Super Bowl ad, earning comparisons to the subprime lending crisis of 2008.

Here are 4 keys to ranking for multiple keywords. In today’s SEO, where context is more important than keywords, performance measurement often still comes down to specific keyword terms and phrases that a user searches

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You can depend on social media to change. Often. What’s an industrious, but insanely taxed, marketer to do? Read our free whitepaper on the nine social media trends impacting your online performance, for starters. It’s a quick read, but it’s rich with key insights to evolve your social strategies for optimum brand engagement. Download now.

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Weekly Recap - July 7, 2017

How did you celebrate Social Media Day? Maybe you made your own Geofilter on Snapchat or organized your new Instagram Archive. Starburst graphic not working hard enough to create urgency? Act now! to accelerate the buyer's journey. When your Facebook ads lack that extra special something, try these hacks. When you want to get more personal, see AI.

DETAILS, Please

June social media news: Snap Map, Twitter revamp & more. June is typically a time when people start booking vacations and travel, but in the world of social media, the work on innovation never stops.

How to inject urgency into your product pages. Hurry! Act now! Contributor Ben Jacobson shares five ways to instill a sense of urgency into your content to increase your conversion rate.

6 hacks that will improve your Facebook ads. Whether you're new to Facebook advertising or you're a "pro," there's always room for improvement and certain hacks that can get you more engagement and conversions.

How will AI affect marketing efforts? More marketers are showing interest in artificial intelligence (AI), but it might be some time before it has a real impact on their business.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

Women choose strong over skinny. When Cass Hines, an Australian fitness model shared pics with her 88,000 followers after gaining 18 pounds of muscle, she won twice as many likes as she got from her previous skinny posts. Is strong the new ideal?

THE Topic of conversation

Instagram. Learn how your business can use Instagram to build brand awareness and increase engagement. Download our free whitepaper "Why your business should be marketing on Instagram."

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Women choose strong over skinny.

Women choose strong over skinny.

My college-aged nieces regularly post goofy selfies. Some might say unflattering. Eyes crossed, hair wild, tongues lolling. Anything goes. Their friends respond in kind. #photoshopmenot.

We celebrated friend’s birthday recently with a rock climbing trip. It was his 16-year-old daughter’s first experience and the route was fairly technical. My 16-year-old son has been climbing for some time and offered to lead the way, but she wouldn’t have it. “I can figure this out.” And she did, with gleeful bravado and fresh bruises.

My 14-year-old daughter Sofia and her friends broke from studying recently to see who could hold a plank the longest. “You’re so skinny,” one of her friends said to her. That was once the ultimate compliment for a girl, right next to thin and petite.

“I don’t want to be skinny,” Sofia barked. “I want to be strong.”

When Cass Hines, an Australian fitness model shared pics with her 88,000 followers after gaining 18 pounds of muscle, she won twice as many likes as she got from her previous skinny posts.

"Seeing these pics side by side, I can now honestly say that being ‘skinny’ is not what I want anymore," Hines wrote in the caption. "It blows my mind to think what I can do in terms of training and the strength I have gained vs. back then."

Is the female ideal shifting from size to strength? Several brands seem to think so—whether championing the cause or following it. Consider the following related events, from traditional media to the big screen.

Women’s Health Magazine cuts the fat. In response to a reader survey, Women's Health magazine resolved to stop using the words "shrink" and "diet," as well as the phrases "Bikini Body” and “Drop Two Sizes” on any future covers at the beginning of 2016.

Wonder Woman crushes stereotypes. After telling the stories of Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Dr. Strange, Green Hornet, and a host of other male superheroes, Hollywood this year released the first female-centered comic book movie.  It’s also the first-ever live-action film to be directed by a woman with budget of more than $100 million.

Samantha Bee goes Full Frontal. After being the longest-serving regular correspondent on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Bee in 2015 became the first woman to host a late-night satire show. 

Brands go skin deeper. Dove began changing the conversation from outer beauty to inner beauty more than a decade ago. Today’s Barbie is pursuing a STEM career and Always is cheering her on from the sidelines, encouraging girls to step up and take the lead. For more brands empowering women in 2017, check out this blog.

Have you changed the way your brand communicates with female consumers? What’s working and why?

Moms use social media to talk health coverage.

Moms are to Facebook what tweens are to Instagram. It’s where she finds advice, attention and, most importantly, an audience. Torn between two brands? Post it. Kid matriculated to middle school? Share it. Fear of losing coverage for your child’s pre-existing medical condition? Promote it.

According to Nielsen research, Generation X (ages 40-52 in 2017) spends the most time on social media: almost seven hours a week versus Millennials, who come in second, with just over six hours a week. Facebook is mom’s channel of choice, with 81 percent using the platform versus 66 percent of dads. Parents, especially moms, interact with their networks frequently. About 94 percent post or comment Facebook regularly.

What’s she posting? Healthcare is always a hot topic with mom on social. She asks about the shelf life of sunscreen, chronicles her 2 a.m. dash to the ER with her wheezing toddler, and invites debate over the best treatments for poison ivy and bug bites. Changes in health—whether positive or negative—are particularly post worthy.

Like the risk of losing healthcare coverage. The fate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has moms taking to their worries to social media with hashtags like #IAmAPreexistingCondition and #Csection to vent frustration over losing coverage or higher premiums because they have given birth. Under the American Health Care Act (AHCA)—legislation proposed to replace the ACA—C-sections would be categorized as a pre-existing condition, along with diabetes and congenital heart problems.

Moms are also worried about losing coverage for their families. Some share photos of their children who could die without insurance. Others share their family’s health struggles and openly fret about the impact of policy change.

The ACA/ACHA conversation will continue for months if not years while legislation is considered in Congress. Meanwhile, healthcare will be always be a social media fave. So, what’s a health care provider to do? Participate in the conversation or sit on the sidelines? You may opt to toggle between the two, just don’t ignore mom altogether. She is the undisputed healthcare decision maker in the family. You need her on your side and that means acknowledging her social media activity.

Participate in the conversation.

The topic du jour is the ACA. If you’re a health care provider, chances are your physicians and nurses are already entertaining questions from patients about the ACA. Will I be covered? Will I have to pay more? Your role is to be informative without being political. It may be a tough line to walk, but if you’re not careful you’ll alienate some patients.

Develop a social media plan to keep your team on track. Stick to the hard facts and avoid rumor and innuendo. Your job is to interpret the current policy, not analyze what the impact of proposed legislation. Provide helpful tips and insights into how to use insurance benefits to their full advantage. If and when new legislation is adopted, articulate what if any impact they may experience. Be a guide, a trusted resource that mom can lean on.

Sit on the sidelines.

Just because you can’t contribute to the politics of the day doesn’t mean you should ignore it altogether. Your social media team should monitor the healthcare conversation regularly, providing insights into how consumers are reacting. Think of it as a dynamic, diverse focus group. When people complain of stress, consider content to help families cope in positive ways (yoga, meditation, long walks, etc.). If you work directly with patients, this knowledge will help your team communicate more authentically with them.

In short, mom is freaking out about healthcare coverage right now. She’s commiserating with millions of her compatriots very publicly via her favorite social media channel, Facebook.  If you want to build trust and loyalty with mom, pay attention to what’s keeping her up at night and posting at all hours of the day.

Healthcare Checkup - June 2017

How can healthcare providers tap into the safety Millennials so crave? Should you be focusing your mental health campaign at university populations? Or should you stick with the SAD month of January? No worries, as you’ll be happy to see all the ways brands are empowering women.

VITAMIN B&P.

5 things Millennials want from healthcare. No longer a bunch of texting teens, America’s largest cohort is having babies and purchasing healthcare. Take a look at what they’re looking for.

A healthcare marketer’s cheat sheet: what to advertise and when. We all know about flu season and heart month, but what about some other opportune months to market your clinical services?

MARKETING SUPPLEMENTS.

6 top takeaways from Iconosphere 2017. From “play deficit disorder” to a world without smart phones, see what’s up and coming in future-forward ideas and consumer insights shared at this conference.

6 ways brands are empowering women in 2017. Kudos to Microsoft for encouraging young girls to stay in STEM and MCann New York for the statue of the darling girl facing off the infamous Wall Street Charging Bull.

INDUSTRY PULSE.

Have you added influencer marketing to your mix yet? Think maternity care, fitness and bariatrics. And how are your docs feeling about their workplace these days? Have you given them a forum to tell you?

What micro-influencers can do for you. These mid-level brand evangelists are loaded with authenticity and millennial appeal, and may warrant your attention in implementing an influencer campaign.

Here’s what doctors really think about where they work. Gain insight from one doc who appreciates giving his insight on a hospital focus group. Something to think about for physician retention.

MONTHLY DOSE.

Looking to market to all generations but don’t have the budget? Not a problem. There’s one common demoninator across each audience. Can you guess what it is? Download our free guide: How to market healthcare to all generations, to learn more.

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