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Campaign Microsites No Longer Optional

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, May 5, 2010

It's next to impossible to prove that the billboard on the highway convinced X-amount of patients to schedule procedures at your hospital. You can ask new patients how they heard about you until you're blue in the face, but you will never know for sure. To find real, true, honest-to-goodness ROI, marketers have to turn to the Internet. The Chester County Hospital recently launched a campaign promoting an online risk assessment tool—and the ROI would make any healthcare marketer's mouth water.

The 220-bed Pennsylvania hospital launched the "Heart Tracks" tool and campaign in March 2010 with the goal of driving patients into its cardiology service line. The measurability of the effort was an added bonus.

"ROI is such a big component of what we do and it helps justify our department and all of our campaigns, but sometimes really measuring the impact and effect of marketing and who's hearing what where is often hard to do," says Colleen Leonard Leyden, director of corporate marketing and public relations at TCCH. "That was one of the reasons we thought this campaign was unique."

Marketers also created a traditional ad campaign to promote the tool, consisting of a 9,000 direct mail piece, outdoor, print, radio, and online. By directing consumers to the heart assessment tool in the ad copy, saying "that billboard on the highway drove X-patients to the hospital" just became a little more realistic.

Two weeks after launching, about 1,200 people visited the Web site and began the test, 414 have completed the test, and 112 have submitted the test for another action, such as receiving a call from a cardiac nurse navigator or receiving an e-newsletter.

Normally, when organizations run an ad or radio campaign, they really don't know the impact those messages have on consumers, says Leonard Leyden. "But with this tool I can demonstrate over 400 people have taken the assessment and have spent five minutes with us engaging in our risk assessment," she says. "I can drill down to see where they've gone after that five minutes. But to have five minutes of someone's attention with the goal of helping them understand their heart health is remarkable to me."

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