A service line—and hospital service line marketing—are hard workers. These doorways into the facility serve several distinct purposes. Among these, in the big picture of things, is the task of communicating the organization’s branding message. In addition, there is the need to spotlight specific services and capabilities to the general public. It’s always a challenge to communicate purpose and value before the public appreciates their possible future need.
Consider the interesting item that we spotted the other day in an Austin (TX) American-Statesman publication. The reader asked the question: “Why do Central Texas hospitals advertise on TV?” This particular query wasn’t argumentative; the reader simply wanted a better understanding. They wrote: “Everyone knows where the nearest hospital is and even if they don’t, they’re taken to the closest one by ambulance. So why do hospitals advertise themselves on television?”
Advertising for health systems and hospitals has multiple purposes. Perhaps the broadest purpose carries the name-awareness and brand messaging. Under this umbrella, individual advertising points to the benefits of individual service lines for Cardiovascular, Oncology, Orthopedic, Neurovascular, Women’s Health and other audience-specific service lines.
As you might expect, the original reader-submitted question inspired a multi-part answer:
In our experience, it’s sound business to create a detailed service line marketing plan. Three of the primary reasons include:
The form and format of sensible plan can vary, but will typically include these four elements:
In short, hospital service line marketing—backed by a clearly defined action plan—is simply good business. And it helps make sense of and assure success for service line profitability.
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