5 New Year's Resolutions for Hospital Marketers

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media , January 4, 2012

Reassess your new media strategy
There were successes and false starts in social and new media in 2011. Twitter reached 100 million active users, while Google+ launched and fizzled. The Apple iPhone app store hit 500,000-plus apps, and Facebook made several tweaks to its appearance, fan pages, and Insights reporting.

Since social and new media is an ever-changing field, it's smart to reassess your strategy at least quarterly. Consider creating a tailored landing page for every marketing campaign, launching or updating an app, and improving your social media presence.

Don't be afraid to scale back if something hasn't stuck. Even Google shut down its Twitter-wannabe "Buzz" feature this year. If your ED wait time app isn't being downloaded or no one is clicking the QR codes you added on your print ads, there's no shame in retooling or outright canceling that strategic path. New media risks are worth taking, but you have to know when to call it quits and try something different.

Get more involved in the community
Being an active member of your local community is at least as important as being a presence in the online community, if not more.

In 2012, resolve to become more active in outreach program with local schools and senior centers. Host more events at your hospital, from health seminars to free blood pressure readings.

By introducing community members to your organization, staff, and facility, you are building your group of brand advocates—whether or not they have been treated at your hospital.

And hosting community events can also feed into your other initiatives. Don't be afraid to prompt attendees to sign up for your e-newsletter, visit your website, download your latest app, or even make an appointment on the spot. But there's no need to pester people; simply making a connection with the community is paramount.

May you use these five resolutions—and hopefully a few of your own!—to build a smarter and stronger marketing department in 2012. Wishing you all the best in the new year.

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3 comments on "5 New Year's Resolutions for Hospital Marketers"

Donna Arbogast (2/10/2012 at 9:15 AM)
Great list, but as marketers, we can take a more proactive approach to assessing the patient experience. It's not enough to rely on the patient to tell us [INVALID] after the fact [INVALID] how things went. We should be walking the halls, traveling the same paths patients and families travel, listening, watching and suggesting new ways to improve experience. Brand Champion or Patient Experience teams, with marketing in a leadership role, can be very effective.

Eric Brody (1/6/2012 at 3:44 PM)
Good points, all valid. I'd volunteer a few more: 1. A Wider-Angle Lens. It's important to seek out new inspiration and insight by looking in new places and making new connections – beyond healthcare! 2. Creating A Platform For Patients. Thinking more holistically about how your brand can serve as the platform to move customers, and therefore your brand, forward. Thinking beyond transactions to creating relationships. 3. The Patient Experience. As you state, the patient experience, so important to fostering longer-term relationships and building brand value, is rarely informed and shaped by "marketing." But it should be. Experience must become a "team sport." Here's to moving the needle on hospital and healthcare marketing.

Daniel Fell (1/4/2012 at 10:46 PM)
I think ROI and marketing analytics in general will be a focus in the coming year. Healthcare marketers have never had access to so much data - much of it coming from new digital and social channels - but making sense of all this new data will be a key objective.




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