Hospital Marketing is unique in the marketing world. Very few people know how to actually drive business into a hospital. I am trying to change that.
I believe that hospital marketing can work with measurable Return on Investment. If you aren’t doing that as a hospital marketer, you are just unnecessary overhead to the system- and if your department hasn’t already been slashed, it probably will be soon.
Most marketers and advertising agencies try to apply to the health system, clinics and physician group the methodologies and techniques that work in product and service marketing. They think that what works in branding for most products will also work for hospital marketing. Huge mistake. An unfortunate waste of money and resources.
So why do we want to change health system, clinic and physician group marketing? Because it is important to America and to the communities that hospitals serve. Because very few of the necessary services that a health system, clinic or physician groups provide a community makes money- so marketers must support financial sustainability by driving the things that do make money. Providing healthcare services to your community is a holy mission and marketing has an important part to play in it.
I believe that an agency should exist to help hospitals increase contribution margin, volumes and reputation… simultaneously. I founded THE HEAVYWEIGHTS in 1991 with this belief and the commitment that advertising agencies could serve clients in a more effective way.
Over the past 20 years, I have stayed true to THE HEAVYWEIGHTS missions and we have helped some of the nation’s healthcare systems and academic medical centers become more financially sustainable.
My agency team and I have also worked with some of America’s greatest consumer brands like McDonald’s, Nike. Wal*Mart, P&G, and Eli Lilly just to name drop a few. That work has informed what we do with hospital systems- but it is significantly different. Knowing that difference fuels my passion because I know when I help healthcare marketers, I am helping to save lives and help American communities. That is what I mean by a holy mission.
(John Luginbill is the CEO and Founder of THE HEAVYWEIGHTS, an innovator in health system, clinic and physician group marketing strategy as well as a leader in the marketing and promotion of consumer packaged goods.)
THE HEAVYWEIGHTS has helped some of the nation’s largest healthcare systems increase volume. Some of these systems include:
- Clarian Health
- Indiana University School of Medicine
- Indiana University Bren and Melvin Simon Cancer Center
- Riley Hospital for Children