Digital Marketing: So Many Lessons Learned

While many healthcare providers have been late adopters of digital marketing (as compared to other industries), it is fair to say that, as of 2018 it is now a cornerstone of most healthcare marketing programs. And that prominence comes from success and lessons learned—some good, some not so good—about both general and digital marketing.

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Dashboards: More than Keeping Score

Marketing dashboards are an essential deliverable for any marketing team. Senior leaders want to know what they are getting for their investment in marketing, and how marketing will advance their strategic plan. And for marketers, it is important to document how effective you were in achieving your stated goals. So, where to begin?

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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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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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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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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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Does my Hospital Need a Blog?

Healthcare Organizations should blog too

72% of Internet users look for health information online – is there information you could be offering them?

The short answer is yes. According to an article in Social Media Today:

  • 72% of Internet users look for health information online.
  • 77% of Internet users read blogs.
  • 81% of U.S. consumers trust advice and information from blogs.
  • Companies that blog have 97% more inbound links.

OK, you say, this makes sense for a larger B2C brand. But what does it mean to me and my hospital? Read full post...

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The persistence of myth

Once again, a study has confirmed that there are significantly more risks associated with not vaccinating children than there are with vaccinating them. The study — published on September 30 in Pediatrics — looked at rates of pertussis (whooping cough) in California, and compared them to rates in areas where parents withheld vaccines from their children. The findings? People who weren’t vaccinated were 2½ times more likely than the norm to live in an area with high levels of whooping cough.

Why is this important? Because as the study states in its background, “In 2010, 9120 cases of pertussis were reported in California, more than any year since 1947.” How could this happen in the United States in the 21st century? Why would parents withhold one of the most effective preventers of communicable diseases in the world?Read full post...

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Tackling healthcare marketing challenges

We’re proud to be partnering with our friends from MedStar Health and Scripps Health to present an Idea Workshop at SHSMD’s Annual Conference. Our workshop will tackle seven of the most common healthcare marketing challenges faced by our colleagues around the country. We identified these challenges through a brainstorming session with MedStar and Scripps, a poll of all ab+c healthcare partners and a survey of SHSMD Annual Conference attendees. Here’s a quick look at three of the challenges that we’ll be discussing at the conference.

Challenge #1: How do I choose what to market?

Plan, plan and plan some more. Your marketing plan is one element of your organization’s planning cycle, and you should take cues from the other elements: your strategic plan, facilities plan, operating plan, financial plan, business plan and communications plan. From those plans, identify the organization’s priority service lines. Then determine if they’re ready to be marketed:

  • Do you have clinical strength in this area?
  • Do you have positioning power?
  • Is it profitable?
  • Is there competitor vulnerability?
  • Is there spin-off revenue?
  • Is there a product champion?
  • Can they deliver on patient experience?

If you plan properly and can answer these questions, you’ll have an easier time prioritizing your marketing efforts.Read full post...

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Bringing home the gold!

Ecstatic, thrilled and maybe even a little overwhelmed — that pretty much sums up how people are feeling here at ab+c after learning that we won Best in Show, 11 gold, two silvers, one bronze and four merit award at the 30th Annual Healthcare Advertising Awards. Those numbers alone are pretty impressive, but what’s even more meaningful is that we won more gold awards than any of the other 268 agencies that submitted and that we had 14 different clients win with us.

These numbers validate what we already know: The healthcare marketing industry is just as competitive as healthcare these days. More agencies are entering into this specialty area, but this year’s success shows that we are ahead of the curve. Our healthcare team is steeped in expertise and our partners benefit from the years (even decades — yikes!) that we have been working in the industry.Read full post...

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