Priceless Marketing lessons we can learn from Dr. Willie Ong

Priceless Marketing lessons we can learn from Dr. Willie Ong

By June 26, 2018Insights
Priceless Marketing Lessons we can learn from Dr. Willie Ong

Many Filipinos get jittery when consulting a doctor or even stepping inside a hospital. For some, it’s because of the fear of getting pricked by a syringe. For others, the thought of medical tools probing their bodies can be uncomfortable.

And for still more people, they simply get anxious about what the doctor might have to say about their health. Medical jargon can sound confusing, or even downright scary.

This last bit of anxiety is what Dr. Willie Ong successfully eases. As a physician, he has become popular because of his knack for communicating health and medical matters in a way that is simplified and relatable, or even friendly.


Willie Who?

With more than EIGHT MILLION Facebook followers, Doc Willie Ong is tagged as the “Doctor ng Bayan”. He’s a Cardiologist with many accomplishments under his belt such as publishing numerous books on medicine; winning many awards including the Outstanding Filipino Physician Award in 2007, and being the founder Society of Philippine Health History, and the list goes on.

Despite his credentials, Doc Willie knows the way into the hearts (or should I say screens) of Filipinos here and abroad. For one, just a post of his picture can rack up to 19k reactions, 1,100 shares, and hundreds of organic comments alone. Truly, there’s a Doc Willie fever online–and we don’t have a cure.

His inspiring success led us to jot down three bits of wisdom that we gleaned from his Facebook Page–and we look at why they work:

Marketing Rx #1 –Be authentic

Browse his About section and you’ll see his personal interests: writing, broadcasting, and helping poor people. True enough, Doc Willie makes medical and health information simplified one post at a time. He isn’t implying that people must choose him as their doctor, but he sells the idea that seeking professional help isn’t intimidating at all. Hence, people will be more encouraged to get checked and be healthy. Not only that, his personal and gentle tone perfectly fits the approachable Doctor ng Bayan persona.

LESSON: If you want a following, give something valuable to the people. Provide content that they can use or learn something from. More importantly, speak their language. Amid all the noise and information overload of the internet, it’s still better to sell ideas with a compelling story.

Create a following, deliver organic content, and over time, you’ll have enough rep and community to come out and give your brand a try.


Marketing Rx #2 – Be relatable

Doc Willie isn’t just about giving tips and information on health. In fact, his approach is sometimes cheesy or funny, but nevertheless eye-catching, relatable, and actually holistic. Unlike others, he acknowledges the need to attend to other aspects such as the mental and spiritual health.

Once in a while, Doc Willie posts about choosing the right spouse, a Bible quotation, or simple quotes about life. These make him just like the rest of us—a human being with concerns similar to ours, aside from the fact that he’s a doctor.

LESSON: His simplified approach to disseminating health information makes him relatable. Not to mention, his occasional ramblings about love and life makes him human, too. Brands must learn to establish an emotional connection with the target audience. These people must feel that they benefit from the brand and not the other way around. Feed them with ideas on how to incorporate your brand into their everyday lives. Most importantly, showing a bit of heart and compassion never fails.

Make things simpler. Emotionally connect with your audience. Learn their language.


Marketing Rx #3 – Be everywhere

Before his newfound social media fame, Doc Willie’s career spanned across TV, Print, and Radio. He was first seen at the defunct RPN-9 show, Makabayang Duktor, heard at DZRH’s public service program, Docs on Call, and was a columnist of The Philippine STAR, Pilipino STAR Ngayon, and PangMasa. He is where the people are, and he knows how to interact with them by peppering his platform with various informative content.

LESSON: His stint at the traditional platforms gave him a reputable background, but it was his shift on the digital sphere that enabled him to help more people. This only proved that going digital is definitely the best action to be done by brands to reconnect with their community and to build a bigger, better one. Keep your platforms updated and your audience engaged with content that is relatable, valuable, and informative.

Go where the people are. Do not be afraid to make the big shift.


These golden nuggets lead us to one thing: the power of good content. Doc Willie wins in providing content that is not just useful but is also easy to comprehend. Give people useful and snackable information in a nonchalant fashion. Like Doc Willie, all you have to do is simplify things and most importantly, use your common sense.

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