To Baby or Not To Baby: That is the Question

Most fertility clinics have grappled with this question. Should they use a photo of a baby in an advertisement or brochure? Though many clinics regularly use babies as part of their marketing campaigns, others feel the sight of a baby is a painful experience for many of their potential patients — an excruciating reminder of a long sought yet unattainable dream.

Traditionally, marketing focuses on the needs and desires of the customer. Since fertility patients/customers depend on you to help them fulfill their dreams of parenthood, it seems only natural they would feel good about seeing a photo of a baby. If you are buying a sofa, you want to see photos of a beautiful sofa, right? So does the same logic apply to fertility services?

Marketing research conducted by the fertility pharmaceutical industry has demonstrated that potential patients are fairly evenly divided on whether they view baby photographs as hopeful or hurtful. This split decision illustrates the challenge of fertility marketing specialists to evoke success without offending potential clients who already have undergone so much stress and turmoil.

For your clinic, the most important response to this dilemma will come from your patients. There is no right or wrong answer because this is an evolving question with evolving answers. What is the response from your advertisements when you use photos of babies? Have you received positive or negative comments?

Patients newer to fertility treatment probably react more positively to babies because they have not undergone as much “failure” as patients who already have been through several unsuccessful IVF cycles. Can you produce a creative and hopeful ad without using photos of babies or have you thought of using complementary ads, with and without babies, with similar branding? There are many approaches to this issue; your marketing efforts must reflect the philosophy appropriate to your clinic.

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