Today, I attended a free webinar that discussed some of the things that Marketing Professionals for Hospitals should be focusing their attention on, and while we do marketing for a myriad of different healthcare facilities from independent diagnostic facilities to specified radiation oncology centers at university hospital systems, I found the message very informative. The speaker, CEO at The Heavyweights, John Luginbill discusses 9 ways to improve volume and revenue, and while they are geared towards facilities with larger budgets typical of a successful hospital system, independent facilities can utilize the same knowledge.
He discusses the following actions for Hospital Marketers:
- Spend Money to Make Money: stating that an average hospital should be spending 1% of their gross revenue on paid media.
- Choose DRG’s Wisely: Don’t spend money on something unless there is a high capacity for action and a high level of profitability.
- Integrate Your Efforts: Meaning plan out how you will coordinate your promotions, advertisements and marketing efforts in each aspect of your business.
- Target “Healthy” Patients: You aren’t going to convince a patient to leave their physician, rather focus on those that aren’t already in need.
- Master Media Mix: Make sure that your media is effective and inspires an action, this is called a Call to Action.
- Opt-In Marketing Not Optional: Utilize forms that require potential leads to provide their information so that you can help them.
- Distribution of Patients: Be a resource to help them, even if it does not seem directly relatable to your practice.
- Capitalize on Co-Risks: Analyze your community and determine how, for example, if an individual is at risk for multiple things, you can help “all of the above.”
- Follow Downstream Revenue: Track with your financial people.
Some of the most important things to take away from this message lie in #2, #3, #4 and #5.
For Independent Facilities:
2. Consider what will work in your community that will not only improve your visibility but create an actual profit. For example: Social Media is essentially free, if you dedicate time to a marketing campaign on Twitter and Facebook and it brings in just THREE people, that return-on-investment is HUGE, because you didn’t spend any money marketing to them.
3. Integrating your marketing efforts by layering and timing your plan well will enable you to set realistic goals and prove success. We do this for each of our centers and our company overall. This will help determine what works and what doesn’t for improved future plans.
4. It is true that marketing is easier when you are targeting someone who is already in need, but when it comes to healthcare that might not be the best approach, because like John said, a patient isn’t going to leave their physician. Consider the way that Susan G. Komen promotes Early Detection; they are not selling a product, rather awareness, which eventually targets someone in need. Independent facilities can do the same thing.
5. Always use a call-to-action in marketing because you want to make capturing leads as easy on the potential client as possible. You do not want these un-captured leads running around, unsure of what to do next. With a clear, clever and HELPFUL call-to-action, you will create a mutually beneficial next step in your relationship with that lead or patient or referring physician, really whoever it is that you are targeting.