I work at a University. The thought of ‘marketing’ is still seen to be a bit of a dirty word in these parts. But even I have some understanding about what it is and what the point of a marketing campaign might be.
I’m not entirely sure if the Northern Oesophago-Gastric Cancer Fund has quite got it. Or maybe they have, I am writing about it after all.
They are running an ‘Awareness Campaign’ about stomach and oesophageal cancer. It has kind of worked. I am now aware of them, stomach cancer, and their campaign. This is because the poster tells me it is a campaign, not because the campaign itself has told me anything about stomach and oesophageal cancer.
No wait, I tell a lie. The poster gives me facts. The facts are that stomach and oesophageal cancer often present late and that early detection saves lives. Oh and by the way, give us some money.
Right. Great. Sorted. Yes?
Well, no. Haven’t they just issued a death sentence? This poster is someone coming up to you and saying “Bad news I’m afraid, you have stomach cancer and because it presents late and you didn’t detect it early, that’s it.”
Shouldn’t the poster be giving some advice on what symptoms to look for, or what kind of help is available, I don’t know, something? Rather than gate-crashing your life with the terrifying news that if you’ve got stomach cancer, you probably won’t know until it’s too late.
They are promoting this http://www.oesophagoose.org/ website as part of the campaign. It just appears to be a forum, and a ‘not very active’ forum at that. There’s nowhere to pledge support (or money), and the advice is hidden away in forum posts.
I do wonder what the aim/objectives of this campaign are.
If it is to raise awareness of the Northern Oesophago-Gastric Cancer Fund and its website, they probably have succeeded – of the three posts on the forum; all three had seen one of these posters. There are a fair few members too.
If, however, the aim was to raise money, I’d question how many people would whip out their mobiles and text GOOSE to 84424 to donate £1.50. Partly because the word GOOSE makes it seem a little bit flippant and partly because they haven’t given anyone a reason to. Where does the money go? How do they help people? Why should I give?
And if the aim was to raise awareness about the symptoms and causes of stomach cancer, they’ve certainly not done that in this poster.
It is a shame, I’m sure it’s a worthy fund/charity. And there, I’ve done my bit in promoting them.
Over to you
You, dear reader, now have to do the hard work and search for the advice and information you need to make sure you detect stomach cancer early.