Healthcare Marketing Blogs

The Blog

Dan Diveley
VP of Business Development

Healthcare Marketing Blogs

At G/L, we’ve worked on a variety of healthcare marketing projects. Through our years of experience and research, we’ve become something of an expert on the subject, so we’ve compiled all of our relevant insights of the healthcare market in one convenient location. Just click on the headline to view the blog.

Be Disruptive In Everything You Do – Especially Your Healthcare Marketing

When your company brings something unique to the table, it can disrupt the status quo of an entire market. Discover how one of our clients, Metro Imaging, managed to do just that by offering a little extra transparency.

How Effective Healthcare Marketing Can Limit Patient Outmigration

It happens time and time again in the healthcare industry: patients are leaving local hospitals behind for what they (mis)perceive as greener pastures. We take a deeper look into why patients are migrating from their local hospitals and hone in on how hospitals can limit patient outmigration with the right message.

Marketing Accountable Care Organizations – A New Approach

As Accountable Care Organizations trend more towards the mainstream, patients now have a choice for more affordable healthcare solutions. But with a shift in organizational structure comes the need to re-optimize your marketing. If you’ve recently become an ACO or are considering making the jump, we offer you our insights for a clean transition.

Real Price Transparency in Healthcare – I’ve seen it! 

With high-deductible medical insurance on the rise and patient satisfaction falling due to unaddressed price concerns, there’s never been a better time to offer your patients transparency. We examine how much patients value price transparency in healthcare (hint: it’s a lot) and show you how offering true transparency can make your brand stand out.

7 Key Components to Developing a Strategic Healthcare Marketing Plan

Planning ahead for next year? You should be! Here are a few key components you should focus on to maximize your marketing efforts in 2017.

Consumer Engagement: Think Your Marketing is Tough? Try Selling Heart Attacks.

Anyone can make a burger and fries look appetizing or sell you a new sports car. But marketing heart attacks? That’s a whole different animal. Our very own Dave Geile gives his insight on how healthcare marketers can produce viable messaging, even with such serious subject matter.

Creating Effective Healthcare Messaging

Getting the right message out at the right time for the right audience is key for your brand’s success. But how does that translate to healthcare marketing? We take a closer look at what patients are looking for in healthcare and translate their needs into more effective messaging. 

Increasing Patient Volume Requires Thinking Like a Patient

You know the old phrase: “You can’t truly understand someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” Well, that’s true in healthcare marketing too. We explore what it means to think like a patient and translate that insight into optimized messaging.

Programmatic Buying: How Media Is Changing

The media landscape is ever changing. Are you keeping up? It’s okay; we’ll fill you in.

Healthcare Marketing Includes Understanding the Cares of Patients 

Tired of marketing that just keeps missing the mark? We break it down for you right here, with our own research and insights into healthcare marketing trends and unique solutions. Grab a snack and get comfortable. It’s a longer read, but well worth your time.

Inbound Marketing

Your Digital Budget: How Much Interactive Do I Need? – A G/L Executive Brief

Move over, traditional advertising! The digital world is expanding at an incredible rate, so how much should you spend on marketing in it? We have you covered.

Integrate Inbound Marketing into your next Website and Social Media campaign 

Inbound marketing helps keep the conversation going between you and your target audience, engaging them in a way that traditional advertising just can’t. It’s relatively inexpensive and any company can do it­—we’re doing it right now! Check out how inbound can work for your company’s website and social communications.

A Step-by-Step Guide to implementing an Inbound Marketing Program

So you’re thinking about implementing a little inbound, eh? Lucky for you, we have an easy, step-by-step guide on creating an effective inbound campaign. What are you waiting for? Let’s get the ball rolling!

Target Audience

Example Personas to Improve Messaging

Marketers deal in general target audiences all the time, but sometimes it helps drive the message home if we can put a name and face to that audience. That’s where personas come in. We humanize our target audience by showing them as real people with real dreams and aspirations. See for yourself how your messaging can improve with your own personas in mind!

Why Target Audiences Don’t Work

Your target audience is more than data and research; they’re real people. To get messages that resonate, you have to see them as more than a bunch of numbers.

5 Tips to Remember When Marketing to Moms

We love moms. Our moms, your mom, any moms. They’re all great in their own way! And they’re huge decision makers in their homes, according to our research. So here are 5 tips on how to show them some love in your marketing efforts.

Key Elements to Creating Personas

Personas help make your target audience feel a bit more personal than charts, graphs, and raw data. We feel that creating personas for our target audiences is an integral part of our creative process, and we give you the rundown on how you can incorporate them into your marketing efforts as well.

The Importance Of Personas in Shaping Targeted Messaging

You know what sucks? Getting treated like a number. You know what rocks? When advertisers see you for who you really are! Try using personas to create messaging that hits home with your target audience as a person, not a dataset. [snark: It’s so important to us, we wrote four whole blogs on it!]

Internal Branding/Communications

Minimize Medicare Penalties with Internal Communications

Show of hands: who likes paying Medicare sanctions? Anyone? Yeah, that’s what we thought. So what if we told you that your hospital could reduce their risk of having to pay Medicare sanctions with the brand messaging, both internally and externally? Read on and save!

6 Steps to Building a Brand from the Inside Out

Putting your brand on display for the entire world to see is great, but it means nothing if you ignore one vital ingredient: your people. As we discuss here, a great brand is backed by people who truly believe in the brand they represent on a daily basis. Make it a full team effort!

Healthcare Case Studies

Hannibal Regional Healthcare System – “Guiding You to Better”

We talk a big game about our expertise in healthcare marketing. Fortunately, we have the results to back it up. Check out the work we’ve done with Hannibal Regional Hospital. 

Metro Imaging – The Clear Choice 

Our client, Metro Imaging, has a few innovations up their sleeves that could disrupt the healthcare market, and they wanted us to help show them off. We were happy to oblige.

Have any questions? Contact me (Dan) at [email protected] or fill out the form below.

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Be Disruptive In Everything You Do – Especially Your Healthcare Marketing

The Blog

Dave Geile
Creative Director Managing Partner

Be Disruptive In Everything You Do – Especially Your Healthcare Marketing

Okay, I have to admit it. I have been disruptive most of my life. But in a fun way, just ask my mom. I didn’t think of it as being disruptive at the time. I just thought I was just having fun in grade school. I was sent to the hall, or the principal’s office more times than I care to remember. But you know what? my teachers remembered me. And that’s what I want you to do with your healthcare marketing.

I have applied that talent (and I use the word loosely) to advertising and healthcare marketing for our clients. Take Metro Imaging of St. Louis for example. Metro had a very unique selling position. They could offer unprecedented, upfront pricing for X-rays, CT scans, and MRI’s that hospital radiology simply couldn’t do. Can you imagine buying anything and not getting the costs until after you’ve bought it? At Metro Imaging, you’ll get the complete cost breakdown of your exam, such as how much insurance will cover, what your deductible is, and how much you may need to pay out of pocket. Plus, Metro Imaging can give patients immediate, On-Site Results of their exam, from a real, licensed radiologist before they leave the building. Now think about that for a second.

Better upfront pricing, and patients can get preliminary results of their exams before they leave. So now we are not just selling imaging exams, we are selling peace of mind. So if you have an immediate concern about your medical condition, you can be put at ease right away, instead of spending weeks worrying about the results. You can then talk about it with your personal doctor at a later date. That’s powerful.

I had talked with a few healthcare marketing managers from major hospital systems (you can read more of their insights in our new Healthcare Marketing whitepaper) at the time of this campaign, and they all said, something to the effect of…“You know, you guys really threw us for a loop on that campaign.” I said, “How so?” They said:

“We had several uncomfortable board meetings about your campaign. Our hospital system couldn’t calculate costs of imaging exams up front like Metro Imaging could. It was just too complicated. Plus, we couldn’t figure out how to do the OnSite results thing. We just physically couldn’t do it.”

So, with Metro’s strong, unique abilities and selling position, the next step was to creatively deliver that message in a memorable way. I thought who better to deliver that message than the medical exam images themselves. We call it the Skeleton Campaign. Not only did we produce a memorable and impactful TV campaign, we wrapped entire buses in routes that went right past the hospital locations, telling everyone what Metro could do, and what the hospital couldn’t. A unique selling position, creatively delivered, that actually changed a consumer mindset and behavior. That’s disruptive! And the results were phenomenal!

Healthcare Trends

If you’d like to learn more about the latest healthcare marketing trends, click the link HERE or fill out the form below:

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How Effective Healthcare Marketing can limit Patient Outmigration

The Blog

Dan Diveley
VP of Business Development

How Effective Healthcare Marketing can limit Patient Outmigration

How often do you, as a rural hospital marketer, think this about lost patients?

“Come back!  This is where you need to be!”

I still remember these words by Sister Eilleen. I was 16 and waiting for an evening teen religion school class at my church to begin. Out of the window I saw Jeff, a friend, being dropped off by his mother. Jeff got out of the car and proceeded to walk towards the church. But as soon as his mother drove away, he quickly changed directions and headed towards the foosball arcade. When the nun saw this, she quickly opened the window and yelled,

“Come back. This is where you need to be!”

How often do you hear yourself, like Sister Eilleen, nearly screaming this to lost patients? Outlying hospitals seem to face an all too similar problem: local residents leaving their city to visit a hospital in a larger community.

Patient Outmigration is a big concern for rural hospitals. The National Research Corporation surveyed 200 U. S. hospitals and published some of the results in their article, The Case of the Impatient Patient. According to the research, 37% of those that travel to a distant hospital report doing so because of the reputation of the provider outside of their locale. These people travel an average of 66 to 90 miles for a variety of services including Heart Care (13.9 percent), Orthopedic Treatment and Surgery (13 percent), Neurology (11.5 percent), and Cancer Treatment (9.5 percent).

And another interesting outcome from the research was the household income level of these outmigrators. Conventional wisdom may lead to thinking those with high household income are more likely traveling to other cities. However, the opposite seems to be true – the lower the HHI, the higher rate of percentage of patient outmigration. As the report notes, the poorest households had the highest outmigration rate, while those earning over $100k had the lowest outmigration rate of all.

We here at Geile/Leon speak with many outlying hospitals. What we hear is that often the local hospital offers the same level of care, outcomes and amenities as a big city hospital, all located within a very short drive, yet some patients insist on going further for their care. So if it’s not better care that attracts patients to larger hospitals, maybe it’s a perception problem (This is one of the many issues facing the healthcare industry as you can read more in our Healthcare Marketing Whitepaper).

Are your local residents making the long drive to other cities when they could receive the help they need close by at your hospital?  Do you have a good story to tell but not getting the results you hoped for?

If patient outmigration is a concern, give us a call at 314-727-5850 and ask for Tim Leon. We would love to hear about the issues you are facing and maybe show you a few relevant examples of how we helped our clients with similar challenges. At Geile/Leon, we enjoy working with rural hospitals ranging from 80-200 beds. We’ve helped them refine their brands, improve their messaging, and increase patient visits.

Maybe with a few adjustments to your MarCom will keep you from yelling:

“Come back! This is where you need to be!”

We are looking forward to meeting you. And if you’re not ready to meet right at this moment, that’s totally fine. But we’d definitely recommend checking out our Special Report for Healthcare Marketers in the meantime by filling out the form below:

Healthcare Trends

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Marketing Accountable Care Organizations – A New Approach

The Blog

Randy Micheletti
VP, Director of Brand Strategy

Marketing Accountable Care Organizations – A New Approach

As Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) continue toward mainstream adoption, they are positioned well to compete against fee-for-service organizations. Accountable Care Organizations are seeing historical growth across the country (see charts below), and with that an innovative marketing approach to a new healthcare model is definitely needed.

Accountable Care OrganizationsACO Covered Lives

Source: Leavitt Partners Center for Accountable Care Intelligence

It’s been well established that the goal of Accountable Care Organizations is to make healthcare more affordable for patients by offering coordinated, effective and efficient patient-centered care. With that shift, developing a new marketing strategy that speaks to better overall health, emphasizing preventive medicine and incentivizing quality over quantity will help patients experience improved outcomes and greater long-term benefits is vital (For additional information on healthcare marketing strategies being considered by providers, check out our new Healthcare Whitepaper).

This transition will not be easy, as patients have been trained to react to healthcare issues when needed, instead of taking a proactive approach to overall wellness.

As you move forward with these thoughts in mind, here are a couple ideas that can help with the development of your plan:

  1. Promote Market Wellness – move away from promoting specialties and technology and showcase wellness and preventive measures to encourage better overall health.

  2. Communicate the benefits of Accountable Care Organizations – don’t assume consumers understand what an ACO is or how it benefits them. Communicating the benefits of coordinated care is key.

  3. Get Physicians Involved – Physicians and nurses are the best advocates for Accountable Care Organizations because they have direct contact with patients. Provide them with communications materials to share during and after visits that explain the benefits and answer questions about the ACO.

Good luck in developing your new Accountable Care Organizations marketing plan. We’d love to partner with you to answer any questions you might have or to even help you with your plan. Or if you’re looking for additional healthcare insights, check out our brand new white paper here or by filling out the form below:

Healthcare Trends

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References:

Franklin Street – “Tips on Successfully Marketing Accountable Care Organizations” by Stephen Moegling

Smith & Jones – “Transitioning Marketing Efforts to the ACO Model”

Health Affairs Blog – “Growth and Dispersion of Accountable Care Organizations in 2015” by David Muhlestein

Integrate Inbound Marketing into your next Website and Social Media campaign

The Blog

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

Integrate Inbound Marketing into your next Website and Social Media campaign

A brand making the decision to “go digital” is basically a cliché these days. Nearly all companies have some form of website or online home. A vast majority of brands have some social media presence. Digital is everywhere.

And yet, a unified digital approach is something that’s still lacking across the World Wide Web. Digital components don’t align with non-digital components, social media posts don’t have the same brand tone as certain sections of the website and there’s no real way to measure whether anything being done is working.

While a wide mix of marketing tactics can work to generate results, effective, consistent content marketing generates three times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing, but costs more than 60% less. Certainly there is some cost to getting everyone involved on the same page, but it’s nowhere near the costs of giving up consistent results like that. Whether you’re on the B2B or B2C side of things, there’s value in inbound marketing.

A misconception is that inbound marketing is a tool for larger companies. While an inbound marketing program certainly requires some training, it’s nothing that isn’t manageable. Even here at G/L where a talented, albeit nimble team, we’ve haven’t had too many growing pains in getting on board. Regardless of size, industry or audience, there are plenty of inbound marketing opportunities to grow from.

As discussed in our 2016 Healthcare Marketing Trends white paper, many executives are presented with social media as the answer to reaching a younger audience. And while many millennials can be reached using newer tools, it isn’t always the answer in itself.

From our recently released report:

“Social media is a scalpel. Wielded correctly, with a strong strategic plan backing it, you can deliver a delicately crafted message precisely where you need it to go. But when handled without care, social media can do more harm than good.”

That doesn’t mean scrap social. Rather, it means you should strive to make it mean something as part of a larger, digital, inbound marketing strategy.

Want more insights from our team and some of the leading healthcare industry experts? Download the full report here, get ahead of the curve and see what you’re doing right and what you could be doing better. Or fill out the form below and get the report instantly:

Healthcare Trends

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Real Price Transparency in Healthcare – I’ve seen it!

The Blog

Tim Leon
President/Brand Strategist

Real Price Transparency in Healthcare – I’ve seen it!

A recent blog article from The Advisory Board summed up the conundrum healthcare organizations face when it comes to price transparency:

When patients search for the cost of an upcoming procedure, they typically find the average price for the service. Unfortunately, this information fails to reflect the actual patient obligation. This type of inaccurate estimate can decrease volumes and patient satisfaction.

Like it or not, as marketers, we have to take the confusion out of healthcare pricing, especially non-emergency procedures. It’s stressful enough for consumers to navigate the healthcare waters. There’s a tremendous opportunity to make price transparency real for patients and offer valuable information that helps them make informed healthcare decisions – while providing them much-needed peace of mind.

Slowly, healthcare organizations are introducing more patient-centric price transparency with easy-to-understand pricing information, so patients see their true financial obligation. Like it or not, that is becoming more important as high-deductible insurance becomes the norm for many healthcare plans.

I’ve seen the power of real price transparency first hand with Geile/Leon’s diagnostic imaging client Metro Imaging, who recently introduced an online pricing tool that provides patients an estimated exam cost taking into account the patient’s insurance coverage. It took me less than a minute to get my price information in a secure, private online environment. And if the patient needs what their out of pocket obligation will be, all you do is call Metro Imaging and they will calculate that expense for you.

As you can imagine, it’s exciting to have something unique and valuable to market to consumers. The television spot we developed for Metro’s upfront pricing is not over the top and the theme is simple “Clarity in Healthcare”. The message speaks for itself, so we didn’t hide it with a bunch of jargon and eye candy. It’s not necessary when you have such an impactful message and point of difference!

As a healthcare marketer, it’s been so gratifying to see what I think is the beginning of real price transparency in healthcare. And for those organizations that can develop the technology and operational changes required to offer patient-centric priding, it will be a true competitive advantage and result in overall better patient satisfaction. If you have other examples of real price transparency in healthcare, I’d love to hear from you.

Also, don’t forget to check out our brand-new healthcare white paper HERE or by filling out the form below:

Healthcare Trends

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Consumer Engagement: Think Your Marketing is Tough? Try Selling Heart Attacks.

The Blog

Dave Geile
Creative Director Managing Partner

Consumer Engagement: Think Your Marketing is Tough? Try Selling Heart Attacks.

We admit, creating and executing a successful healthcare marketing plan is tough.

After running an advertising agency for 25 years, we have done a lot of healthcare and hospital branding and awareness campaigns with success of course; but your customer, or patient in this case, really isn’t fully engaged in your message unless there is a need. For instance, I can probably make a Dairy Queen Blizzard look pretty good and get people to pay attention and they may even dash out and buy one. Try doing that with cardiac care.

I ran across a great blog on Marketing Healthcare by Stephen Moegling. It stuck out to me because he used an example I have used many times myself (As a matter of fact, just used it recently in a meeting with a health system marketing manager). He compared healthcare marketing to other big ticket, seldom needed purchases such as cars. Everyone who needs a car probably has one, and once they buy one, you won’t see them again for 3-5 years. So the car companies try to keep you engaged with their brand, and when the need eventually comes around again, their image is swimming around somewhere in the back of their customers’ mind space. Your healthcare marketing plan should have that same impact.

In healthcare, having a relevant brand means engaging consumers today for solutions they may need tomorrow. – Moegling

My point is, I have lived through this process of marketing healthcare many times and I think this blogger is right on. The other aspect that stood out to me was that he didn’t even mention expensive TV and radio, but he did list some very doable suggestions (many we have used ourselves) to help keep your healthcare brand out there and part of the “considered set” when the healthcare need arises. His list is below, and you can read the entire blog here. It’s worth taking a look at and passing along if you are in the healthcare industry.

-Downloadable questions to ask your physician about a specific condition
-Microsites for more in-depth interaction among consumers and your services
-Email campaign with links to wellness information, classes and events
-“Ask the Expert” monthly web chat led by physicians
-Interactive kiosks in hospital lobbies and common waiting area
-Men’s health promotional events at local hardware stores
-“Afternoon Tea” women’s events
-Heart healthy shopping menus at local grocery stores and restaurants
-Sign-ups for Facebook “fan” exclusive promotions
-Twitter/tweet announcements from live events
-Sign-ups to hospital Twitter accounts get entry into raffles
-New resident gifts for completing surveys or calling to get a new physician
-“Find a new physician” promotions with a call center or website payoff
-Use Flickr and other photo sharing sites for cutest baby contests
-Baby fairs and other community events
-Meet the Physicians Night at housing community clubhouses
-Clinics for sports medicine promotions (proper stretching, nutrition and rest)

If you have questions about how to create, execute or evaluate a successful healthcare marketing plan, fill out the form below and let’s discuss your options!

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No thanks. Not interested.

The Blog

Dan Diveley
VP of Business Development

No thanks. Not interested.

What is the value of these four little words?

I was asked to write a blog about something I know, or some point of view…anything that might educate, spark discussion or demonstrate G/L’s culture.

Well, with my 25 years of experience on the front-end of ad agency business development, I thought I’d write about something that meets all these criteria: the value of a rejection.  (more…)

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