What We Can Learn from Vaccine Marketing 

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You might think: “why would anyone need to market a vaccine? Isn’t the very idea that someone can be vaccinated from COVID-19 good enough?” 

In a better world, yes. 

However, in this one, the vaccine will require marketing. That marketing, obviously, will be different than any other form of marketing. It’s not like picking one brand of soda or one kind of car over another, for example. 

Instead, this marketing will be more of a “why you should get it.” Millions and millions, of course, will rush to get the vaccine. Others will have to be marketed to. I intentionally used “have to” here, since this is about vaccination. If not enough people get it, it won’t be nearly as effective. 

This NPR hit covers “ways to make public messaging about the pandemic more effective and persuasive.” 

Even if your company has nothing to do with healthcare at all, there’s something you can take from this messaging. 



The Right Kind of Modeling 


In the discussion, they bring up how there was a picture of Elvis “getting a polio vaccine backstage at ‘The Ed Sullivan Show.” 

Even if the “Ed Sullivan Show” is way, way before your time (like it is for me), the context of this is that one of the world’s most famous entertainers went on one of the biggest public platforms and took the polio vaccine. 

So, then many people who might otherwise have avoided the vaccine (younger folks, and so forth) saw that the vaccine was OK. Elvis did it, so it’d be all right for me to do it, too. 

That’s obviously really simplifying the thought process. 

No one probably ever said aloud: “Well, Elvis took the polio vaccine, must be all right for me and my friends, too.” But, that thought may have been in the backs of their minds, working on them subconsciously. 

Again, there’s something to take from this even if your company has nothing to do with vaccines. 

This is where having an influencer can be very useful. 

You could benefit from having one that speaks to a large part of your potential customer base. However, you might also benefit from having an influencer who does not speak to the majority of your customer base. 

Example: lawnmowers. Having an “influencer” be a suburban father who works 9 to 5 and cuts his lawn on weekends could grow your audience, yes. However, you might get even more out of having an influencer who’s a teenager showing this lawnmower is better than the rest, as they use it to get even more lawn mowing jobs done on weekends. 

That’s a pretty broad example, but you get the idea. The latter can appeal to a different customer base than one might expect the company to go for, thus increasing their pull. 



“When in Doubt, Look for the Fear” 


This rather negative sounding heading is actually headed towards something positive. 

One of the most interesting parts in the whole discussion for me was: “Well, the first thing is that human beings are consistently and persistently irrational… when in doubt, look for the fear because deep inside – just like a chocolate-covered candy, deep inside, every mysterious behavior is some sort of fear or insecurity.” 

That’s profound. 

It’s also something your company can use. 

That’s not to say that you have to play on your customers’ fears, of course. 

But, you can show how you can solve them. You can keep those fears at bay, assuage those fears. 

To continue the analogy of lawn care (perhaps aspirationally, as this blog was written in December) think of all of the pests in the grass. 

Weeds and other problems could ruin your grass. So, you could show how your products are going to stop them, keep them from destroying your yard, and ultimately, your property’s value. 

Then, you’re speaking to that fear in a very positive way. 

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