|The Diagnostic Marketing Association Marketer of the Year award and Iron Man (photo by Judy Stephens)|
By Ben Morse
In the Marvel Universe, top-level Avengers like Iron Man receive the lion’s share of accolades for their efforts, while important background players often get overlooked. So it goes in the real world as well, a problem Marvel Custom Solution and Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics worked to remedy with their collaborative work on IRON MAN: HEROES UNITE, written by Bryan J.L. Glass with art by Kev Sharp.
The team-up paid off, as this year the Diagnostic Marketing Association—DxMA—awarded Siemens their Marketer of the Year award for HEROES UNITE, in turn celebrating the work of the laboratory professionals highlighted in the comic.
“[We wanted to] include the Marvel team in our recognition of the collaboration,” explained DxMA President Bob Speziale when he visited the Marvel offices in late October. “The campaign was nominated within [DxMA], vetted and voted on. The nominees all reflected execution and innovation on a continuing basis. Siemens won nine awards, three for HEROES UNITE.”
Speziale went on to express appreciation for Siemens looking outside the box in an important field where appealing to a diverse client base can be difficult.
|Bill Rosemann, Dave Hickey, Bob Speziale and Mitch Dane (photo by Judy Stephens)|
“Marketing is challenging [because] there are so many customers and it’s hard to find one theme,” he said. “Siemens addressed broader reaches like customer care. It was spectacular and the spectacle caught my attention. [This campaign] related to individuals who are not always recognized.”
Siemens made it a priority to make sure the backbone of the diagnostics community received their spotlight in IRON MAN: HEROES UNITE, with Pearl Powers, a laboratory technologist, working alongside the Armored Avenger to save the day.
“All healthcare professionals are heroes,” emphasized Dave Hickey, CEO Chemistry, Immunoassay, Automation & IT Business Unit at Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics. “Laboratory professionals deliver results needed to support clinical decisions. They’re not well-known, [but] they are pivotal. Everybody has had a blood or urine test. There is a critical shortage of laboratory technologists in the United States.”
“Iron Man is a global character. Lab professionals are new grads to tenured professors. Iron Man reaches out to the right audience. How Tony Stark approaches a problem is how we do. We never give up.”
Siemens’ Connie Mardis, Director, Marketing Communication Programs, noted that Iron Man accompanied them to the American Association for Clinical Chemistry—AACC— tradeshow and proved a huge hit:
“Iron Man brought hundreds to the Siemens booth. The presence was so big. He told them, ‘It’s great to welcome a fellow hero.’ Lab professionals deserve to be recognized as heroes.”
Marvel editor Bill Rosemann credits Mardis and Siemens colleague Steve Flynn with providing all direction for HEROES UNITE and for providing the full background on Pearl Powers.
“It was risky for Siemens to do this,” concluded Speziale of the campaign. “The execution was spectacular.”