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For small hospitals, online marketing beats mass media

Healthcare marketers are increasingly discovering that online campaigns are a valid alternative to more traditional approaches. In many cases, online marketing results in the biggest impact for the lowest cost. But the organizations that would benefit most from an online strategy-namely small and rural community hospitals with limited resources-haven't quite warmed up to the idea yet, according to the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development report Marketing by the Numbers. The society's 2005 benchmarking report, which is based on a study of more than 250 hospitals and health systems nationwide, showed that hospitals with fewer than 100 beds were the biggest consumers of mass media advertising.