HealthLeaders Media Marketing Weekly - October 1, 2008 | Pond Scum or Citron: What Color is Your Hospital? View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Pond Scum or Citron:
What Color is Your Hospital?

Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders News

Sometimes we get so close to our own industry's jargon that we forget that those outside the healthcare system don't always speak the same lingo. Now put yourself in your customer's shoes. Do they know oncology means cancer and that neurology covers the spinal cord in addition to the brain? Do you think that most people know the difference between a medical center and a hospital? I'm guessing the average person either doesn't know or doesn't care. [Read More]
  October 1, 2008

Editor's Picks
HealthLeaders Media Survey Invitation
Want to find out what your peers from all segments of the healthcare industry—including hospital and health system marketing—are really thinking? You can add to the discussion by participating in a true cross-industry survey of healthcare leaders. The HealthLeaders Media Industry Survey 2009 is seeking input from CEOs marketing, finance, technology, physician, health plan, and quality leaders, as well as leaders at community and rural healthcare organizations. This survey project will provide information and insights you can't get anywhere else. Look for the results in the February 2009 issue of HealthLeaders magazine and at We appreciate your help, so as a thank you, we'll enter your name in a drawing for a $500 American Express gift card. Be sure to include your contact information when you answer the survey. As you know, we value your privacy and your trust. The survey is anonymous and your contact information will not be given or sold to any third party. Period. Thanks again for sharing your insight with us. [Take the Survey Now]
Rainy days ahead: Let marketing be your umbrella
Marketers know that during tough economic times the worst thing an organization can do is to abandon market research and cut back on ad spends (although good luck explaining that to your board of directors). But this article on marketing during a recession includes some other suggestions that you might not have considered, such as focusing on family values and emphasizing your core values to staff members. "Although most companies are making employees redundant, chief executives can cement the loyalty of those who remain by assuring employees that the company has survived difficult times before, maintaining quality rather than cutting corners, and servicing existing customers rather than trying to be all things to all people," the author writes. [Read More]
The care, feeding, and growth of your small hospital
This article illustrates a concept I wrote about in last week's column—that growth and scale are defenses against a weak economy. The CEO of the 59-bed hospital said it needs to find a partner because it simply isn't big enough to thrive in today's healthcare marketplace. See, this little hospital's ER has six times more traffic per bed than the national average—it gets 12,000 visits per bed per year. Of course, it makes strategic sense to capitalize on that strength and the hospital hopes to expand its ER. But without the strength of scale and access to capital (even though, by the way, it has a pretty decent bond rating) it doesn't have the resources it needs to grow. It's a catch-22: To be financially stable you must grow, but the smaller you are, the harder it is to do so. [Read More]
A new kind of patient referral
Lots of people argue that consumers don't shop around for a hospital based on quality and safety. Patients go where their doctors tell them to go. But soon patients could start choosing care based on employer referrals. One company has discovered it can save costs by sending their employees out of state to healthcare organizations that have better quality outcomes. The company saves money even when paying for employees' travel expenses because two-thirds of operations at higher-quality out-of-state organizations are cheaper than at local hospitals. Even more importantly, sending employees to higher-quality hospitals avoids the costs associated with medical errors, misdiagnoses, and complications. An added bonus: Employees appreciate what they perceive as special treatment. [Read More]
Getting interactive to target Hispanic patients
Including a Hispanic-looking person in your hospital's advertising just doesn't cut it anymore when it comes to reaching Hispanic patients. Using online communities is the way to go for effective marketing, according to a new Communispace Corporation study that looked at more than 1,000 Hispanic members in two private, online communities. The study found that Hispanics of all backgrounds are likely to participate in online communities, and those that do are very active: Although Spanish-dominant members represented only 52% of the community, they accounted for 73% of the member-generated activities. [Read More]
Campaign Spotlight
Doctor-Driven Ad On Wheels
Click to view PDF version.
When a cardiologist at Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center approached Marketing Manager Julie Ashby and said, "I've got this idea. You might think I'm crazy, but I want to see what you think about it," she wasn't taken aback. But by the time he was done talking, Ashby says she was drooling. [Read More]
Calendar of Events
10/28/08: Case Studies in ER Marketing: Three Targeted Efforts That are Getting Results

11/13/08: Turn Calls into Customers: Maximize Customer Experience with Your Call Center
10/15/08: HealthLeaders Media Marketing Awards, Chicago

10/16/08: HealthLeaders Media Top Leadership Teams, Chicago

10/26/08: Hospital & Physician Relations: An Executive Summit, Scottsdale, AZ
From HealthLeaders Magazine
10 Events That Could Change Healthcare
No one knows what the future holds, but several scenarios could significantly alter the healthcare landscape and pose formidable strategic, financial, and clinical challenges for senior leaders. Get ready. [Read More]
Marketing Forum

The New C-suite: Sailing the Seven Cs (Part 1): It takes strong leadership skills to navigate the waters of physician-hospital competition and collaboration. The questions to consider are "Where do you want your organization to be?" and "Where is it now?" [Read More]
Audio Feature

Ronald Miles, MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon, discusses Aspirus Wausau (WI) Hospital's strategy to expand its target area by participating in a domestic medical travel network. [Listen Now]
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