HealthLeaders Media Marketing Weekly - January 30, 2007 | Saints, Sinners, and Bringers of Dinner
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Saints, Sinners, and Bringers of Dinner
Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders News

In last week's column, I praised a health system that banned all pharmaceutical promotional products--from pens to whiteboards to squishy stress balls. I thought it was well worth the estimated $100,000 it would cost them to buy their own supplies to avoid the impression--true or not--that drug company reps could buy them with cheap trinkets. A reader who said he used to work in pharmaceutical industry and now works with drug companies as a consultant, begged to differ. "I would hate for people to go into their doctor's office and start to think badly of their doctor because they see a Viagra pen," he wrote. [Read More]
  January 30, 2008

Editor's Picks
Levy on hospital advertising
Paul Levy, president and CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, stirred up quite a debate in a recent blog post on hospital advertising. His theory: that such ads are not designed to drive sales, but mainly to create a broader brand identity. He goes on to say that fostering a good reputation in the community makes it easier to recruit physicians, helps with fundraising efforts, and can be used to educate patients about conditions and diseases. I can buy that altruistic view of hospital advertising to a certain extent. But I think he's playing down the fact that hospitals need to make money in order to stay in business--period. And I'm surprised he doesn't seem to think that patient perception of a hospital makes a difference in market share or that wooing referring physicians isn't a form of sales. Especially since, after all, his very popular and public blog is surely a form of hospital marketing (whether Beth Israel wants to admit that or not). [Read More]
Ad rep, heal thyself
By the way, I'm not alone in thinking that the pharmaceutical industry has pushed the limits when it comes to sales and marketing: Even the pharmaceutical industry agrees that it has a problem. "In a number of states across the country, there is backlash building against [pharmaceutical] sales and marketing," Ken Johnson, senior VP for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, tells AdAge. [Read More]
Event marketing alive and well
Healthcare is no stranger to event marketing--from health fairs to ribbon-cuttings to charity walks. Some might say these efforts are a little old-school, but a new study shows that they work. Purchase intent rose 11 percent to 52 percent among consumers who attended brand-sponsored events including sports championships, walkathons and theme park sponsorships, according to the Advertising Research Foundation's new study, "Engaging Events Pay Out." [Read More]
An alternative view
As many hospitals are catering to customer demand by adding alternative medicine to their offerings, one researcher says they're a waste of time and effort because they simply don't work. R. Barker Bausell says he arrived at the University of Maryland's alternative medicine center with an open mind toward exploring the potential of acupuncture, herbal remedies and other unconventional treatments. But after five years as research director, he quit the Center for Integrative Medicine in 2004, convinced of one thing: None of the alternative treatments he has seen works any better than a placebo. [Read More]
An efficient way to improve patient satisfaction
To cut costs while improving the experience for patients, some hospitals are adopting cutting-edge business tactics to improve their processes. For example, efficiency experts are sweeping through Boston-area hospitals, bringing business school methodologies to healthcare providers. Rather than spend half a million on a new X-ray machine, one hospital found ways to improve workflow to shorten patient wait times--and increase patient satisfaction. [Read More]
Putting wait time to good use
Is there a marketing opportunity waiting in your waiting room? Some companies are adding television and interactive touch screens, which promote products and educate patients about ailments and procedures. "We have seen a steady increase in adoption of touch screens by the patients and they are now being used frequently," Dale Ingram, practice administrator for Columbus' Cardinal Orthopaedic Institute told Columbus (OH) Business First. [Read More]
Campaign Spotlight
Balancing Act
Click to view PDF version. Trying to break through the clutter to capture market share and top of mind awareness requires a good balance of planning, creativity in your branding, and proper media placement. For Stamford (CT) Hospital, it took six years of program development and organizing of their service lines before they were ready to grow and assert their position within the market. Facing a crowded marketplace, Stamford's focus was to stand out. "It's a very cluttered advertising market for hospitals, and all the ads look alike and contain too much information," says David Smith, senior vice president of strategy and marketing solutions for Stamford. [Read More]
Calendar of Events

2/4/08: Measuring ROI of Physician Relations: Strategies to Demonstrate the Impact of Your Sales Program

3/19/08: Marketing Cardiology: Strategies for Service Line Campaigns

4/6/08: National Forum on Customer Based Marketing Strategies, Phoenix

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Transition to Digital: More and more hospitals are going paperless.

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From HealthLeaders Magazine
Why Is The ED Such A Pain?

The emergency department has a culture all its own with a unique set of challenges to match. It's also your hospital's window to the community. So you'd better make it work. [Read More]
Marketing Forum

The Stark Facts of Marketing to Physicians: With new Phase III regulations now in effect, it is worthwhile to briefly review Stark and its new implementing regulations, particularly to illustrate the boundaries in marketing hospital services to doctors. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Debbie Weil, author of The Corporate Blogging Book, spent a lot of time reading and studying CEO blogs. In this interview, Weil discusses corporate blogs and how healthcare leaders can make theirs more effective. [Listen Now]
Sponsor HealthLeaders Media Marketing Weekly

Contact Lisa Brown, Director of Integrated Sales, at or call 781.639.1872.
Marketing Resources From HealthLeaders Media

Expert Kriss Barlow to speak next Monday on measuring the ROI of physician relations.
Learn new marketing tactics for one of your hospital's most profitable service lines.
In living color: See full-color samples of hospital campaigns that work.
Move beyond brand basics with A Marketer's Guide to Brand Strategy.
Grow your healthcare marketing skills by adding one of these must-have books to your library.
Learn from the hospitals that know how to market to physicians.
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