HealthLeaders Media Marketing Weekly - June 4, 2008 | Online Ranking Sites Still Lacking View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Online Ranking Sites Still Lacking
Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders News

In the past I've said that I don't think consumer ratings sites will have a big impact on how consumers choose their healthcare providers. Sites that are driven by customer reviews, especially anonymous ones, are unreliable. Government or payer reporting and ranking sites just aren't that user-friendly. People want recommendations from people they know, not from some faceless government statistician and not from someone who may or may not be who they say they are. But I might have to reconsider that position. [Read More]
  June 4, 2008

Editor's Picks
Who are the competitors in your neighborhood?
OK, is it just me, or are more and more hospitals opening up shop in neighborhoods where a competitor is already well-established? The latest example: In another attempt to compete with Northwestern Memorial Hospital, the University of Chicago Medical Center plans to open a physician practice within walking distance of Northwestern. I know that market share is tight, I know it's crucial to hospitals' survival to stay competitive, and I know that CEOs wants growth, growth, and more growth. But is it possible for a market strategy to be too aggressive? [Read More]
At least it's less of a mouthful
I always wonder what kind of conversations go on behind closed doors when hospitals consider a name change. Seems like a bold move with plenty of risk. Washington, DC-based Greater Southeast Community Hospital is the latest organization to change its moniker. It's now the United Medical Center. The overhaul included more than a name change, of course. Its owner, Specialty Hospitals of America, spent more than $12 million on renovations and technology upgrades. [Read More]
Not time for adult diapers—yet
If you think the over-50 crowd is just sitting in their rocking chairs on the front porch and reading a newspaper with a hose in hand, ready to spray the 6-year-old whippersnappers off their lawn—think again. According to a new study by mature marketing company Millennium, most over-50s believe that online advertising is the most influential channel among their age group. The older demographic also feels that marketers aren't targeting them, unless it's for adult diapers or hip replacements. Yesterday's cranky grandpa with a hose is today's Web-surfing senior on the go. [Read More]
Baby steps in branding
Hospitals are just beginning to take baby steps into the world of branding in the UK, where National Health Service hospitals have only recently been allowed to advertise their specialties. Two hospitals in Shropshire, England, are attempting to create brand loyalty to increase numbers of patients and to ward off competitors. The hospitals are quick to point out that this new focus on marketing will not take away from the quality of their services—the British public has expressed concern that hospital marketing may take attention away from patients. [Read More]
Campaign Spotlight
What's Your Red Letter Day?
Click to view PDF version.
Working within a "Goliath, Goliath, and Goliath" marketplace, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Richmond, VA had to find a way to stand out among the local hospital giants. Seizing an opportunity to be creative, VCU chose to mark its place within the market by showcasing its patients' successful 'red letter' days. Using a multi-integrated approach and working with Neathawk Dubuque, & Packett agency (headquartered in Richmond, VA), the creative focused on VCU's history of innovation as told through the successful calendar days of its patients. [Read More]
Calendar of Events
6/12/08: Marketing Your Physician Practice: A guide to growth

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

7/24/08: Niche Marketing Strategies: Build boomer loyalty now
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 Amor, director of marketing at the University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, KS, talks about why marketing oncology services is so hard for hospitals, and how a strategy of steady patient education can help keep your facility top-of-mind for consumers seeking cancer care. Amor will speak during the June 17 Webcast, Marketing Oncology: Strategies for Service Line Campaigns. [Listen Now]
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

Harness of the power of your brand: Download a free sample chapter now.
Develop effective market strategies for your oncology service line.
Inspiration, education, and a celebration: Bring your team to the 2008 HealthLeaders Media Marketing Awards.
Learn how leading organizations educate healthcare consumers about cost-effective, quality care.
Are you making the most of your call center? Turn those