Building and Maintaining Great Agency Relationships

Over the past four-plus decades, AB&C has worked with some of the most premier healthcare systems across this country—large and small—and we greatly value those relationships. But great agency-client relationships just don’t happen; they take true commitment by both parties to be successful. And over the years, we have learned what makes a great working relationship and want to share that knowledge with you, because agencies, while a source of expense, are also an investment, and have a key impact on your organization and your ability to meet patient and provider needs, delivery quality care and build your brand.

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Marketing that Made a Difference

Every once in a while, a campaign comes along, and you know that it’s special. Maybe it’s a cause that you strongly believe in, a story that needs to be told or the creative is just really unique. I guess that’s how I felt from the very beginning about MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute’s “Living Donor” campaign. For me, it was a combination of all three.

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What Makes a Successful CMO?

In my experience as a hospital chief marketing officer (CMO) and in working at AB&C with healthcare CMOs, I’ve found a number of attributes that serve a person well in this role. On Innovation Enterprise, which provides leading-edge ideas and information on a variety of key business channels, Rose Johnstone identifies a number of these attributes from the business world that apply to the healthcare industry.

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Dashboards: If You Can Move It, You Can Measure It

Healthcare organizations have always struggled with measuring return on marketing investment (ROMI), mostly because of multiple systems of data collection that don’t speak to one another. But with the advent of new “tools,” that challenge is getting easier — if you have the building blocks in place.

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Why Brand Perception Matters — and How Customer Reviews Can Influence It

We know a few things to be true about popular brands. They exist. They tend to offer a product or service. They have a physical space or online presence. They have identifiable brand attributes. And they are vetted over time through consumer experiences and perception.

Based on these truths, it seems safe to assume that in order for you to establish credibility and trust with your target audience, customers must have some exposure or real-world experience with your brand, right? Well, think again.

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Marketing Medical Groups: Your Front Door for Patients

Most health systems/hospitals have an affiliated and/or employed medical group. The exception is California, where the corporate practice of medicine prohibits employment of physicians by systems or hospitals.

Some medical groups are faculty models, while others are the result of groups that have merged under one umbrella, and can have primary care and specialty services as part of their cadre of physicians. What is true about all medical groups is that they are the front door to patients you want to attract to your system/hospital.

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How to Socialize Your Brand

If you followed a systematic approach to build a new brand (or refreshed an existing one), you started with discovery research. You then developed a brand mantra to inform how your brand would be articulated to internal audiences and the outside world. Finally, you created or refined the outward expressions, such as the name, mark and colors.

All of this hard work was done in preparation to share your brand with stakeholders and customers. This is when the rubber hits the road. It’s important to invest as much time, and as many resources, into properly socializing and managing your brand as it is to develop, create and refine it.

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The Writing Workshop: Basics of Punctuation

In professional communications of any kind, proper punctuation is essential. But this is especially true for marketing communications, where the copy helps define a brand. Grammar and punctuation mistakes can result in a loss of credibility—for both the agency and its clients. Here are a few tips for avoiding common mistakes.

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The Essence of a Brand Mantra

As branding experts, we have developed our own vocabulary for what we do and how we help organizations define and present themselves to consumers. We use terminology like “brand architecture,” “platform,” “positioning,” “promise,” “proof point,” “personality,” “identity” and “tag line” to describe how we create, communicate and control the attributes of a brand. An important but often overlooked step in the process of building or revitalizing a brand is the development of a brand mantra.

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Does My Hospital Need a Newsletter?

Every healthcare marketing and communications (MarCom) leader has heard this question from a service line or physician leader. Somehow, a newsletter is going to put their program on the map, drive volume, attract new referring physicians and make them profitable. But isn’t this the same fantasy thinking that supports billboards as business drivers?

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