By positioning your advertising as a public service, and not just like other self-serving corporate advertisers, service line patient volume will build quickly proving that you will “Do Well By Doing Good”.
The problem is that most hospital marketers think like brand managers in consumer corporations: they want to stake out a clearly defined position based on their benefits. As tempting as it is to tell the world about your great clinical outcomes, it is a big mistake.
Hospital services are not a consumer product so they need to be sold differently than consumer products. They are a service that nobody is looking forward to receiving. So what are your advertising alternatives?
- Do not over-produce your ads. In this era of health care cost criticism, your ads should be quality, but modest
- Provide information that is valuable to the public- e.g. wellness, prevention, safety and early detection information
- Provide a clear next step to find out more about the topic- and a chance for them to get into dialog with you
You need to become a trusted adviser to your community. By being helpful, you will attract patients to seminars and risk assessments that will lead to new patients faster than any traditional ad campaign.
If you want to build Service Line volume, be more like Dr. Oz and less like Dr. Pepper when advertising!