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Marketing smear tests

Recently I had a smear test. Women are supposed to have a smear every two years.
I have a particularly bad memory and one that tends to blank things out that happen to be ‘unpleasant’.

I can’t remember when I last had a smear test. I think it was when I lived in London. However, I do remember thinking afterwards ‘Never again!’

So as a Marketer, who was lying back thinking of England while I was feeling excruciatingly uncomfortable, ironically the doctor says to me “How should we market PAP smears to women?”

“Free Target tested undies perhaps?”

My initial thought was IMPROVE the service. Make it less unpleasant (please!). For example, promise you will warm the instrument first (as many doctors now do) to make the procedure more comfortable.

Message one: New improved comfort

My next thought was to say education. You need to EDUCATE women so they know why it needs to be done and how easy abnormailities can be treated.

Message two: Before you say “No way” know this;

  • A smear test can identify if you have the HPV virus (the Human Papilloma Virus)
  • The HPV virus is a virus passed on through genital to genital skin contact. Even if you use condoms you may still get the virus.
  • Men can pass it onto women They may not even know they have it, as often they never get any symptoms (typical!).
  • You may wonder “who the heck gave this to me?”, so you can give them substantial grief. It’s extremely hard to find out how you contracted the virus. It may have been in your body for a long time but your body just fought it naturally like the hidden lurking cold sore virus.
  • High grade abnormalities are easily treated under local anaesthetic. This means you might fit a life saving procedure into your lunch hour! You can spring from the treatment room and back into work in no time at all.
  • High grade abnormal smear tests left untreated are likely to develop into cervical cancer within 10 years.

My third and final marketing tactic to market smear tests is to use FEAR and GUILT.

Message three: What will your family do without you?

Of course your family would be devestated if your health deteriorated, and if they lost you it would be even worse. Cervical cancer is preventable through regular PAP smears. Smear tests are recommended every two years.

The truth is, I’m very glad I had a smear test otherwise I might be on my way to getting cervical cancer and my dream of living to 100 and doing cartwheels might be dashed.

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