Let’s be honest, some doctors (and executives) are so risk averse that they are simply not cut out for external advertising.
When we are worried about a potential client, we work extra hard to confirm if they have realistic expectations. Not everyone passes.
As an extreme example, I once had someone ask for a guarantee on one, $500 ad. (Do you think that doctor can guarantee his patients good health for $500?)
In cases like that we politely say something like, “Based upon your level of anxiety and expectations, frankly we think you shouldn’t do advertising.”
That always surprises them, because they expect us to sell them. But not only would “selling them” be unethical, we know from experience that hyper anxious attitudes doom advertising campaigns from the outset.
Besides, there are always more conservative alternatives for these clients to pursue.
But the big “a-ha” for me came from an episode of History Channels’ “America: The Story of Us.”
This episode reminded me that America became America because some people were willing to take (much graver) risks as pioneers.
Sometimes we all think a little small, and it is easy to become paralyzed by even inconsequential risks.
Of course, not everyone in the old days was a pioneer – and some pioneers failed – but there were enough successes that America became the envy of the world.
So the next time you have to decide whether or not you want to take a small marketing risk, I recommend you ask, “What would Daniel Boone do?”