Bariatric surgery presents a unique marketing challenge.


When it comes to healthcare service lines, bariatrics is a different animal. It’s always an elective surgery, but at the same time can be lifesaving. But it carries a societal stigma, as do the people who can benefit from it.

Yet the need and the demand for bariatric surgery are increasing. According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, patient volumes in the U.S. have gone from 158,000 in 2011 to 216,000 in 2016.

Accreditations, minimally invasive options, visions of the surgical facility or successful patients holding up their pre-surgery clothes: It’s all stuff the average person and many bariatric surgeons think will matter when reaching out to a prospective patient.

But think again. Battling obesity is for many an emotional rollercoaster. Much more so than a knee replacement or a gall bladder removal.

Striking the emotional cord in someone battling obesity isn’t difficult. But when delivering messages to this audience, the timing, the tone and the assurances you provide are everything.

Think of it this way: the average bariatric patient has tried 24 diet and/or exercise programs before even considering a surgical solution. This person says, “I understand why it’s for some people, but bariatric surgery isn’t for me. I can do this myself.” Is there any point to approaching this individual with your safety record or the vast experience of your medical staff? No.

It sure doesn’t hurt for them to know you offer the procedure, though.

But these patients often indicate a “breaking point” – they have to leave the rollercoaster line because they couldn’t fit. Or they watch their child graduate from high school and start to worry that they might not make it to see that child graduate from college or get married or have their own children. Or their friends all want to go ziplining and they have to stay behind. It’s a heartbreaking emotional stage.

But that’s when they’re ready to start thinking about it. And that’s when they need to learn more.

Hart has done extensive research on what these folks want to learn, what they’re afraid of and who they want to talk to. That’s how we generate results.

Want to know more? You came to the right place – check it out.