A Family Journey to

Duffy’s is a 12-step alcohol and substance abuse recovery center in the heart of Napa Valley.

exploring marketing case study

Linda R.

Santa Rosa, CA

Let’s trace Linda’s journey to Duffy’s and see how the power of Blend’s integrated approach helped her find hope and help for her brother.

Strategic Approach

Blend’s #1 goal is to understand our clients, their customers, and their industries—even better than our client does.

Our research for Duffy’s recognizes that families seeking help for a loved one can often be quite unaware of the process, so we must provide education about the disease, the treatment and even insurance.

The buying cycle for someone in the addiction space is oftentimes both long and fast at the same time. Long in the sense that it might take years for someone to recognize they need and want help; short in the sense, that if they’re ready to commit, the window could be small before they use again.

Treatment is also fairly expensive—it can easily cost the same as a new car, so spouses and loved ones carefully evaluate and research the decision online before buying.

But the purchase is never made online, so our website quality and effectiveness must be measured in terms of qualified marketing leads given to the intake department (i.e. sales).

Finally, treatment is a matter of life and death. Addicts and their loved ones are looking for significant encouragement and hope, so our content and tone must be informative, helpful and encouraging.

Every client is different, but here’s how we used this information to create the right mix of marketing for someone like Linda searching for treatment for her brother.

Now, back to the story...

word of mouth

Linda works with an interventionist to find help for her brother.

Interventionists and family therapists are a key part of the buying cycle for people in addiction recovery because many families struggling with an addiction turn to interventionists first. Blend works closely with Duffy’s to build relationships and strategic partnerships with local interventionists by sponsoring interventionist training workshops. We’ve also written and published a whitepaper on intervention that generates leads for us while providing helpful content for families struggling with an addiction.

tv commercials

Next, she sees our ad on TV

To raise local awareness, we launched a local commercial campaign around the Serenity Prayer that connects with people in Duffy’s target market—families and loved ones struggling with an addiction who would like a Twelve-Step based treatment approach.

search engine optimization

She searches for alcohol rehab in California, and our website comes up first.

Content is King

A large portion of our site development has been focused on creating blog posts, articles, and videos, so prospective customers can find answers to their questions quickly from search engines.


She then searches for other rehab centers and sees our ads wherever she goes.

Design and manage duffy's ads

Blend spent years refining keyword combinations for the addiction and recovery space, so our PPC efforts returned the best ROI possible.


Linda isn’t ready to commit but decides to follow Duffy’s social media channels.

Blend regularly evaluates the addiction industry and social media platforms to determine which platforms are the best ones on which to build communities. Then we manage all the accounts—posting, advertising, and engaging regularly on the platforms to create brand awareness and build communities related to the addiction field.

Duffy's facebook feed

By 2013 Duffy’s surpassed key competitors like Betty Ford and Hazeldan with several key metrics, including likes and engagement.

Duffy's twitter feed

We’ve created a vibrant and interactive recovery community through facebook for people to share news and encouragement.

Duffy's pinterest feed

Because people within communities related to the addiction and recovery field are often looking for encouragement and inspiration on their recovery journey, we have selected Pinterest as one of our key social properties to build and grow.


Linda is regularly reminded of Duffy’s even while browsing other sites.

We design and manage aggressive retargeting ad campaigns to keep Duffy’s at the forefront of their prospective customer’s mind as they browse other places on the web.

web design, development, and hosting

She finally comes back to the website to explore what Duffy’s is really like.

Although we have had several significant site launches with Duffy’s, we embrace a more agile website design model—analyzing data (i.e. Google Analytics, AdWords), performing competitor research, and researching prospective and current customers—to make effective and regular site changes.

media, video, photos

On the website, Linda discovers a variety of videos, resources, and on-site photography.

Blend invests hours on location at Duffy’s, shooting our own photos and video footage, so we can access the best resources for our promotional materials.

duffy scenic photos, media


She stops to thumb through the reviews and sees how satisfied people are with Duffy’s caring staff and outstanding program.

duffy reviews

In addition to collecting feedback, reviews, and ratings of Duffy’s, our video team regularly shoots video interviews with Duffy's alumni to create engaging and inspirational stories of recovery.


Linda decides to call and find out more information about Duffy’s program and availability.

Implementing New Tools

Blend worked closely with Duffy intake coordinators to select the right customer service/relationship management (CRM) software, to design a customer service evaluation rubric tool, and to appropriately code qualified leads and admits for future analysis.

salesforce desk

Moving Locations

Blend worked with Duffy's to pinpoint some problems with the location of their intake staff on campus. They were in an overcrowded office with many distractions. We decided to relocate to another building on site where they could work distraction free and focus on helping guests happily and efficiently.

helping staff find new intake office

email campaigns

She decides to stay in touch with Duffy’s through email and reveives relevant information.


Blend publishes and manages newsletter campaigns for Duffy’s. New contacts are placed in a monthly email drip campaign and former guests receive monthly updates and news about Duffy’s.

printed mail

She receives a package from Duffy’s in the mail that includes a DVD, a Calendar, and a Viewbook.

printed materials

Sometimes our prospective customers just want to hold something in their hands. For Duffy’s, we spent hours performing user tests and researching the right mix of content for our 30+page viewbook. We also write, edit, design, and produce Duffy’s quarterly magazine and direct mail campaigns.


Her brother receives the help he needs while remaining as comfortable as possible.

Because marketing is product, Blend works closely with Duffy’s to identify new product opportunities and upgrades—everything from new site locations or buildings to new room furnishings or food service enhancements. We also get involved designing and producing the counselor’s curriculum and PowerPoints. If a guest at Duffy’s has a poor experience, he will tell others that—and the opposite is true too.


Her brother receives the follow-up care that he needs to stay sober.

Blend researched and helped Duffy’s create a list of sober living environments and drug-free pain management clinics to give guests graduating from Duffy’s as resources. We also provide a significant amount of recovery content and support via our blog, social sites, and YouTube content. We’re currently filming an entire webisode series on recovery tips.

In addition, Duffy’s gets involved in the local recovery community by sponsoring local events and artists. In the spring of 2014, Blend created and Duffy’s produced a short film about the Serenity Prayer, premiered at the San Francisco Reel Recovery Film Festival. We also created a serenity prayer website and Twitter account around this concept to provide another way for the recovery community to connect.

giving back

Her and her brother are encouraged to give back to the recovery community so that others can find a life of lasting sobriety.

Blend manages the Gene Duffy Foundation website, which provides volunteer and donation opportunities for people in recovery to give back. Blend also helps to market Duffy’s internship program for college students majoring in the addiction space.

Explore Duffy's Website