Marketing their physicians is, arguably, the most important thing hospitals can do to increase volume and market share. Doing it well can help you to stand out from your competition.
Community hospital physicians and leaders have a profound personal connection to the health of their community that can’t be replicated. With a marketing plan of delivering physicians that are neighbors caring for neighbors, your hospital can market better than its competition, a caring community hospital experience.
Patients desire to have a personal connection with their doctor. Doctors are busy and finding the time to personally connect with patients is not always possible. Start to build a trusting patient/physician relationship through your website, blog, Facebook and you tube account by allowing physicians to communicate and share personal stories.
Here are 4 examples of hospitals that do a great job marketing their physicians:
- Nyak Hospital
With a simple click on the Nyak Hopsital website home page, visitors have the chance to see photos and read first-person stories of doctors with a variety of interests. The testimonial-style ads aim to communicate the physicians’ passion for what they do and share successful patient experiences.
- Temple University Hospital
Their website offers robust content, including streaming videos featuring doctors in action. The marketing department stated, “In terms of strategic approach, the Internet was viewed as a provider selection channel, not just a communications channel.”Temple’s new website was developed to emphasize program and physician capabilities, and facilitate online appointment requests. Email appointment requests jumped 20 percent with no additional marketing. After only 9 months they had the highest volume of web-based appointment requests in the hospital’s history.
- Southern Regional Health System
Southern Regional Health System launched Healthbreak, a TV campaign featuring 90-second videos of Southern Regional physicians. These video spots are a sponsored educational health news piece with the local news station featuring Southern Regional’s physicians.”The genesis of the campaign was to really figure out a way to feature our physicians in a prominent way — not only to their peers but to the community,” says Marcus Gordon, strategic marketing manager at SRHS. The spots are supported by its YouTube channel, which has more than 1,500 channel views. Since the campaign launched, call center traffic is up 55 percent from last year, and site visitors and unique visitors for the web site have each increased about 50 percent.
- Alegent Health
A live web chat with local doctors, Ask a Doc creates a two-way conversation allowing patients to ask their questions of Alegent doctors from the comfort of their own home. But the assistance didn’t stop with a few answers. Alegent Health physicians also schedule next-day appointments on the spot. Alegent Health featured these live chat opportunities on Facebook and their website.
We sometimes forget that they are also real people with outside interests, and shared health concerns making house calls for busy physicians are a thing of the past. But creating social communities to leverage physician engagement can allow both physicians and patients to build relationships more efficiently.
Helping patients connect with your physicians will build a medical community of satisfied physicians and committed patients.
How does your organization help doctors connect and share their personal stories with patients?
Grow the number of births at your maternity center by using social media and events.
There is no more anticipated, personal and deeply meaningful time to reach your patients than the experience of childbirth. With approximately 4 million births in the US each year, birth related situations are the leading causes for hospital stays and account for almost 25 percent of US hospitalizations.
Childbirth is one happy occasion in the life of a hospital. It is the only time when one looks forward to going to a hospital. In most people’s lives the arrival of a new family member is a time of joy and hospitals try to deliver a great experience.
Many prospective parents select a hospital based on their assessment of the kind of experience they can expect. The hospitals realizing this try to offer a great experience for the would-be mothers as well as the entire extended family.
Developing a plan for how your community hospital will attract, communicate and partner with new parents in their moment of great joy should be one of your main marketing objectives.
3 shining examples of how maternity campaigns are using the internet and social media to meet their goals are: Alegent Health, Palmetto Health and Woman’s Hospital.
1. Palmetto Health’s “oh baby” event attracted more than 1,000 pregnant women and new parents. This one-stop-shop for everything baby (and mommy, too) had educational sessions, one-on-one talk with our health experts, shops with your favorite local vendors and maternity and baby fashions.
Oh Baby’s event was communicated through Facebook, Twitter and their very own website with the key message of “we’re delivering more”. The marketing team kept fans in the loop giving new moms something to look forward to on a weekly basis with updates of events, new vendors and educational events that would be featured.
2. Alegent Health’s social media landing page is a beautiful website filled with helpful information and videos about car seat safety, leading a healthy lifestyle and new maternity suites geared for expectant mothers.
Through Social media (Facebook and Twitter), Alegent Health found a way to make their women fans feel like they were being heard. Creating a two-way conversation and asking their opinion is one way to build trust. Bonus: A live Web Chat with local doctors “Ask a Doc” featured on Facebook and their website.
3. Woman’s Hospital’s in-depth promotional campaign that focused on the very personal experience of prospective parents and a partnership with a local maternity store which reinforced the notion of childbirth as a personal experience.
Woman’s Hospital provides prenatal classes, including exercise and prenatal yoga programs at Destination Maternity, located in Baton Rouge. They communicated directly to them through Facebook, Twitter and their blog.
Jamie Haeuser, senior vice president, Woman’s Hospital, Baton Rouge, LA, “More and more, parents are choosing a hospital that will allow them to shape the kind of experience they hope to achieve. Marketers should recognize this as an aspect of branding. Hospitals must deliver on the brand promise they make, and in no service is that more critical than obstetrics.”
Defining the brand promise and ensuring that clinical staff support it completely has to precede promotion of the service. Hospitals need to look at new ways to reach prospective parents beyond conventional promotional methods.
Taking traditional educational classes and updating with social media event “baby fairs” reinforces the notion that childbirth is an experience that requires reaching prospective parents through a personal, reliable medium. These events allow perspective parents/patients an opportunity to interact with caregivers and receive valuable information.
I would add that if your “baby fair”events are located outside the hospital (like most of these were), then it is important to make an opportunity to invite new parents to see your hospital for themselves. I feel the new parent needs to ‘touch’ and ‘feel’ the hospital that will partner with them in their moment of great joy.