Using Marketing to Communicate During Stressful Times

By Distinct Advantage Partner |

Digital marketing has taken an even greater role in the communication between a hospital and a pet owner. People perceive and form judgments about a business based on what they see online. It is important to consider the general canvas of where a marketing campaign will be painted.

Man on computer researching pet vaccinations

Have you taken a moment to tally up how many stressful events are happening right this minute? Our senses, bodies, and minds are being assaulted on all levels from a pandemic, natural disasters, protests in our communities, national/state/local conflicts with elections, fluid school environments, and more.

Typically, we might start a normal day at level 0 and go to a max of level 10, but now we start our days at an 8. That leaves people only 2 steps away from a potential meltdown. For many, stress arrives on quiet, padded feet and sinks into our brain, affecting our mental processing.

“Cortisol binds to cells in the brain’s hippocampus, the area that converts new experiences into memory. This binding actually disrupts the memory-forming process.”


In other words, audiences are now faced with:

  1. multiple stressors that are outside our control.
  2. people running in the red with stress levels.
  3. high stress levels that are affecting our ability to remember and process.

With this in mind, how can a veterinary hospital market their services in a way that will assist the overall flow of the practice? What will drive tails through the door in an empowering and effective way? 

Part of the answer to those questions is clear, consistent communication on every digital platform where your business can be found. People have less ability to process complicated messages when they are stressed. Even basic, clear concepts could be misunderstood. Digital marketing collateral (pictures, graphics, words) need to embrace the simple with:

  • short messages
  • easy-to-read graphics/pictures
  • the same message with the same graphic in multiple places
  • easy-to-read fonts.

Here is visual example of what this might look like for a prominent image for a website or cover for Facebook or on Instagram.

Example social media post graphic

"Clear, consistent communication can
give a stressed pet owner a good feeling about their experience with your
hospital. Plus, if the pet owner is less confused about what to expect, there
is a greater chance they will be calm during their visit"

Every piece of communication between a hospital and a pet owner is a form of marketing, from the on-hold messaging to the explanation of what will happen during a euthanasia. It is difficult for exhausted staff to take a deep breath and a moment to think about what they are conveying. However, taking a second to think and prep can really ease the interaction between you and your client. Clear, consistent communication can give a stressed pet owner a good feeling about their experience with your hospital. Plus, if the pet owner is less confused about what to expect, there is a greater chance they will be calm during their visit.

If you want to know how well your communication is working and what message it conveys, you can ask us to review it. Beyond Indigo is here to help you and your business through the uncertainty of these times. Our full-service marketing packages make it easy for you to maintain a relationship with your current clients and reach out to new clients so you can grow. They adjust as your goals shift, which allows you to see results and not to-do lists. We are here to help whether you are open, reopening, or adjusting to the new normal. Call 877.244.9322 ext. 100, or go to

Plus, I have a daily Facebook Live show at noon Central for 15 minutes. We already have over 95 shows which you can view at Featured, are hospitals, industry experts, and Beyond Indigo team members. The focus is content that applies to hospitals at the moment to help them adapt to the changes occurring. To see the current week's schedule, go to and look halfway down.

Also check out:
Facebook Live series at
Educational Blog at
Facebook at
YouTube at
Instagram at

Kelly Baltzell, M.A. is President and CEO of the Beyond Indigo family of companies which she founded in 1997. Beyond Indigo is a full-service marketing company focusing on Search Engine Optimization, is a Google Adwords Partner, Social Media Marketing, Online Reviews and websites. She has been a monthly columnist for MWI Animal Health since 2011. She has also has presented and been published in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UK.

About the Author

This article was provided by an MWI Animal Health Distinct Advantage™ program partner. For more information or to discuss how your practice can qualify for a free Distinct Advantage program membership, contact your MWI Territory Manager or click here.

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