Signs You Are Taking Your Healthcare Marketing Down Easy Street


As marketing continues to fragment, the one-size-fits-all approach may be easier to execute in these times of limited resources, but it’s inevitably doomed to fail.

I don’t mean to give marketers who use a cookie-cutter approach to marketing hospitals and health systems a hard time, honestly. But it’s 2014 and the media landscape has drastically shifted – even in the last two years.

As marketers, we all want our marketing to work. But are we willing to do the work that gets us closer to who we are targeting? My guess is that in your daily grind of meetings, events and more meetings, sometimes you’re lucky to get a campaign launched at all. But it’s time, readers, to get off Easy Street. And you know what I mean by that. It’s that not-so-tough, comfortable place you’ve been for quite some time now.

We need to break the habit of taking the path of least resistance with our marketing efforts, whether by quitting cold turkey or slapping on a patch to get us through the tough times. If your marketing is seeming ho-hum these days with no real pulse, take a look at these telltale warning signs that should be a good indicator you need to make a change and take the next exit.

You appease your internal audiences (physicians, CEOs, practice managers, etc.) rather than sticking up for your target audience. I’m all too familiar with physicians who like to edit copy so it sounds more technical. And yes, I understand your C-suite demands results. What better way to get them to walk-the-walk when it comes to implementing systems of measurement? Use strategic rationale and insights about your audience, along with any metrics you can dig up, to present a case for why you are recommending something different than what they’re asking for. If you use rationale and insight that ties back to what you know about your target audience, then you’ve hopefully made the case. There are times, though, you may have to run with the marching orders, but at least you know you’ve put up a good fight.

You are a copycat.
I’m thinking of opening an agency called Me Too Advertising and Marketing. Healthcare would be my primary target due to the overwhelming number of healthcare marketers using this as a marketing strategy. If you have fallen victim to this line of thinking, then listen up, because copycatting isn’t a strategy. And being second to market isn’t winning the race for positioning. Think about what makes you different – why people come to your hospital when they could choose to go to a bigger/closer/newer system in your area. Figure that out and leverage it throughout all of your marketing efforts. And if you can’t or don’t have time to figure it out, then hire someone to do it.

You do the same thing you’ve done year-over-year.
So you say attendance at your last vein screening or bariatric seminar was about the same as it’s been for the last six months. The monthly mailer and print ad seems to be working then, right? Your physicians aren’t harping on you, so why make a change? Well, why not make a change to see if you can shake things up and increase your numbers? There are LOTS of ways to talk to your target audience these days, whether it’s a 45-year-old female who doesn’t like the noticeable veins when she wears her golf shorts or a potential bariatric patient who spends lots of time researching surgical options before he pr she makes a decision. The thing you must work toward is your target audience’s media consumption habits. And this data is very easy to find, you just have to know where to find it.

You experience data blindness.
You may not have the most sophisticated tracking system at your hospital, but I’m betting there are bits and pieces of data that you can find if you look in the right places. One of the most basic tracking systems you can implement is on your website. There is traffic software you can purchase, but there are also free platforms, such as Google Analytics, that can be implemented quickly to give you some good data to start. At least get something in place so you can begin to accumulate valuable insights that will provide you with the backup you need for future strategic and tactical recommendations.

AcrobatAnt Healthcare Marketing & Advertising
1336 East 15th Street
Tulsa, OK

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