Retail | Care Plus Conversations

This is an invaluable episode for marketers looking to create an authentic and successful brand podcast. Lee-Ann Hyland, Director of Marketing at Care Plus Pharmacy, shares how she launched their award-winning podcast “Care Plus Conversations” which targeted first-time mothers.

She talks in-depth about the research they conducted to identify this niche audience and determine their needs. She explains how they found passionate experts in the field to serve as guests who provided real-world advice and shares why authenticity and quality are paramount when it comes to building trust with the audience.

The episode also details Care Plus’s strategic promotion plan, from their extensive pre-launch efforts to ongoing social media promotion and influencer outreach. Lee-Ann shares the various metrics they used to measure success beyond just downloads. Most importantly, they were able to track how the podcast converted listeners into lifelong pharmacy customers as intended.

The entire episode provides a best practice template for marketers considering a branded podcast. It covers all aspects of ideation, production, promotion and evaluation that marketers will find invaluable as they look to connect with their audiences through this engaging content format.


  • 01:50 How podcasting differs from social media
  • 03:17 The lifetime value of customer relationships
  • 06:20 The value of real expert guests
  • 09:21 Trying something new and asking for help
  • 11:09 Promoting your podcast to the world
  • 16:03 Measuring success outside of metrics
  • 21:06 What makes a brand podcast successful

Lee-Ann Hyland is an experienced marketing professional with a demonstrated history of working in luxury fashion retail, pharmacy retail and hospitality industry.

Care + Conversations chat to experts in the world of pregnancy, postpartum and baby health, to help parents navigate the daunting firsts of parenting. A host of industry experts offer tactics, insights and advice to help new parents tackle a variety of topics, including preparing for birth; the 4th trimester, breastfeeding mother’s emotional and mental health; and all things baby health.



There’s very few distribution channels or opportunities to create evergreen long form content that really, really engages an audience, that can build a community, that can bring in storytelling.

It’s easy to say, ‘Okay, let’s set up a podcast’, but it really has to be relevant to your audience. Otherwise, it feels a bit like you’re not doing it for the right reasons.

We knew from the outset that we don’t have the internal abilities to do that and host it, we need to find a partner, we need to find a producer to help with this.

Don’t underestimate the power of your guests. Your guests are very, very happy to tell people that they were on a podcast.

 It’s definitely an effort game, the more effort you put in, the more you get out of it.

We know that people have discovered our brand through the podcast.


If you would like to find out more about how a brand podcast could work for your business visit our website

You’ll find guides on how podcasts work specifically for brands, along with lots more examples of award winning brand podcasts to inspire you. Working with us means you do all the fun stuff, and we do everything else. Find that information on our website


#businesspodcast #brandpodcast #awardwinners #storytelling #pharmacy #parenting


For your convenience, we include an automated AI transcription

Dusty Rhodes  00:00

In marketing, we talk a lot about the lifetime value of a customer. But what if you have that customer from birth, we’re going to hear from a podcast who worked on just that, and has won several awards along the way.


World wide brands are engaging with customers through podcasts. These are the stories behind outstanding brand podcasts. See, you can listen, learn and be inspired by the best. These are the Award Winners from

Dusty Rhodes  00:31

My name is Dusty Rhodes, you’re welcome to Award Winners, the secrets behind award winning brand podcasts. One of the largest pharmacy chains in Ireland is called CarePlus Pharmacy, but despite having almost 100 outlets nationwide, it’s still a crowded market. So they used a podcast to great differentiation for the brand, and win new customers. They went super niche creating a podcast not just for pregnant women, but for women who are having their very first baby. Did it work?

Lee-Ann Hyland  01:03

Actually, I know it worked. People have discovered our brand. They’ve then signed up to become a member of our baby club. And there’s a call to action to come into actually pick up a baby bag of lovely gifts. They come in, they pick up their samples, they generally buy something they have a conversation, because again, this is the pharmacy teams gateway to connect and convert those customers. So yeah, I could see, I could see the data.

Dusty Rhodes  01:30

Lee-Ann Hyland is director of marketing for CarePlus pharmacy. And in this episode, she’ll walk us through the research that she was able to do in house before deciding on a podcast, how she promoted and grew the audience, and how she measured success. First, we spoke about Leanne’s positioning goals and how to create authority for the brand. I asked her how she felt podcasting differed from social media marketing,

Lee-Ann Hyland  02:00

we’re very, very focused in the last few years and trying to build authority within the pharmacy space, but not even just the pharmacy space in the kind of health and wellbeing space, we focus a lot of our efforts around social media, email marketing, and then in store as well. But I think really, really what was missing when you think about content marketing in particular, is that there’s very few distribution channels or opportunities to create evergreen long form content, that really, really engages an audience that can build a community that can bring in storytelling. And, you know, we’re very much focused on a lot of brands are very focused on social media. But social media, for me, it’s always very, it’s short form, and it’s trend driven. And so I feel like it’s a bit of a flash in the pan at times. And I really, really was very passionate about kind of really trying to figure out how do I use content marketing as a way to build authority for the careplus brand within Ireland? And how do we do it in a very authentic way. And that was probably the most difficult part in the planning, because it’s easy to say, Okay, let’s set up a podcast. But it really has to be relevant to your audience, because otherwise, it feels a bit like you’re not doing it for the right reasons.

Dusty Rhodes  03:17

When you were planning the podcast, you did little in house research to explain to me what you did.

Lee-Ann Hyland  03:24

Okay, this isn’t very sophisticated, we have a business, we have a network of pharmacies, of course, we have hundreds of people through pharma, you know, pharmacy network, and what we found was, you know, when we talk to all our pharmacy owners, that if they engage with, say, a mom who’s maybe pregnant for the first time, and if they really, really, you know, kind of create a bit of a relationship, and they offer good service to her, and they gain a bit of kind of, they build a bit of trust, she’ll want to come back there, and she will, nearly her family will grow with that particular business, if that makes sense. So she’s coming back, she’s pregnant, and she’s coming back with her new baby, and then the baby grows up, and then their kids and they need their cough medicine or whatever it might be, as you can imagine the customer journey, and it’s, and it’s kind of like, this is what we’re calling like, lifetime value of a customer because obviously, she’s so much more valuable to us than going out all of the time and trying to get one new customer or one new customer every day. It’s like why don’t we we, you know, hook them in and keep them or build a long term relationship. And it seemed very, very, very, very obvious when we started to talk about the idea of our long form, you know, content strategy around podcasting, that this was probably the the audience that we should really, really cater for. Also, because we know when we think about podcasts, and we know, you know, looking kind of data, who’s listening to podcasts, who enjoys that format. And and so we said what we would do is we would build us podcast care and conversations as part of our overall baby club efforts.

Dusty Rhodes  04:57

So one of the things that worked for you was you had a very clear idea of the podcast, you had a very clear idea of the audience that you wanted. And he knew that they you would be turning them into lifelong customers. And you had people at the front line who were able to talk to them. And you were very much thinking of the audience in your head and giving the audience what they wanted.

Lee-Ann Hyland  05:17

Yeah, but we had to do that we had to build the foundations, I didn’t think it would be right, to just decide on a whim to do a podcast, and guess. And I would say to anybody thinking about doing it, because that has to resonate with your brand, there has to be a connection to your brand. I can’t be completely obscure. Like, it’d be like a careplus doing, you know, oh, well, we were kind of health and well being. So why don’t we just do a whole series around yoga? Whilst there’s a connection there, it kind of it’s not really us. And in effect, what we wanted to do was create nearly like a conversation that could connect between what’s happening in our baby club, and then what’s happening in our pharmacies on the ground. So it’s like, how do we add on we know where we’re at in terms of what we deliver to our customers? How do we actually elevate it? And I really believe that that podcast, it was a way to elevate it. And for us to give a bit more to our customers.

Dusty Rhodes  06:20

When it comes to authenticity, how did you go about finding guests in marketing, one of your first instinct is to go well, let’s get you know, Posh Spice or some celebrity or whatever she’s had a baby she can talk about. But you talk a lot about authenticity. So where did you find the experts that you brought on to your show?

Lee-Ann Hyland  06:40

I suppose when we were looking at our guests, we said, Okay, how do we get the best in the industry, okay. And this is not about celebrities, or influencers that might pull large audiences. And there’s definitely a place for them because they’re aspirational. This is not aspirational, this is real. And a lot of our guests, they’re known to be experts in their field, they’ve actually established quite a large customer base, large audiences, a lot of them have large audiences on Instagram, but it’s not based on them being influencers, it’s them being experts, which I suppose is the difference for us. I think it’s because they believed in what we were doing as well. Like we went through what we really wanted to to from this podcast, they’re so passionate about their you know, what they do in terms of educating and and adding value that they completely bought into it. They saw it instantly. And they were like, absolutely would love to be part of this. Most of them were moms, they’ve been through it themselves. They knew how hard things would be. And they offered these extra things because ultimately, we all have the same goal. We just want to help people.

Dusty Rhodes  07:48

One great example of how this authenticity rang true, was on an episode about what to bring to hospital. Most first time moms who have never been in a labor ward would never think of backing any of these things.

Aine Hennessy  08:02

Snacks are a big thing just to give you a little bit of energy, you’re not going to want to eat massive meals. So definitely won’t be origin like the McDonald’s or the Domino’s lip balm. was a popular

Lee-Ann Hyland  08:13

Why 100% agree with us. Your lips go so dry.

Aine Hennessy  08:17

Super big comfy on these. So your big big knickers for afterwards. A pillow? Your own pillow? Yep. was a big one as well. And one that caught my eye and I was like, this is someone thinking outside the box now is a doula clever? Yeah, doula as a support person, and throughout your pregnancy and birth and then postnatally. So researching into a birth doula, there you go.

Lee-Ann Hyland  08:41

I might just add on that list, which is one thing that I just remembered now, which I wish I had a minute when I packed is just very, very practical. If you can bring an extra long charger, you know, an extra long wire. Because sometimes in the hospitals, it’s like the you know, when you’re charging your phone, it’s just not long enough to reach the bed. Yeah. Which is insane, crazy. But what I might do is in the show notes, careplus has a full extensive list, like a checklist that you can print out for moms packing for their hospital bags, so I’ll link it in the show notes. And they’re not you know, anyone listening can just download us. And that’s just there and done for you.

Dusty Rhodes  09:21

When you’re doing something new and different within your business or within your industry, there is a pressure to get it right and to make it perfect. Here’s how it worked for Leann.

Lee-Ann Hyland  09:30

Now I’m lucky, I had a CEO that is very open to new ideas and doing things differently. Where we work. It’s a very established company. It’s very successful company, but it is it has this what we call it our entrepreneurial spirit. So we are very, very open to new ideas and innovation. However, in saying that when it’s something completely new and different, not just within my business, but within the industry, and if I’m going to stake my flag To amassed, because there’s my reputation. I’m the Director of Marketing, it’s my baby, it’s my idea. I was just never prepared to just put out something subpar. As a brand person, everything that we do has to be super quality, because it’s our brand. And the idea of sitting there and maybe going on a YouTube video to learn how to record podcasts that was never going to cut it. So we knew from the outset that we don’t have the internal abilities to do that and host it, we need to find a partner, we need to find a producer to help with this. When you go with a Podcast Producer, say our people who’ve done this for so many years, it’s not even just on the technical side of things, it’s the knowledge that they’re bringing, they’re thinking about things that you just can’t think of, because you just have never done this before. It’s a fascinating process. But I would say anyone doing it, especially a brand, I think it’s really important. If you want to do something by yourself, it’s fine. There’s an allowance for you know, a bit of a kind of DIY job. A serious brand. No, and especially as a marketing director, put it out there, you want to stand by it.

Dusty Rhodes  11:09

So let’s talk about the promotion. Okay, so the podcast is made, and you have had listened to it, and you’re very happy with it. How did you announce to the world? Yo, check it out?

Lee-Ann Hyland  11:22

Um, so yeah, look, I think for us, we were very, very clear that we would need to do our pre promotion, because what we wanted to do is we wanted to make sure that when we hit the live go live, that we would have lots of traffic going into that podcast, because they were ready and waiting for it. So I would say is have a really, really solid pre launch, launch. And then post lunch, we had a through the line marketing plan that we would, you know, we would activate to promote the podcast. So for example, we have physical pharmacies across the country, we could do a lot of things with in store, whether that would be point of sale, we had the QR code so that they could instantly you know, they could just put their phone up to it and get into the podcast, make it really easy for them. We had signage, we had pull up banners in store, then of course, we had a mammoth effort around our suppose our online store owned channels. So obviously, you know, full takeover, a website full takeover or social media channels, full takeover of the emails, I remember, we had an email list already established. Then we also had paid marketing. So what we did was we worked with a lot of the key parenting websites, you know, so that we had, you know, regular paid ads. We did we you know, we have a PR agency who obviously did the editorial push that we got into, you know, various newspapers, we got articles on various blogs as a result of those efforts. We did the PR, so we did pure outreach we did we put money behind it, we we kept marketing budget to support this for the pre launch on the launch, then we pulled back on on the page, because we knew that we did enough of the page, then I would say we did what we call influencer outreach. So what we did was we targeted influencers who had just given birth. And then obviously they would go on their stories and on their socials and talk about how they found that podcast considering they’re in that exact period of their life. And so influencer outreach is very, very good. And then what I would say as well, don’t underestimate the power of your guests. Because your guests are very, very happy to tell people that they were on a podcast. And as I mentioned before our guests, a number of them, you know, actually all of them had established a really really good community on social media, they were delighted to share our pre launch hype. They were delighted to then when their episode came out to get on jump on their stories talk about the the episode. And that that’s quite powerful, because they have very engaged audiences. So you know, for us as a brand meant that we were taking some of their audiences we were introducing new audiences to our brand as well. So I think he’d kind of so it’s like that kind of the partnerships partnerships are really really important for that

Dusty Rhodes  14:19

there’s an awful lot in there between paid in the influencer and targeting things with relevant websites again, the guest to promote it was there any particular thing that stood out a head and shoulders above all those for you? Or do they all work very well in their own way?

Lee-Ann Hyland  14:33

It’s, it’s a collective kind of effort. That amplified that actually, really got us off to a great start for lunch. Um, as I said, I think as well for podcasts, pre launch is so important. It’s really really just making sure that you have a calendar where you know, in your own distribution channels that you’re constantly reminding people that your podcast exists because you have new eyeballs coming to your brand all the time. So it’s important that you can continue the drum Each of the communication to your customers. Let people know that the podcast exists, and you will get new eyeballs you do. Because people I suppose our audience, there are people getting pregnant all the time.

Dusty Rhodes  15:13

Still to come on award winners, Leanne shares how careplus measure the success of the podcast, as if it were to delivering their actual goal of delivering the group new clients.


If you feel a brand podcast work for you, here are three simple things you can do today to get started. One, visit our websites to get more information and guides on how podcasts work specifically for brands, along with lots more examples of award winning brand podcasts to inspire you to you can call us with your questions, and we’re happy to help. Three, you could consider working with us. So you do all the fun stuff. And we do everything else. Find that information on our website as dust

Dusty Rhodes  16:03

Back to care, pluses award winning podcast Care Plus conversations targeting women a bid to become first time mums. I asked Director of Marketing Leon Hyland, how did they measure the success of the podcast? And which metrics did they use?

Lee-Ann Hyland  16:17

Because it was completely new. We couldn’t really, I suppose, sit there and figure out a target. It was a difficult one, we were sitting there going, Okay, this is innovation. And this is building brand authority. So there’s a lot of things that are going to come out of this podcast that are not necessarily going to be measurable to us in a very, very obvious way. However, obviously, podcasts theory is a measurable element to downloads. We had a very, very small number in our head. Now in hindsight, looking at the numbers that we actually did achieve that was completely like tiny, tiny undersell, because I think we just thought, well, we’re literally starting from zero. So even if we got to there, that’s success for us. So I think when we started to look at the numbers coming through, we were very, very surprised. And we’re thinking, Okay, this actually is resonating. Now what happens there as a business, you want more, you just want more and more and more downloads, of course you do? Well, you realize that, if your foots on the pedal, the downloads are up, the foot starts to come off the pedal, the downloads are to kind of fall back down. So you have to understand as a brand, that you either have a consistency in terms of keeping that kind of promotion alive, or at times where you might need the boost, you go foot back in the pedal, and here we go, again, downloads go up, it’s definitely an effort game, the more effort you put in, the more you get out of it. But we also I suppose we had things that happen to us as part of the bobcats and we just never anticipated things like going into number one on Apple charts, awards, you win awards, never thought we’d be winning awards, or finalists and awards. But I think that’s really good. And it’s fantastic. And it makes marketing look fantastic. And especially you know, when you go back into the business, you know, and you’re presenting this this like fantastic Winner winner. So there’s so there’s lots of different success stories that can come from this. But as I’ve mentioned before, it’s a long game, we were very, very lucky, we created something unique, something authentic, something that really resonated with an audience, we put a huge effort into promoting it. And we got results very quickly. And we continue to get results.

Dusty Rhodes  18:32

Do you think the podcast is achieved your original goal, where you wanted women who were having babies for the first time to start going into careplus pharmacy and then becoming lifelong customers? Do you think it worked?

Lee-Ann Hyland  18:45

Yes, I do think it worked. Actually, I know it worked. Because we know, we know from the conversations we’re having on the grind. We know that people have discovered our brand through the podcast, they then signed up to be become a member of our baby club. And we can see that easily because we can see the numbers on the increase of the members of our baby club. And there’s a call to action is to come in to actually pick up a baby bag of lovely gifts. And they shot up. So yeah, 100% Like, it’s undeniable because we’re actually we have a full kind of pattern, not even Path to Purchase. But there’s a customer journey that we know it started from a podcast, it became a sign up on an email database, there was an invitation and call to action to come in and step foot inside our stores and you know, they come in they pick up their samples, they generally buy something they have a conversation with the farmer because again, this is the pharmacy teams gateway to to obviously connect and convert those customers. So yeah, so I could I could see I could see the data.

Dusty Rhodes  19:58

Not just Award Winning Customer are converting a lot of care plus conversation success came from selecting passionate guests who gave real world tips and shared experiences good and bad. Here’s a short snippet from an episode about taking your baby on your first holiday together.

Erica Hargaden  20:15

One tip I have for parents who have children in a bed, they often the bed rail comes up oh my god, do I need to buy a portable bed rail to bring with me will the accommodation provide a bed rail, you know all of that. So I turn the duvet on its edge. So you know the way to do realize straight, turn it on its edge. And therefore you tuck it into the sides. And you have created a takedown environment for your baby. Very clever. So I put this on my Instagram when I was away on my holidays, and everyone was like, oh my god, this is genius. I was like, it isn’t really it’s just so that I don’t have to bring a bedroom. And the nights where I put him to bed and I did that talk, he slept really well. Whereas what there was one night, my husband put him to bed and he you know, didn’t do the talk, he fell out three times.

Dusty Rhodes  21:06

Leanne, you’ve given us a lot, if you were to sum up, everything that you have shared with us today, are there three things that you would say make a brand podcast a success.

Lee-Ann Hyland  21:17

For it to be successful, I believe there’s three things that you need to think about. And it’s one it’s consistency, you have to do it consistently. There has to be a design around your commitment and consistency to is quality, your marketing. This is your brand, it has to be the best quality. You’re not only of your stakeholders on your internal, you know, office, and you know, the colleagues looking at you, your industry is looking at you as well. Because especially in an industry where this is so unusual, and it’s not a done thing, you can be sure your competitors are looking at you. And then the third thing that is is all about promotion, which to be fair, as marketing people or brand teams, this is the exciting part, because this is the stuff you do all the time. And this is the stuff that you really get behind. The good news is that it’s evergreen content, which is fantastic. Because there’s no timeline, you don’t have to get it out within a month or that’s it, you miss your opportunity. You can use this for as long as you want. And you have the opportunity then to recycle the content, you can take some of the content, you can make it you know, work for social media, you can make it work for email, you can make it work for your website. So all it’s doing is amplifying all of your your marketing efforts.

Dusty Rhodes  22:41

One final question for you, LeAnn. You’ve been through the whole process now. And you have experience of podcasting. What advice would you give yourself? If you were starting this journey? Again?

Lee-Ann Hyland  22:55

I think I would probably, if I was to do it again, I would engage with my the producing company sooner. The only reason I say that is because we had a lot of you know, a lot of the kind of concept, the research like there was more than half baked by the time I started to work with the the producer. And I actually think that that was probably a misstep, because I think I probably could have got more if I had talked to somebody sooner, and went through the discharge of the journey with them. Because I think they could offer other insights that would have maybe shaped us slightly differently, or better, or would have helped make it an easier path for me. So that’s the only thing that I go back and tell myself, bring the company in sooner. Let them sit in the exploratory conversations, because they have a massive insight. So that’s probably the only thing that I would tell myself.

Dusty Rhodes  23:52

I can’t thank you enough for sharing it and telling us about your successes, with Care and Conversations.

Lee-Ann Hyland  23:58

You’re so welcome Dusty, thanks a million.

Dusty Rhodes  24:01

If you would like to listen to the Care + Conversations podcast, you’ll find a link to it in the description area of this podcast episode on your player right now. And if you’re considering a podcast for your own company or brand, you’ll find some great resources on our website at You can also arrange a call to chat about how podcast could work for your brand specifically, or you could consider working with us so you do the fun stuff. And we do everything else. Until our next Award Winners podcast from myself, Dusty Rhodes, thank you for listening.


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