It’s been over 5 decades since David Ogilvy, the “Father of advertising”, published his list of influential advertising words. His list is still impressively applicable and enduring in today’s digital marketing world. He attributed the success of his campaigns to his meticulous research into consumer habits.
Indeed, medical marketing requires a more orthodox approach than the puffery that’s permitted in the retail world. However, David’s list provides plenty of attention-grabbing words for medical professionals to use in headlines, social media posts, and subject lines.
Here’s Ogilvy’s list of time-tested faves:
But hold on—there’s more…
In addition to the contributions from Ogilvy, consider this well-circulated list of the 12 Most Powerful Words in the English Language. Read through the list and take note of the undeniable and visceral response to each word.
The 12 Most Powerful Words in the English Language
Whilst this second list of words is often mistakenly attributed to university research, it is nonetheless effective and compelling fodder for any medical marketing effort.
The words in both lists powerful, attention-grabbing, and action-inspiring. But why?
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
It goes without saying that medical marketing messages and delivery are critically connected to fulfilling the needs of patients. Marketing experts have long comprehended that human behavior and decision-making are motivated by one of
• SELF-ACTUALIZATION: self-fulfillment, realization of personal potential, growth
• ESTEEM: confidence, achievement, recognition, respect, responsibility
• LOVE: family, affection, relationships, acceptance
• SAFETY: protection, security, stability
• PHYSIOLOGICAL: air, food, drink, shelter
The words on the two lists above—along with thousands of other “power word” lists—relate to or are expressions of the following:
The secret to creating compelling content is in using words that draw power from their direct connection to one of these needs. These words, along with hundreds of others that draw upon our humanity, are the fabric of successful medical marketing content. Draw upon a basic need, and your words will draw in the individual reader.