HealthLeaders Media Marketing Weekly - May 28, 2008 | When it Comes to Bad Ads, Nothing Compares to CMS Campaign View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
When it Comes to Bad Ads, Nothing Compares to CMS Campaign
Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders News

I was going to write this week's column about Bad Ads. You know what I mean: The ones that make you cringe and wonder if the company that sent them to you actually wants your business. Or if the person in charge of the campaign is getting ready to quit their marketing job to pursue their business of knitting cat sweaters and dog booties full-time. Lucky for me, as I was noodling this idea, the CMS ad in the Boston Globe, ranking our local hospitals, hit my desk. [Read More]
  May 28, 2008

Editor's Picks
Editorial: Consumers need more than ads
An editorial in the Des Moines (IA) Register has more serious complaints about CMS' Hospital Compare ads than the fact that they're ugly: It says the government's quality initiatives don't go far enough. "The more transparency, the better-for consumers and health professionals," the editorial states. "But $2 million the feds spent on newspaper advertising could offer only a partial picture. Hospital Compare has a lot of room to grow in providing needed information for consumers," such as "details on hospital-acquired infections or medical errors, which kill thousands of Americans each year." [Read More]
Healthcare marketing goes Hollywood
Here's a technique that's fairly unusual in healthcare marketing: Product (or, rather, service) placement. Hollywood writers and producers are working with senior advocacy group AARP to bring attention to the need to provide affordable healthcare. Under the partnership, an AARP campaign will work with the Hollywood Radio & Television Society, the Entertainment Industry Foundation, and the Motion Picture & Television Fund to make sure healthcare messages are included in the story lines of popular TV shows and movies. Campaign members plan to take steps such as producing TV shows and movies that talk about healthcare issues in an accurate way. [Read More]
Community engagement catching on
On the other hand, healthcare marketers are ahead of the curve on this trend. "Community engagement" is increasingly on the lips of marketers across all industries. The phrase was mentioned more than 5,400 times in international newspapers and government and corporate press releases in the last two years. Compare that to 1998 through 2000 when "community engagement" came up 111 times. What's behind the new fashion, also known as "stakeholder engagement")? [Read More]
Marketing with meaning
One of the nice things about hospital marketing is the power of advertising campaigns to help people. Consumers might learn about new treatments or become aware of symptoms that they should report to their doctor. The idea that marketing itself can accomplish something of intrinsic value—or "marketing with meaning"—is growing in popularity, according to this Advertising Age article. Marketers are favoring the technique because it is a way of reaching their audience without coming off as overbearing. Maybe for your next cardio service line campaign, the marketing copy could outline the warning signs of a heart attack instead of just suggesting patients choose your facility once they've had one. [Read More]
A new look at doctor rating sites
New rate-your-doctor Web sites are growing in popularity among patients. While some marketers might worry that sites like these are a breeding ground for bad publicity, a creative marketing team could put a positive spin on the volatile situation. Perhaps your facility could work these rating sites into patient follow-ups, encouraging patients to rate them on one of the sites. Doing so might also encourage doctors to go the extra mile for each patient. [Read More]
Campaign Spotlight
Informing the Community with the Community
Click to watch video.
A campaign for Fremont (NE) Area Medical Center has taken a different approach to improving community awareness. By featuring well-known community members, quick facts, and T-shirt incentives, Fremont is improving community knowledge one microsite hit at a time. "The competition is pretty tough and active in the market area," says Jerry Hobbs, vice president of healthcare marketing for Fremont's agency, Prairie Dog, in Kansas City, MO. But pressure from a large local competitor wasn't the facility's only challenge. Fremont was also struggling to fight a preconceived community notion that a smaller facility couldn't be as good as a larger one. [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
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Shared Success

Crafting a true partnership—often with a perceived competitor—is a complex task. Here's how some hospitals are doing it. [Read More]
Marketing Forum

Mystery Shoppers Take the Mystery Out of the Patient Experience: Mystery shopping, a reliable assessment tactic used for years by banks, restaurants, and hotels, has exploded on the healthcare scene in recent years. Although many healthcare organizations are measuring patient satisfaction, their data don’t always pinpoint the experiences behind the scores. Mystery shoppers fill in the fine details and help organizations understand how patients feel about their experiences, apart from how they feel about their medical treatment, says contributor Kristin Baird. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Julie Wright, CEO of Sound Family Medicine, a 28-provider practice in Puyallup, WA, discusses the importance of understanding current and future patient needs and disease trends within a community or service area. Hear more about Wright's strategies June 12 during a HealthLeaders Media audioconference Marketing Your Physician Practice: A Guide to Growth. [Listen Now]
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Marketing Resources From HealthLeaders Media

Marketing Awards: Don't miss the May 30 deadline to enter your best marketing campaigns in the 2008 HealthLeaders Media Marketing Awards.
Webcast: Overcome internal and external barriers to building your brand.
Webcast: Develop effective market strategies for your oncology service line.
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