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How One Health System Simplified a Complex Marketing Message

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, January 22, 2014

Marketing hospitalists is really a catch-22 for healthcare organizations, says Dan Dunlop, president of Chapel Hill, NC, Jennings, the marketing agency Signature worked with.

"The public never will understand the term and the benefits offered by a hospitalist program unless we make an effort to inform them," he says. "That's what this campaign strives to do."


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A Multi-Media Strategy
That's why Signature and Jennings decided to use a varied approach of marketing the expanded services provided by hospitals, using components including blog posts, video, digital components, and traditional advertising vehicles. The ads targeted mothers, fathers, prospective mothers, and grandparents?anyone who, at some time, may need sophisticated inpatient pediatric services.

The advertising concept consists of black and white photos of hospitalists interacting with pediatric patients with the simple text, "What is a hospitalist?" and the answer, written in childlike font, is expressed by spelling out expressive words beginning in I, S, and T. For example: "Incredibly Special Treatment."

"When we created the look, we were very intentional in using black & white photography because of its ability to capture emotion and focus the viewer on the interaction between the physician and the child," Dunlop says.

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