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Taking Aim at the Competition: A Page from the Retail Playbook for Hospital Marketing and Advertising

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer
taking aim at the competition target

Retail Face Benefits Hospital Marketing

Did you know that Target Corporation has its own MD Medical Director?

And well they should since about $6 billion of Target’s annual revenue comes from healthcare related products and services. The retail giant has made “health and wellness a key pillar of our company,” according to Dr. Josh Riff, medical director for Target Corporation.

What this means for hospital marketing and advertising is that Target, in many respects, is a major competitor in healthcare marketing, advertising and sales. No doubt you’ve been to one of their 1,800 stores where you’ll find health clinics, pharmacies, fitness equipment, private-label nutritional products, and full-scale national campaigns in partnership with the American Cancer Society (smoking cessation) and the Centers for Disease Control (vaccinations).

In addition to Target, an article last week in the MedCity News, titled "The greatest force in American healthcare is…Target?", spotlights other big retail chains on the healthcare front. MinuteClinics in CVS drugstores, Walmart and many others.

In response, many hospital marketing and advertising programs are taking a page from the retailer’s playbook and packaging healthcare gateway services with a competitive (and strong retail) appeal to the consumer.

Traditional hospital gift shops and pharmacies, which sometimes looked like minor afterthoughts in the building plan, are expanding their product lines, upgrading their size and updating their appearance.

Some hospitals and physician providers have health stores, fitness centers, medispas, womens’ centers, orthotics store, optical center and online shopping. Swedish Medical Center (Issaquah/Belleview, WA) is considering a decidedly retail face for its new facilities that may include a high-tech conference center and a series of retail shops. News reports describe the concept as a “medical retail mall,” that may include a naturopathic wellness shop, a maternity and children’s store, and upgraded food and coffee services.

The news item is here. And there’s more about hospital marketing and advertising on our website.

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