Thinking back on the days when I marketed hospitals, I’m reminded of the incredibly simple coffee and cake strategy we implemented.
My logic was something like this:
1. Ambulance officers are busy, busy people. In a chat with some of them one day they mentioned that they usually don’t get a lunch break.
2. Working a night shift can be a very boring thing for an ambulance officer.
The strategy developed from that thinking was this:
Step 1: A small room was set aside for the ambulance officers in the Emergency Department. Here we had their lunch: paper bag containing a salad role, piece of fruit, candy bar and a can of Coke. We’d put probably 15 lunches there each day. Total costs: about $50 a day.
Step 2: Place a comfortable couch, TV, latest magazines and a cappuccino machine in their room. They’d come in at night with a patient, grab a great coffee, read some magazines, watch a bit of TV, shoot the breeze with the staff and go again.
Now, as simple and as silly as it seems, those strategies worked. If you have a frantic day and you’re missing your lunch break and you pick up a patient to take to hospital, which hospital will you go to?
The one that has a nice lunch waiting there for you, or the one without?
Choice influences come in many shapes and forms. And a simple salad roll could be all it takes to make a sale.