Posts Tagged ‘Healthcare Marketing’

In 2016, I wrote a blog post about the checklist my firm provides its clients to help them determine if a service line is ready or appropriate to be marketed. With all the demands faced by a hospital marketing team, how do they determine which services to market? It may sound simple, but politics and egos can make it very complicated. That’s why having a handy tool and well-defined protocol for making this type of determination can be so helpful. In the short video below, I discuss the benefits of having a Service Line Marketability Checklist.




If you would like to see a copy of our Service Line Marketability Checklist, use this link.

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Recently I’ve written a couple of blog posts and an article about the narcissistic trend within healthcare. If you’ve worked in healthcare marketing for more than a few months, you’ve undoubtedly faced a request from a service line leader who wants to see a photo of himself or his team prominently featured in an ad. It is an old, familiar story. Beyond the ever present pressure to showcase leading clinicians, our ads, brochures, websites, and billboards often scream, “Look at us,” or, “We’re Number One.” We talk about our world-class physicians, leading edge technology, advanced services, and amazing medicine. But we forget to make any of this relevant to the target audience. They are left saying, “So What?”

Below is a very brief video of me speaking to this issue. Enjoy!


Of course, the narcissism goes much deeper. It’s in the way healthcare organizations have designed their facilities (that is changing); it’s in the way most hospitals don’t accommodate patients’ desire to make appointments online or speak with clinicians via email or text; it’s in the design of our websites that don’t accommodate two-way conversation. The list could go on and on.

The good news is that many organizations are working on a more patient-first approach to care and the design of care. This is an exciting development and can’t happen fast enough.

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(This is a brief excerpt from an article I wrote that appeared in the November issue of eHealthcare Strategy & Trends. There’s a link below to access the entire article. The piece is titled “Community Building vs. Narcissism in Healthcare Marketing.” My thanks to Jane Weber Brubaker for her editing prowess!)

Marketing “With” Consumers, Rather Than “At” Consumer

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 1.43.49 PMConsumers today expect to be participants in marketing. They engage in the experience. They follow, like, tweet, share, pin, snap, comment and post. Consumers take in information on multiple devices and platforms, at the time and place of their choosing. Their attention is fragmented and they are driven to seek out the information they desire – on their terms. So how do you get them to stop for a moment and engage with your information?

Communities Based on Shared Interests
You create community. A fundamental role of the contemporary healthcare marketer is to create safe environments where consumers and patients can have health conversations, access quality health information, meet our clinicians, and engage with others who are facing similar health challenges.

As human beings we are naturally drawn to others who share our interests. Think
about that initial conversation when you meet someone for the first time. Often that conversation is a search for common ground. Shared interests, once they’ve
been identified, are the foundation for a relationship.

Building Blocks of Community
Most of us already know how to build community. There are basic principles
that we should adhere to whether we’re creating community via a Facebook page,
Twitter feed or any other platform. (continued…)

(To read the rest of this article, published in the November issue of eHealthcare Strategy & Trends, go to http://ehealthcarestrategy.com/lp-community-building-vs-narcissism-healthcare-marketing-4220/

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IMG_0200Last week one of my firm’s production crews spent three days shooting video at Saint Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury, Connecticut. Rob Frasketi, our associate creative director, supervised the shoot and I conducted the physician interviews on camera. It was a remarkable three days. Rarely have we met a more welcoming of group of healthcare professionals and hospital employees – from the security officers who signed us in each morning at the crack of dawn to the nurses, techs and physicians we each day.

We spent roughly 32 hours on the job over those three days (the first day was actually a half day, starting at 1pm and running until 7pm or so). We shot enough footage to produce 45 videos, including 18 physician interviews and b-roll footage throughout the hospital (cath lab, mammography, bariatric floor, day surgery, outpatient surgery center, robotic surgery suites, cardiology floor). I had the pleasure of interviewing breast surgeons, gastrenterologists, cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, interventional cardiologists, primary care physicians, bariatric surgeons, general surgeons adept at using the da Vinci Surgical Robot, and more. Below are some still photos that I took with my iPhone during the shoot. In a month or two I’ll share some of the finished videos.



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Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 10.15.53 PMOn one of my recent visits to Facebook I noticed that the New England Society for Healthcare Communication is promoting my upcoming webinar. This webinar series offered by NESHCo is an incredible value – free to members and $25 for non-members. A real bargain. Here’s a link to their webinar page if you’re interested in learning more. Meanwhile, below is a screenshot that gives you more information about my webinar where I’ll focus on the art and science of online community building in healthcare. If you know me, you know that I feel strongly that healthcare marketers need to be focused on the development and maintenance of communities of shared interest, beginning with online patient support communities. (Because the image below is a screenshot, the links are not live. To spare you from frustration, here’s the link to the webinar page: http://www.neshco.org/webinars/)

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 10.22.19 PM

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Often hospitals and medical practices will create advertising that references some impending event. That might be the opening of a new facility or the launch of some new service. When you post advertising on platforms that might have a longer shelf life (billboards, transit posters, digital display ads) that references a specific date, make a note in your calendar to update the creative prior to it becoming dated. I know that seems obvious but this is a very common problem. I’m sure we’ve all been bitten by this at one point in time or another.

I was in the Raleigh Durham Airport last week (February 2014) and saw this digital ad for Triangle Orthopaedics. It mentions that they have a new facility opening at Southpoint in January 2013. It has been more than a year since the planned opening of that facility. How long has this creative been running? It is time to freshen it up – and how much does it cost to update a digital display ad? Not much. Having outdated created sends a message to the viewer/reader that the organization is not paying attention; and in healthcare, that’s not a good thing.

Triangle Ortho

This also applies to websites and social media platforms. If you’ve got something on there that seems dated, get rid of it. One bad piece of information can call into question the value of the rest of the content on that platform. Right now my company has a heart health image as the cover photo on our Facebook page. Once we enter March, that photo needs to be replaced with something new. Lots of hospitals will need to do the same thing. My message is simple: Don’t leave these things to chance. Put a tickler in your calendar so you will be reminder to update the creative. It is simple and will potentially save you a lot of anguish.

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Floating_Lawrence_46x120_Platform Poster

I can’t tell you how many times a hospital client has asked my firm to create a campaign where the key message is: Great care close to home. You may have launched campaigns with that very same messaging. I know you’ve seen campaigns like that. If this is truly the right messaging for your organization, the challenge is to communicate this information in a unique and compelling fashion.

Last year, my firm developed a new campaign to promote a pediatric affiliation between Lawrence General Hospital and Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center. What we were promoting was high quality pediatric care that you would expect from an academic medical center in Boston, but now available in the Lawrence area (a suburb of Boston located in the Merrimack Valley Region). “Great care, close to home.”

I just got news that the campaign we produced has been recognized with five 2013 Healthcare Advertising Awards including Gold for newspaper advertising and Silver for outdoor/transit and radio advertising. Rather than leading with the “great care, close to home” message, we chose to take another path. We led with a message we felt parents would relate to: Don’t compromise when it comes to your child’s healthcare. Parents make all kinds of compromises everyday, particularly when they’re dealing with their children. For parents in the Lawrence area, when it comes to pediatric care, there is no need to compromise! The campaign uses images that immediately engage the reader/viewer. Check out some of the print elements from this campaign. Of course, there were also digital elements including a dedicated microsite and online ads.Lawrence_FloatingCompromise_Eagle Tribune_8.4583x112808 LawrencePrint LaundryBasket_EagleTrib_8.4583x11_high resFloating_LawrencePrint_SkateboardLawrence-Compromise-MessyRoom_MVParentsMag_9.5x11

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