Hospitals can increase their visibility in the marketplace by focusing on these 5 suggestions. These guidelines can turn a hospital’s reputation and visibility from good to great.
Here are some best practice recommendations:
Note that I called them customers – not patients. Customer needs and expectations continue to change rapidly in this post-pandemic landscape. That means you can’t act on assumptions that what was before still holds true.
Hospitals need to learn about their patients as people. It’s not just about their diseases or conditions. Some marketers are using sophisticated social media monitoring techniques to see what their people are saying. Others are doing focus groups of local residents to learn what they want, validate their current strategies, and test concepts.
Building trust comes from truly understanding what customers really feel, need, want and expect. As marketers, we need to be able to translate those insights into meaningful connections, interactions, and experiences.
Customer experience is the foundation of any strong brand. It’s certainly no different in healthcare. Clinical excellence and personalized care are basic expectations, but customers also want the things they have come to expect from their interactions with non-healthcare brands. They want great internet access, food choices, and even hotel-like options such as pillow menus.
Customers also want a frictionless experience for scheduling and getting their records. They want price transparency, and clear, consistent communication.
Your job is to create consistent messages that reinforce your hospital’s value through every aspect of the customer journey. This starts with the initial marketing program to newcomers so they find out about the hospital itself (location, services, ER hours), the check-in process, and the actual hospital stay. It ends with a “how did we do / how can we do better?” survey.
Your hospital’s brand needs to be clearly defined and differentiated from the competition. It needs to reflect what makes your hospital special.
Given the changing demands of consumers as well as major shifts in the landscape of healthcare options and entry points, it’s time to take a fresh look at your brand’s positioning.
Once you’re totally in sync with this, it will serve as the guidepost for all your marketing and brand building efforts. This is the way the hospital can increase visibility.
The healthcare market segment has more opportunities for marketing creativity than other consumer-facing industries. Make sure you connect with your audience on an emotional level.
That’s where great stories come in. This is where you make the case. You have the opportunity show real patient experiences. You can present amazing innovations and outcomes as well as legitimate claims of transforming lives.
Stand out from your peers who are talking about the typical hospital “stuff” - top doctors, quality care, clinical data claims and a list of awards.
Take the opportunity to tell your brand story in a way that connects people to you with their hearts, not just their minds.
If your hospital or health care clinic has been around for a while, I’m sure you’ve built up many trusted relationships. This is a huge advantage over startups and new healthcare providers.
Use this strength as a pillar of your brand and marketing campaigns. Keep building trust.
That means your hospital needs to consistently deliver on your brand promise. Through every interaction in the customer/patient journey. Your hospital needs to be the source of accurate healthcare information in the community. Beth Johnson, a contributor to Media Post says: “lead with transparency, solicit feedback and respond with open, clear communication”. That’s the way to build and sustain trust.