HealthLeaders Media Marketing Weekly - March 26, 2008 | Extinguishing False Marketing Claims
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Extinguishing False Marketing Claims
Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders News

I hear healthcare marketers complain all the time that the hospital down the street from theirs is playing dirty marketing tricks. Publicizing quality numbers that don't quite tell the whole story. Running ads that make grand statements without backing them up. Paying for placement in spurious "best physicians" lists or advertorials in the local newspaper. A chant of "liar, liar, pants on fire" is out of the question (c'mon, that's so beneath you). So what's an honest marketer to do? [Read More]
  March 26, 2008

Editor's Picks
Your brand is making me very sleepy
Oh, come on. Marketers using hypnosis to gauge the true feelings of focus group participants? That has to be a joke, right? Nope. Focus group hypnosis is the new "secret weapon" to determine the "imprint" of a brand on the subconscious, according to advertising and marketing folks who are using the technique. Is it ethical? Is it effective? Is it completely meaningless? Who cares: It apparently got focus group subjects to admit that they don't really find Volvo synonymous with safety--rather it makes them think of the "suffocating" condition of middle-age. Maybe they should change their slogan to "Volvo for mid-life." [Read More]
Nothing to see here
If hypnotism doesn't work for you, how about using subliminal messaging to test your brand's perception? A recent study found that test subjects who were shown the logo of either Apple or the Disney Channel for 30 milliseconds--a subliminal flash that they could not possibly see--made the subjects more creative or candid, respectively. Marketers doing product placement may want to go with shorter exposures rather than longer ones, said Gavan Fitzsimmons, professor of marketing and psychology at Duke University, and one of three authors of the study. [Read More]
For some, renaming opens up old wounds
When I first read the tease for this story I was sure it was a joke. The Weston (WV) Hospital building, a massive Gothic Revival structure that used to house a 19th century mental institution, has been renamed the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum by the family that bought it. The place no longer houses patients and the current owners offer daily tours of the property, focusing on issues such as the evolution of mental healthcare, the Civil War, the Great Depression, and architecture. Still, there's quite a debate going on as to whether this is brilliant marketing that honors the institution's history--including its negative aspects--or a tasteless way to sell tickets. [Read More]
Marketing crimes and misdemeanors
Two weeks ago I wrote about the dubious advances search engines are making in keeping track of where consumers have been online and serving up ads based on that information [Keeping a (creepy) eye on your customers, March 12]. Now support is gathering in Albany, NY, for a bill that would make it a crime--punishable by a fine to be determined--for certain Web companies to use personal information about consumers for advertising without their consent. [Read More]
Communication key to doctor-patient relationship
Most healthcare marketers are concerned about communicating effectively with their patients, but the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's new campaign encourages patients to communicate with their doctors. The agency's full-on advertising blitz uses TV, radio, print publications, and billboards to advise patients on the most effective ways to communicate with physicians. The AHRQ hopes the campaign will help improve the quality of care provided to patients and significantly reduce the chance of death by preventable medical errors. The marketing angle in all of this? Perhaps doctors who are good listeners are worth advertising. [Read More]
Apostrophe claims another victim
There is absolutely nothing riskier than writing an article about grammar and spelling errors. The chances that you'll make your own blunder while doing so are about 100%. This week, Elaine Fogel previewed her keynote speech at the 10th Annual Cause Marketing Conference in San Diego, writing about typos and other errors in marketing--and the negative message those mistakes send. The headline of her article? "Marketing Communication Boo Boo's: Do They Send a Bad Message?" [Read More]
Campaign Spotlight
Exeter's Artful Attention to Detail
Click to play video. There's nothing more comforting to consumers than an assurance of attention to detail. Speaking directly to a consumer's need for conscientious care, Exeter (NH) Hospital launched a new campaign that reinforces its level of commitment to patients in an artful way. The campaign is actually a continuation of Exeter Hospital's 2007 "The Art of Wellness" initiative. Though the same tagline is still carried throughout the 2008 elements, Exeter decided to focus this flight of the campaign on a more consumer oriented approach. [Read More]
Calendar of Events

4/3/08: 5 Easy-to-use New Media Options for Healthcare Marketers

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

10/15/08: HealthLeaders Media Marketing Awards, Chicago

10/16/08: HealthLeaders Media Top Leadership Teams, Chicago

Sponsored Headlines From IBM

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From HealthLeaders Magazine
Your Hospital, the Entrepreneur

Forget those fixed-income investments. Many organizations are funding early-stage healthcare ventures that can yield not only healthy financial returns, but also improved efficiencies and better quality care. [Read More]
Marketing Forum

Shopping for Healthcare: The 21st Century Healthcare Consumer: The media are filled with reports of consumers seeking more control over their own healthcare. But we've found that with a few exceptions, healthcare executives and physicians are slow to adapt to this trend. [Read More]
Audio Features

Elizabeth Scott, associate vice president of marketing and eBusiness for Norton Healthcare, talks about some of the specific factors facilities should consider before embarking on a new media strategy. Scott will further discuss how your facility can use new, interactive media options during the April 3 Webcast, 5 Easy-to-use New Media Options for Healthcare Marketers. [Listen Now]
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Marketing Resources From HealthLeaders Media

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Looking for practical ways to use new media? Learn five easy-to-use techniques for Healthcare Marketers.
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