Case study: Content marketing success at a medical practice

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I first reported my friend Lisa Reath’s remarkable success marketing her family’s medical practice in 2011.  Since then, Lisa has continued to develop extraordinarily effective social media marketing initiatives. In this video, I describe her latest innovation and she is going old school!

How is she using a cook book to increase brand awareness in an unusual and authentic way?  See for yourself in this video!

By the way, if you’re interested in purchasing this fantastic cookbook for $20, Lisa will donate ALL proceeds to a local food bank.  You can reach her at lisareath (at) to purchase this fantastic book!

What are your thoughts on this highly unsual marketing idea?

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  • This is a GREAT story. I love it when people are unique and here’s something I do very little of in my own business: sell. I’ve been told I need to sell more and it’s just bloody uncomfortable. It feels like bragging. Yes I’m a fantastic marketer and promoter for everyone else (my clients) but I’m so uncomfortable in selling myself that I had to have a journalist in NYC write my bio for my website (true). He took one look at my bio and said, “Annette, your bio is so cold and clinical and you’re such a warm person.” I love what Lisa did here and I’m SO glad you shared it with us Mark. Something to keep in mind for people like myself who work in the social media realm: one of the things that makes “social” different is that we engage in only a small amount of “direct” sales. So when we, as social media specialists/marketers, are too over-the-top about what we can do for businesses, it conflicts with the inherent nature of social business which is to be subtle (e.g. indirect VS direct).

    There’s a better way to promote ourselves and our businesses in the social arena; I love the way Lisa did it! 

  • Rosemary

    It definitely feels like it’s time to incorporate more of the personal touch-old school style into our high-tech social media outreach.  So yes, you can do e-books and YouTube videos as well as cookbooks and refrigerator magnets.  What a wonderful case study!  But now I want the chocolate bourbon cake recipe, please 🙂

  • Thanks for your comment Annette.  Lisa seems to come by her marketing instincts naturally.  She just seems to have a sense of what is right and helpful and has acted boldly on her ideas. Really an inspiration. 

  • Buy the cookbook : )   It really is amazing. My wife has used it every week!

  • This is fantastic because it has really *nothing* to do with her practice. Our customers are more savvy than ever and see right through our “help” when it is backhanded sales. Good for her 🙂

  • Good Morning Mark,
    Thank you so much for your video! Annette and Rosemary, thank you for your kind comments.

    The idea for Reath Recipes was a bit “out there” to be sure. Who expects to receive a cookbook in the mail from their doctor’s office? We designed it as a gift for our  colleagues and patients, with the
    expectation that it will have a longer shelf life than any marketing (selling) piece
    we could produce. There isn’t any contact information or mention that Dr Reath is a plastic surgeon. The only call to action is to have fun in the kitchen.

    Honestly, the response has been overwhelming. There hasn’t been a day
    when we haven’t had patients commenting on it, sending us pictures of
    recipes they cooked or lovely thank-you notes.

    Many have asked if they can buy extra copies to give to family and friends so we thought it would be a real win/win to use the extras to raise money for our local hunger ministry. I set up a page on our website with an order form and background on the book.
    I also posted the book by chapter so that you can make your grocery list if you don’t have the book in front of you. (Authentically helpful. I learned that from your class!) That page is or go to and look under Dr Reath’s blog.

    I would be honored to send any of your blog readers a free copy which includes, Rosemary, the recipe for the Chocolate Bourbon Cake 🙂

  • Good to hear from you Amie. BTW, be sure to watch for your special appearance in the new “Return On Influence” book : ) 

  • Thanks for the great insights, Lisa!

  • Sarafoster73

    Brilliant marketing idea…and great recipes!

  • This is such a cool idea! And I love that the proceeds are being donated to a local food bank. 🙂

  • I can vouch for the recipes!

  • A great story all-around!

  • Superb! Talk about cooking up a success story 🙂 People love to receive something different and unique, especially when it has their best interest in mind. It shows they care – and who doesn’t want to feel cared for?

    You nailed it Lisa!

  • Isn’t this a great way of standing out?  Integrated marketing? One of my favorite case studies. Thanks Tony.

  • Am I too late to chime in with my own cookbook analogy when I say “this sounds like a recipe for success!” 🙂

    In all seriousness, it’s a great idea and I love how her ingenuity is so inspiring! Why send a bunch of marketing brochures and emails when you can get into the consciousness of your target audience through an unconventional route like the cookbook? It would definitely make a better impression on me than a dazzling portfolio, that’s for sure. Way to stand out.

  • A lesson in avoiding a cookie-cutter approach. Ba-da-bump. : ) 

  • Mark,
    Thank you for giving Lisa’s marketing efforts and creativity the attention they deserve.  Her influence on my practice  — our practice — has been profound to say the least.  However, where Lisa really excels is in creative efforts like the eBook and this cookbook.  Marketing without marketing.  This comes from a talented and creative mind coupled with a generous spirit.
    Thanks, again.

  • Agree. A great talent there! Great natural instincts. Thanks David.

  • Anonymous

    Its funny how marketing through content has allowed people to tap into their inner talents. Lisa had found a way to let out her inner filmmaker, writer, and chef for the purposes of marketing. While most of us would write or cook in our free time for personal satisfaction, she is actually getting paid to do it. Way to go!

  • Interesting perspective. Thanks Laura-Lee!

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