Are you and your agency thinking about your hospital brand like it’s a consumer packaged goods brand (e.g. like Crest, or Coke, or Tyson)?
There really is no reason not to be thinking about it in those terms.
Consumer brands define their positioning. So should you.
Consumer brands segment and target and build relationships with their customers. So should you.
If your marketing agency isn’t talking about CRM, niche audiences, and location-based advertising to help you drive more patients into your hospital, they should be.
If they aren’t, you might be missing out on some rather meaningful opportunities.
Sure putting together a meaningful and well-differentiated campaign for your hospital brand is important.
And properly engaging with the surrounding community via events and other experiential activities is important.
But if you aren’t diving deep into the “customers” you have and engaging with them in an way that endears them to your hospital, you might not be top of mind when they are making their own referrals or considering a hospital choice again.
Consumer search for solutions. When I search for orthopedic care, your hospital should appear on that home page. So create content for specific groups of people (e.g. women, children, the elderly) and that will significantly improve the chances of your hospital being found and increase the likelihood of potential customers finding value in your offering.
And finally, your agency should be introducing you to concepts like geofencing and “geoconquesting” to better target specific groups of consumers in specific geographic areas surrounding your hospital.
These are all things that big consumer brands do to drive more business, better engage and retain customers, and paint themselves into a place on the map that allows them to stand apart from those they compete against.
If your agency isn’t talking these things or thinking about your brand like a brand you’d find at your local grocery store, you might consider looking for a better solution.
The agency searches we have run for brands like University Hospital, Mercy Health, and Parrish Medical all started because they all were dealing with situations similar to those described above.
Long-time agency partnerships can be good…but if the agency doesn’t stay on top of what’s current – both in terms of technology and branding and marketing, then that long-term partnership might be more of a detriment than a help.