HealthLeaders Media Marketing Weekly - May 7, 2008 | A Custom Call-to-Action
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A Custom Call-to-Action
Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders News

Wouldn't it be cool if your hospital's phone number was so memorable that your customers-including referring physicians and patients-didn't even have to look it up? An academic medical center's heart care number could be (800) HEART SMART, for example. A community hospital that offers personalized care could have the number (800) ACH CARES. A hospital wanting to tout its overall superiority could use (800) TOP-HOSP. In fact it's more than cool-it's a smart marketing tactic. [Read More]
  May 7, 2008

Editor's Picks
Results may vary
We've all seen the many annoying drug ads on TV these days. From that jingle that's a takeoff of "Viva Las Vegas" to the annoying (yet apparently very effective) talking bumblebee, pharma commercials are making TV viewers' eyes roll—and not just because "loss of eye control" is one of the possible side effects. But do hospital marketing campaigns also make their audience pick up the remotes? This blogger says they do, and he attributes it to marketers not bothering to connect with their target customers. [Read More]
Text message ads: C U soon
Ever since the birth of DVRs—and the ability to fast forward through commercials—marketers have been warning that TV advertising's end is nigh. For years no one implemented any viable replacement for TV marketing, but lately marketers have found a new home for their ads: cell phone text messages. As it stands, mobile marketers are asked to abide by a code of conduct and not message anyone who hasn't solicited their ads—but now regulators are debating if text advertising needs more, well, regulating. [Read More]
Not buying it in any world
The only thing I'm more skeptical of than cell phone marketing is virtual reality world marketing. If your hospital has a virtual critical care center that treats injured Second Life characters or a billboard touting your real-world service lines to fake-world customers, good for you. Can you give me a call and let me know how, exactly, you got that one past the CEO? Meanwhile, there are two sides to every story: This author claims there are ways to use virtual media effectively. [Read More]
Pop goes the campaign
If you're trying to create marketing campaigns that stand out from your competitors', take a look at this healthcare marketer's blog. He created a competitive ad campaign for an Alabama hospital that features an unusual character—a doctor jack-in-the-box. On his blog, the marketer takes readers through the steps of the commercial's creation, from conception to production. Now that's what you call thinking outside of the box. [Read More]
Advertising on the fly
"Even as the Internet has killed or cannibalized so many traditional print mediums, airline magazines still thrive," writes Ed Moed, a PR firm exec and author of the "Measuring Up" blog. In addition to his explanation of why in-flight publications are a dream medium, he offers a smart and funny analysis of some ads in the issue he read, which ranged from "tasteful" (New York-Presbyterian Hospital) to "stylish" (Hyatt hotels) to "cheeseball" (a teeth whitening lab in Houston). [Read More]
Chief Blogging Officer—seriously
Blogs aren't just a medium for lonely-hearts to post photos of their cats and share what they had for lunch. They have become an integral part of today's business world, so much so that many companies have created a new position to market to Internet consumers: chief blogging officer. According to a recent report, 11% of Fortune 500 companies have corporate blogs, and some of those have created a CBO position. Hospitals could benefit from blogging as much as any top business. If the average patient can relate to what your blogger writes, the word will spread. [Read More]
Campaign Spotlight
Documenting the Patient Perspective
Click to view Commercial.
After about three years of research into how parents make decisions about their children's healthcare, Marcus Thomas LLC in Cleveland, the agency for Akron (OH) Children's Hospital, found the messages that resonated most with this audience were those about personal care—not quality. With that in mind, Marcus Thomas helped Akron launch a campaign with a message about personalized care that came directly from the patients. [Read More]
Calendar of Events

5/29/08: Healthcare branding: Advanced strategies to overcome common challenges

6/17/08: Marketing oncology: Strategies for service line campaigns

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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Healthcare 2015 and U.S. health plans: New roles, new competencies: The U.S. healthcare system is on an unsustainable path. Health plan providers must help shape and lead the healthcare transformation or risk being marginalized.

In the interest of the patient: This paper explores how by collaborating and sharing data, the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries can realize the full value of the information they collect--and improve patient treatments.

From HealthLeaders Magazine
Faith in the Hospital

In a shifting healthcare world, faith-based systems face a new set of challenges in their quest to stay true to their mission. [Read More]
Marketing Forum

The Importance of Brand Extensions: Reaching Beyond Your Comfort Level: A brand extension can be a great tool to increase brand awareness, bring together cause and community, and tie back to your core mission. But it takes visionary internal leadership as well as a visionary board to reach beyond their comfort zone to accomplish this, says contributor Anthony Cirillo. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Hospital and health system leaders seem suddenly enthralled with branding. Why is the time right for branding, what are some of the most common misunderstandings about branding, and why is it such an essential strategy? Author and healthcare branding consultant Chris Bevolo answers those questions as well as the trickiest one of all: Is it possible to prove ROI on a branding campaign? Bevolo will be a speaker in the upcoming HealthLeaders Media Webcast Healthcare branding: Advanced strategies to overcome common challenges. [Listen Now]
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