Should quotations be used in medical marketing materials?

2 min read
First Published: 
Jul 2012

Key Learnings contained in this article:

Quotations in Medical devices marketing materials can be highly effective, because to my mind they can have several functions:

  • Add interest and entertainment – One of the most successful brochures we ever produced had related but not necessarily medically oriented quotes in it. We looked for quotations from all sources – celebrities, historians, comedians, and added them in to break up the text and also offer a slightly different perspective to overall concepts. The audience (payers and policymakers) loved them and looked for them on each page. You have to be very careful that the humour doesn’t offend or could be misunderstood, however. If in doubt – avoid.
  • Give the reader a break – We find that adding a call-out or quote with some extra white space can break up text and make it far easier to read. They must be relevant – but if a graphic can’t be used appropriately, a quote could be the next choice.
  • Social Proof – I firmly believe this is how the types of quotations that clarify or simplify are interpreted by the audience, particularly if the quote is attributed to a major player in the field. Even if the person isn’t saying anything particularly positive, the subtle message behind the quote is one of endorsement. And I totally agree with Matt that an author who has run away with his or her enthusiasm over the results of a study has rendered a quotation impossible – instead of social proof this tends to lead to social disproof. Or should, in most scientific minds.
  • Reinforce or add clinical implications – It is very important to keep to the facts, and if at all possible get the author of the quote to rephrase the facts in such a way that the clinical application is more obvious.

This post was inspired by an article from the CadenSee Blog

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Ruth Whittington
CEO of Rx Values Group Ltd
MSc(hons), NZSRN
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