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How Good Marketing Can Cure Cancer

Do you ever wonder why we really don’t have a cure for cancer?

Every day in the US alone, around 4500 people discover that they have cancer. Sitting across from their physician, numb and in shock newly diagnosed cancer patients ask the question, “What can I do?”

At this point a doctor could tell them to jump on one foot, pat their heads and rub their stomachs and many, out of desperation, would probably do it. Instead, most are left with that question unanswered…

So they stumble home confused and scared or worse, in denial. Family members are distraught… friends don’t know what to do and the internet offers way too many options for people that are in a desperate mind frame.

And lives are lost year after year because people are lacking clear and unbiased direction. Is this fair?

Call me crazy, but I believe good marketing can change that.  I believe that the same techniques that entrepreneurs use to grow their businesses can be used to market the hidden part of the cancer cure.

It doesn’t have to be that way…

The Lifestyle Part of the Cancer Cure Hasn’t Been Properly Marketed

When you think of curing cancer what immediately comes to mind? For most that answer is chemotherapy and radiation, research for newer and better cancer drugs, or walking for a cure.

Why? These are the mostly widely marketed solutions.

On the other hand, the impact of food, exercise, supplementation, stress reduction, lymphatic massage, and more aren’t being talked about or considered on a daily basis by the general public.

Think about this for a minute, if lifestyle choices can prevent 40% of all cancers, doesn’t it make sense that lifestyle changes make up at least 40% of the cure?

I believe that marketing can turn this problem into an opportunity.

Here’s how we are using good marketing at Design Your Cancer Cure to find a lifestyle cure for cancer.

Good Marketing Starts With Finding the Root of Core Problem Your Business Solves

When I first started searching for a lifestyle cure for cancer I mistakenly thought that doctors were the issue. Why didn’t they give people instructions that included lifestyle? Were they mean, ignorant or worse, irresponsible?

What I discovered is that doctors are in many ways just as confused as everyone else when it comes to lifestyle changes. Why? There are too many choices!

In Chapter 5 of Robert Cialdini‘s book, “Yes, 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive” Cialdini talks about the damaging effects of offering people too many choices. This was true in the case of company-sponsored retirement programs to the number of jams offered by a single manufacturer.

My mother is the perfect example. One Christmas she went into the store to buy a Barbie doll for my daughter and came out empty handed. Her reason? Too many choices. Her solution was to start buying the Holiday Barbies. Fewer choices meant that she could make a choice.

Cancer patients are no different.

This discovery pointed me straight to the solution which I needed to market and provide.

I needed to create and market a simpler lifestyle cure.

Answer This: Why does the problem you are solving exist? It’s important that you take the time to find the truest answer to that question.

New Marketing Funnel to the Rescue!

Marketing funnels work.

At Design Your Cancer Cure we are using the new marketing funnel to increase awareness of the lifestyle part of the cure. Our goal is to get at least 150,000 people a year into the top of our funnel. Instead of forcing people into cancer treatments and lifestyle programs that may have worked for someone else, the marketing funnel can be used to guide people through the process of making choices that stick… choices that they can comply with.

This is critical to the success of a cancer patient finding their own cure.

Answer This: Can you make better use of the new marketing funnel to give your marketing strategy some structure?

Start With Market Research

Market research is critical to creating products and services that people want and will buy including buying into curing cancer.

One of the easiest ways to do research is by calling up your current customers and talking to them. Include surveys and you can get information that you can market and track. I am using competitive market research in two ways.

First, I am interviewing and surveying long-term cancer survivors to uncover what they are doing to stay cancer free.

Second, I am surveying current cancer patients to determine their biggest challenges in adopting new lifestyle changes.

The results of these interviews and surveys are being used to create products and services that people with cancer really want and will use.

Answer This: What type of market research do you need to do to truly serve your clients or customers?

Good Marketers Turn Market Research into Products and Services

What’s the end result that you are looking for in your ideal world for your clients or customers? I asked this question and came to the conclusion that I want it to be easy for individuals to design their own cancer cure.

I imagined a world in which every person left the doctor’s office carrying a blueprint in their hands that educated them on the importance of a lifestyle change and showed them step-by-step how to design their own cancer cure.

And so, that is the product that I am creating. Design Your Cancer Cure Blueprint!

Our market research is revealing that although there are thousands of products and services that have helped people cure cancer, most of the actions fall into 10 – 12 categories.  The 10 to 12 categories create the framework of the blueprint. Within each of these categories people can choose the actions, products or services within each category that fits with their personality, financial budget, time budget and support system.

Answer This: What types of products and services do you think that you can create that can help your ideal clients and customers solve the root of their problem?

Create a Core Marketing Message That Sticks

Can you state your biggest benefit or the theme of your business in one or even two sentences? When you have a solid core marketing message, the message can literally program itself into your customer’s subconscious mind.

For example:

“Like a good neighbor State Farm is there.”

“If it absolutely, positively has to get there overnight.”

Or

“Pizza delivered in 30 minutes or it’s free.”

The idea of a core marketing message isn’t new and it’s exactly what people need to hear when they discover that they have cancer.  Instead of sitting there dazed and confused when they first learn of their diagnosis, they should automatically recall a core message that tells them to change their lifestyle.

Here’s one of the messages that we are playing with. It’s goofy but it’s a start.

“When you find out you have cancer a lifestyle change is the answer.”

Answer This: How sticky is your core marketing message? Do other people’s eyes light up when they hear it?

Give Them a Taste of Your Solution

Why do grocery stores offer free samples, car dealership encourage test-drives and software companies give a free trial?

They do this because they want you to take the first step into their marketing funnel. Once the first step is taken all you have to do is keep them hooked.

For Design Your Cancer Cure I chose the freemium model. The giveaway is our free Cancer Cure Kit. Couple this with the practice of capturing email addresses and an educational machine that can help people cure cancer is born.

So why is free so important as a marketing strategy in curing cancer? According to a recent Tech Crunch article, “Free is a huge accelerator to adoption.” And in the case of curing cancer, individuals need to discover and adopt new lifestyle habits sooner rather than later.

Answer This: How can you get your website visitor to sample your products or services?

Use Autoresponders as a Drip Coaching Tool

You would think that getting diagnosed with cancer would be enough of a catalyst for people to make an instantaneous change in their lifestyle. But in most cases, it’s not.

The diagnosis is usually enough to jump start the change (hence the quick start guide); however, the long-term, day in and day part of change requires a different approach. It requires consistent drip coaching.

And that’s why we created a 52 week autoresponder series for cancer patients.

I believe that using an autoresponder series as a drip coaching tool can be a powerful educational and accountability tool.

Answer This: Do you have an evergreen autoresponder series that nurtures your relationships with your email list?

I am always on the lookout for good marketing ideas that I can use in my effort to get more people to consider lifestyle changes as a cure.

Good marketing can attract those people that ask the question, “What can I do?” Good marketing research can be transformed into systems, formulas and blueprints that work. And smart follow-up can help people choose and maintain the lifestyle choices they make.

Question: Consider the marketing strategies and techniques that you use in your business or practice. What are your favorite strategies for getting people to enter into the top of your marketing funnel?

Let me know so that I can see if they might work as part of the cure for cancer!

About Erica Lane

Erica Lane (@EricadLane) is a research and development junkie who is passionate about collaborating and partnering with entrepreneurs to create business systems and processes that make a difference in the world. A cancer survivor she is on a mission to create a cancer cure lifestyle formula. Her free weekly newsletter is available at EricaDLane.com.

38 comments

  1. Alex Aguilar says:

    People already know that eating well, reducing stress, getting more exercise is good for preventing not only cancer but also heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and a whole bunch of other diseases. The problem is that the laziness industry (TV, video games and junk foods) have billion dollar advertising budgets, and there is no marketing juggernaut to compete with them.

    The only entity out there that promotes healthy eating for the sake of healthy eating (and not selling a particular product) is the government, who no one listens to anyway.

    1. Erica Lane says:

      Hey Alex, I agree that people know about preventing cancer and a host of other diseases. However, this article is about the lack of usable information available once a person is diagnosed with cancer. Most are left empty handed wishing they had the information. I want to make sure that they have the information they need when they can use it most…so that they are knowledgeable and calm enough to make the important decisions they need to make.

  2. Matt says:

    Hi Erica,

    That is a fantastic model you are rolling out for cancer patients. I am on the same path, I have Psoriasis, which is an auto-immune disorder that millions in the US struggle with. Doctors offer nothing but topical solutions and simply state “there is no cure for this”.

    I have gone through almost 10 years of that, I realize now, through self-education and literature, that a lifestyle change is THE way to cure my skin disorder. All the books I read regarding a hoelistic approach also mention that all kinds of ailments are cured this way. It’s a miracle when you build faith through practice. The human body can heal itself.

    I’ll be adding content of my journey on PsoriasisDiary.com, maybe we can collaborate at some point in the future. Cancer took my dad, I believe that we can save ourselves.

    Inspiring stuff!

    1. Erica Lane says:

      Thank you Matt, the model I am using is truly based on marketing principles. It’s incredible what you can discover when you get to the root cause of the issue.

      You are correct in stating that self-education, literature and lifestyle change is key. I can’t wait to see what you role out for people with Psoriasis. Let me know when you get going on PsoriasisDiary.com and let’s see what we can do together.

  3. Hi Erica,
    I love your spirit of helping others to a better way both health wise and marketing wise. I’ve been trying to teach friends and relatives how to feel good and be healthy. So many listen and then do nothing. It sounds like one needs to teach others in baby steps and encourage them in positive example, gently and persistently, but not to the point of being obnoxious, of course. A great post. Are you on Facebook? I would like to share some ideas with you I’ve come across recently. Or feel free to email me.

    1. Erica Lane says:

      Hi Clara Mae! Yes, I am on Facebook. I just sent you an email through your website.

      I know what you mean about trying to teach others. I find that baby steps and example does work best. I look forward to hearing your ideas.

  4. Janey Goude says:

    Erica,
    Phenomenal guest post. The way you simultaneously marketed your cause and taught about the marketing techniques that anyone can use…brilliant.
    As a medical provider for over a decade, I can say you have identified a gap and met a felt need.
    Well done on all fronts.

    1. Erica Lane says:

      Thanks for the compliment Janey. The more I learn about marketing the more impressed I am about its power. It’s helpful to know that, as a medical provider, you see the gap as well.

  5. Jason "J-Ryze" Fonceca ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I have FELT THIS WAY for so long.

    All the best messages & solutions in the world, MARKETED like ABSOLUTE JUNK.

    RyzeOnline.com’s included, but I’m doing my best.

    And all the lamest, most ‘superficial’ offerings, with Massive Hollywood Marketing Push’s + BuzzMachines backing them.

    Hahahaha…

    God it’s so refreshing to meet/read someone like you, Erica.

    Thank you.

    1. Erica Lane says:

      Hi Jason! It’s nice to meet you as well. By the way, I thoroughly enjoy your blog. I am with you and have seen some of the most brilliant ideas and solutions fall through the cracks because of less than stellar marketing.

      It is so frustrating. One of my biggest goals is to pull together some of the best marketing minds on the planet and focus their genius on tackling some of the worlds problems with brilliant marketing. Wouldn’t that be fun…and freakin’ powerful!

      1. Jason "J-Ryze" Fonceca ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

        Thoroughly enjoy RyzeOnline? I’m THRILLED 🙂 Thank you so much, Erica

        Marketing is IMMENSELY powerful, and I’d love to see it’s power turned and funneled towards Truly Game-Changing Ideas that move the world forward with impact 🙂

        It sounds super fun 🙂

        1. Erica Lane says:

          Yes, I do enjoy your work and am learning a lot. For example, the way you enable readers to tweet straight from the article…I borrowed that idea and will be using it in our marketing campaigns.

          Your brilliant storytelling wakes me up and reminds me that I need to tell more stories. Your brutal honesty makes me think. So, thank you for being you and sharing your life.

          As far as turning the power of marketing towards “Truly Game-Changing Ideas”, I think it’s time. Don’t be surprised if I come knocking on your door!

          1. Erica Lane says:

            Thanks for the heads us Jason. I’ve been contemplating getting a virtual assistant…this proves that it is time.

            By the way I fixed the issue. It should work now.

          2. Jason "J-Ryze" Fonceca ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

            Well now, I’m super-psyched to hear it 🙂

            In fact, this makes a pretty awesome testimonial, and I’d love to quote you on it 🙂

            Tweet shout-outs? Story-telling? Brutal honesty? Yep, sounds like me.

            And even more, I’d love for you to come knocking — I have some pretty game-changing ideas hungry for marketing 😀

  6. Hi Erica,
    I just read your valuable article. I’m new to working with Danny and would like to learn how to apply your marketing ideas in my work as a pioneer in the integration of Marriage & Family Therapy and Somatic Psychology.

    It’s uncanny that just last night my wife and I were talking about how my oncologist who, although he is a superb diagnostician and very conscientious in giving me the treatment I need, has little to say when I try to talk with him about my life style changes. There I am on my own, except that I have my wife who is an astounding caregiver and who is equally committed to making healthy choices.

    All those years I have spent teaching people how to heal themselves are standing me in good stead as I continue to apply those lessons to myself. Yesterday I had a Rituxin treatment, the first of four weekly treatments, every six months. Last evening I was in the gym for a half hour on the elliptical machine. Today I’ll be in the gym for an hour of weight training. As a 75 year old man, I find that never has making daily healthy choices carried so much weight.

    As a fellow cancer survivor, if I can be supportive of you in your endeavor, please let me know. I will, of course, sign up to receive your material. Thank you so much. Matthew

    1. Erica Lane says:

      Thank you Matthew for your support. I can definitely use it and I am sure others can learn from you as well. I too found it incredibly amazing to sit across from my oncologist and to be left in the dark about lifestyle changes. I hope to change this for others.

      I am happy to share with you everything that I am learning about marketing so that you can use it in your endeavors. Do you have a website yet? If so, I would love to check it out.

  7. judy cullins says:

    Hi Erica, Thank you for sharing an outside the box approach to life and business. I too am a long time teacher and for the past 25 years a bookcoach.
    I didn’t get cancer, but I did change my lifestyle when I was 42. Overweight, stressed, with arthritis in knees, hips and neck, and running fast, I decided to educate myself and said,”By the time I’m 65, I’ll be in excellent health.”
    Lifestyle changes I made: I…
    – stopped perscriptions drugs./ let go of doctors.
    – read holistic newsletters and figured out the immune system is all important to prevent disease ( I published 5 books on holistic health).
    – added a variety of minerals to my daily supplements among others.
    – taught Health 101 in adult school sharing the holistic approaches for 8 years.
    – practiced physical activities daily including dancing, walking, swimming, and stretching.
    Also I did the work I love–coaching others to share their good message in a short eBook. I’m still doing it at 70 and feeling healthier and more energetic than my younger days!

    Thanks so much for inspiring me to offer ongoing useful tips in addition to my blog at bookcoaching.com I love tips!

    1. Erica Lane says:

      Congratulations Judy for choosing to change your lifestyle and more importantly sticking with it for 28 year! It is encouraging to hear. Many of the things that you share are exactly what can help individuals facing cancer. Yes, please offer your tips so that others may learn from you. I will keep my eye on you as inspiration!

  8. Awful article. If educating were the cure then less people in the US would be “grossly obese”. Smoking is not good for the health. Everybody knows that. How many people still do smoke?

    Also, there are so many theories about what is healthy: vegan, more meat, less meat, more protein, less protein, more carbohydrates, less carbohydrates, more fruit, less fruit, more exercise, but not in a fitness studio because this mostly done sitting.

    And the lifestyle I like most: more chocolate.

    1. Erica Lane says:

      Thanks for taking the time to comment Beatrix. You are missing the point. Newly diagnosed cancer patients are open to education and are anxious to take action; however, when they ask their physician what they can do they are left hanging.

      This is a huge opportunity lost. I believe that good marketing can take care of this by providing information when it is needed most and more importantly help identify a system that can be used by all people diagnosed with cancer.

      You are correct in saying that there are so many theories and I addressed that in the article because the preponderance of choices is at the root of the problem.

      As to the chocolate lifestyle you like most … enjoy that! Good quality chocolate is lovely.

  9. You are a good person. Thanks for this article. I’ve been saying for years I believe the cure is out there & has been for years. I think the problem from the point of view of the “powers that be” is that a cure would be economically devastating. It’s all about the bottom line.

    1. Erica Lane says:

      You’re welcome Carley! I too believe that the cure is out there and personally believe that lifestyle is a huge part of that cure especially when you look at survivors past the 5 year mark. As far as the “powers that be”, I’m not holding my breath.

      1. I have Bipolar Disorder, and I’ve changed a great deal about my life in the past 6 years because of a new focus on healthy eating and exercise. There was a time when I had difficulty caring for myself on a daily basis. I lived with a boyfriend who was disabled and he took care of me more than I could care for him. Now, I live independently, and I’ve built a life for myself, as well as getting a new career started. It all started because I changed my lifestyle, cut out bad foods, started eating healthy foods with an emphasis on what is believed to help mental illness. It’s wonderful. I’m writing a book about it.

        1. judy cullins says:

          Hi Carley, When they misdiagnosed me with Bi Polar disorder in my 40’s, I fired the psychiatrist, stopped the lithium and other drugs, I practiced my spiritual path, and cahnged my lifestyle as stated above.

          Who better to know your body than you? Well meaning doctors know only perscriptions, expensive tests, and surgery to fix things. I recommend readng health journals by MDs who have transformed their advice to holistic. If you need help on your book, you can join my site for free-it’s all about how to put book together so it sells when it’s done. Just click on my picture or name to see it.

          Free of labels now!–Judy

  10. Olga Astakhova says:

    In the history of our family there were several cases of cancer. Nobody never took care to change the lifestyle. I guess, it was substantially because of the lack of information, the absence of idea that it could help. I admire your spirit and your efforts, Erica. And your writing style, too.

    1. Erica Lane says:

      Olga, thank you for the compliments. I am hoping that one day soon every person diagnosed with cancer will automatically receive a lifestyle change plan. That way everyone receives that greatest opportunity to find their own cure.

  11. Marie-Josée LeBlanc aka MJ says:

    Good morning Erica, I am just starting on my Write like Freddy Program and what you wrote and came with is amazing! I have been interested in natural health and environmental health roots, issues and consequences (which for me include lifestyle) for the last decade and without knowing about the blueprint nor the 52 week auto responder series, I was thinking about creating a system to offer people to design healthier habit in their environment, and at a deeper level, using something similar but more on a monthly basis. I will follow your venture and success. What you are building is incredibly needed and will certainly change the way people perceive their own health and believe they they are THE actor of change.

    1. Erica Lane says:

      Thank you MJ! I am excited about the work and look forward to hearing more about your venture. Keep me updated and welcome your input from your area of expertise.

      1. Marie-Josée LeBlanc aka MJ says:

        Thank you Erica, I will surf on your site soon and keep you posted when things get more organized in my head and online.

  12. Zach @TruthInMarketing says:

    Erica,

    This is definitely a great article, and I think your cause is awesome. It’s great that you yourself have beaten cancer, and now want to show others how they can as well.

    Also, congrats on completing a whole year long auto responder series. I feel like that in itself is an accomplishment.

    It’s pretty amazing that even when diagnosed with cancer, people still need to be persuaded to change their lifestyle. If it were me I would need no persuasion at all…but let’s hope it never comes to that. To be honest, it sounds like your “blueprint” could be useful to cancer patients as well as regular people. Have you ever thought about how you could market your blueprint to average people? Or would that be too broad and too difficult?

    -Zach

    1. Erica Lane says:

      Zach, you are right that the “blueprint” is useful for regular people;however, at this time I don’t have it as a separate program.

      Right now the way regular people get access to the program is by supporting a friend or loved one with cancer… by changing their lifestyle right along with them. In this way the social environment of the person with cancer changes…and their chances of sticking to the lifestyle changes increases.

      I am finding that most people can build a solid support network of 3 to 5 people that are willing to make the change.

      1. Zach @TruthInMarketing says:

        Oh I see. So in a way you are also getting people without cancer to adopt a lifestyle change as well.

        But yes, you’re right in that it is so much easier to change your lifestyle when the people close to you are adopting the change as well. Nothing harder than trying to refuse your favorite junk food when the person you’re out with is gorging themself right next to you!

  13. Hello Erica,

    I came across your post as I am also part of Danny’s Write Like Freddy program. The quality of your post is a testament to the quality of the program Danny offers.

    You have written a tremendous post and I think you can help a lot of people with the wealth of information you have shared. Your goal to help people deal with something they are currently struggling with by simplifying a very complicated process is inspiring.

    I was fortunate not to be touched by this horrible disease in my life (until recently). And not to belabor the point but when it rains it pours.

    I have seen first hand how hard it is for people to WANT to make the lifestyle change, even when they have been shared resources and tools that could make the big difference in their lives.

    After reading your post I have come to realize this may have been due to information overload. I have joined your email list and look forward to receiving emails in your drip campaign (more than I will most other campaigns). My hope is to learn something that will help me make a difference in other people’s lives.

    I want to Thank You Erica for sharing this opportunity.

    ~Adam
    (FreedomSentinel)

    1. Erica Lane says:

      You are so welcome Adam. I hope that you get value out of the drip campaign. Lifestyle changes can be a challenge but it is possible with support and the right simplified information in hand. Let me know if you need anything and how else I can be a support to you.

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