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Tips on marketing your hospital

August 2nd, 2005

As I've mentioned previously, hospital marketing needs to kick it up a notch without getting into trouble. In this consumer-driven atmosphere, marketing is as important as ever.

Read the Rush University Hospital marketing story. In a nutshell, they were easily the #1 hospital in Chicago for decades, competitors came in and marketed aggressively, they became #4, then they launched a well-planned and well-executed marketing campaign. Now they've climbed a spot to #3, "Find a Doctor" queries are up 500%, calls to the physician referral line are up 100%, and outpatient volume is up 10%.

Also check out this healthleaders article on how to take your hospital marketing above the clutter. My favorite tips:
(1) People already assume that quality is good and your doctors are competent, so what's special about your hospital?
(2) Find those delighted (not just satisfied) patients and ask them to speak for you.
(3) Don't be reactive. Even if your competitor down the street comes out with an ad, don't one just to do one. (look outside of healthcare! check out this great blog on marketing/branding.)

Also read these articles for other hospital marketing news:
- Stats on hospital marketing levers: most used: appealing to emotion, and appealing to institution prestige
- hospital adds patient blogs to its marketing portfolio: lots of people noticed, but I don't know if it really worked
- this hospital is spending the $ to build a national brand: consumers are empowered and have more flexibility in their plans to choose, so why not market to them?
- In Louisiana, rural doctors and hospitals are collaborating in their marketing plans to keep their patients from going to bigger, newer, suburban hospitals.


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