Develop Your AIM Campaign
In the development process of an AIM campaign for a major prescription drug, our data crunching led to an unexpected hive:
companies that employed large numbers of shift workers. We traveled to major cities and conducted unbranded employee health
education programs. Workers were encouraged to visit a dedicated Web site featuring a self-assessment tool, and to speak with
their doctors if they suspected they might suffer from the indicated condition. During the one to two months we spent in each
market, Dorland Global also ran advertising, along with a PR campaign to reinforce the health education messages and extend
those messages to the general public. The program drove thousands of unique visitors to the Web site.
While businesses, community organizations, and other affinity groups often provide strong targets for AIM efforts, less formal
short-term hives can also be generated as part of a campaign. On behalf of a major osteoporosis brand, we conducted free disease
education and risk screening events in a dozen markets with large potential patient pools. These branded events were designed
not only to drive individual attendees to physicians for testing, but also to generate discussion among women in high-risk
groups; attendees were given education tools to take home and share with friends and family. The potency of this ad hoc hive
was strengthened by simultaneous public relations campaigns and DTP outreach in each market, which drove women to the events
and reiterated messages beyond the events.
Go Beyond Boundaries
While DTC influencer marketing often focuses on online efforts—especially identifying and leveraging specialist bloggers—AIM
campaigns are most effective when they use tactics taken from across the marketing spectrum, incorporating online elements,
collateral materials (teaching kits, brochures, etc.), events, and direct mail. Ultimately, advertising and PR can move the
campaign beyond its starter hives, winning the program—and the brand—broader credibility. It may be wise to cross agency boundaries
as well: While a single lead agency should conduct the research and analysis for hive selection and develop an overall messaging
guide for the program, specialty agencies can be brought in to handle specific tactical elements of the campaign.
The successes of our AIM consumer campaigns has informed and inspired other programs for groups directly tied to medical issues,
including allied healthcare professionals and patient advocacy groups. The common denominator in their success has been the
recognition that in groups whose members share values and interests, everyone's an influencer. If your brand shares those
values, perhaps it should join the group.
Richard T. Minoff is president and CEO of Dorland Global Corp. He can be reached at RMinoff@dorland.com
Maryellen Royle is executive vice president of Dorland Global Public Relations. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org