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19 Creative Director Secrets for Your Next Photo Shoot

Today, healthcare brands have more photography and videography options than ever. For many situations, hiring professionals, such as a professional photographer, a production company, or a videographer, will be best.  In other instances, you and your team can utilize a high-quality smartphone camera, affordable software programs, and inexpensive starter equipment to quickly, cheaply, and easily […]

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two drawn puzzle pieces spelling out "marketing budget"

This is the time of year when a well-considered hospital marketing budget is in the final-finish stages. It’s nearly ready for rollout with the launch of a new calendar year. But getting it done isn’t the same as getting it right. Here are four thought-leader concepts to help optimize your budget—and your marketing results—as never […]

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camera on desk and man on computer

Recently I returned from a client photo shoot and drafted this list of helpful creative director secrets to help you produce professional and effective results. It's about details because the camera sees it all. Every photo shoot—from a big screen major motion picture, to images for your hospital or office—deserves careful attention. It’s fun to […]

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large size popsicle on road

A fundamental element of marketing and advertising tells us that, before you can persuade or convince an audience, it's imperative that you command their attention. And, when you can effectively and instantly grab the viewer/audience by the eyeballs, their curious mind is bound to follow. It's simply the way that we're wired. The physiology of […]

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Star Trek tricorder

Who needs Dr. Leonard McCoy’s classic (but fictional) Medical Tricorder when iPhone health is already in your pocket? (Some of it anyway.) There are various configurations of the Tricorder on the Star Trek TV show. By today’s standards, the devices were bulky, but they enabled: Instant diagnosis ailments/disease Track general metrics/vital signs Monitor ongoing health […]

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Photo of Jenise Celestin

[SHSMD17 Speaker Podcast Series] Our guest for this podcast is Jenise Celestin, Director of Community Relations at Swedish Covenant Hospital. Jenise talks with Healthcare Success Marketing Strategist Peter Do as a preview of the SHSMD 2017 presentation: From Hospital Employee to Brand Ambassador: Building Bridges in the Community and Enhancing Your Brand. In today’s conversation, […]

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clock with 40 minutes of an hour colored red and text reading "40"

A professional colleague provided this first-person experience and the reasons he fired the doctor. We’ll cloak the identities involved, but here’s what went wrong—and how the problem could have been avoided. “The physician that I had been seeing was leaving the practice, and an alternative specialist was recommended. Two weeks later I was present for […]

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worn down office

Let’s call this an informal Patient Experience survey—or a real-world test of “first impressions.” The thing is, this is something that actually happened to me recently. Please let me know what you would have done in my place. Having waited a couple weeks to get an appointment I was scheduled to see a doctor that […]

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fire extinguisher

Our friend and colleague Rob Klein—a consumer authority for hospitals and doctors—told us this story from a research focus group. Many people in the group agreed that the glass window at the front desk made patients feel unwelcome. A glass window seems to be standard issue for every doctor’s office on the planet. But it […]

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text reading "internet of things"

[Part of a continuing series] A colleague told the real-world story about seeing a group of senior citizens talking about their grandchildren. To our observer, the curious part was that each of the 70-plus-year-old grandparents had their smartphone in hand, complete with proud-moment pictures and videos. This snapshot is a micro-moment reminder of how personal […]

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doctor holding plastic heart

Recently, I had a unique experience at a local IHOP restaurant. I’d like to share this real-world, simple-but-effective marketing idea that everyone can use. Here’s how asking for referrals can be an immediate boost for business. I was enjoying Father’s Day breakfast with the family. About halfway through our meal, an employee —wearing the name […]

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man holding laptop with text reading "millennial"

OK – here it is: Successfully marketing to Millennials—appealing to and attracting this major audience group—requires a totally new approach. For the most part, the customary ways-and-means of reaching this target audience completely misses the mark. As a result, they are the most difficult segment to market to effectively. Leave the challenges of an old-school perspective and […]

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iPad on Analysis application

Your website is healthcare’s new front door, and nearly everyone has a website. Good, bad or mediocre, hospitals, health systems and doctors’ offices have some degree of Internet presence. But better than half the time, the all-important website metrics—the numbers that monitor performance—are neglected or ignored. The plus side of an effective website is that […]

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cheese sample plate with mini red cross flags

In the retail world, it’s easy to find free or low-cost samples of goods, services, and the ever-popular taste-test of (a new flavor) bacon-infused crispy chip. Beyond the wall of healthcare marketing, reciprocity and the psychology of samples, test bits and trial models have a long and successful history. Retailers know that giving away a […]

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blocks spelling out "visual thinking"

We’ve been looking for a good springboard opportunity to present the creative advertising images that are included with this post. It’s difficult to characterize all the ways how-and-why reasons that good visuals turn your head, tell a story and/or bend your mind. And frankly, that’s an important secret sauce ingredient. There aren’t many ad messages […]

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hands locking pinky fingers

This is a brief article about a small-makes-big concept. It goes like this: When someone agrees to something small, they are likely to be consistent and go along with a bigger idea later. For the sake of a label, let’s call this the Cialdini Commitment Concept, and credit the marketing genius of Dr. Robert Cialdini. […]

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first place medal

There’s an analogy that I offer clients to demonstrate the importance of being first in marketing. I ask: “Charles Lindbergh made the first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean. Can you name the second person to do so?” “If John Hancock famously signed the Declaration of Independence first, can you name the second person […]

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man crossing fingers behind back

Here’s a cautionary tale from the real world. If you can relate to this story, it can either help or hinder a hospital or group practice. You may have experienced times when a sour culture or negative internal attitudes stand in the way producing superior results. Briefly, here’s the backstory from a multi-location healthcare organization. […]

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Palm Springs vacation rental pool image

A lot, actually. As you might expect, many doctors and hospitals want to target upscale patients. Sometimes it is a matter of insurance coverage, other times doctors want to attract more fulfilling cases, and still other times clients simply want to improve reimbursements. Two weeks ago at our Orlando seminar, someone asked the familiar question […]

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circle of doctors holding puzzle pieces

If your schedule permits a quiet moment, look at the competitive landscape. Group practice marketing is constantly challenged to keep up with mergers, rollups and acquisitions. Know it or not, business conditions in your service area have changed in the past few months. It could be that the territory has shifted. And, like it or […]

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doctor holding patients hand

Anyone who knows me personally or professionally would likely agree that I’m sort of a high-energy guy. Nevertheless, we would also agree, that heavy-handed swear words are not in my usual nature or vocabulary. But -- there’s an important lesson for others in this tale, so I’ll confess to this recent, embarrassing exception. The story goes […]

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video conferencing session in doctors office

Just the other day, an out-of-town guest sat in on a company-wide meeting in our office. To my surprise, he was super-impressed with what, to us, was a regular Monday morning “standup.” This is the starter session for our business week. It brings together everyone in the office, plus two or three people who attend […]

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camera and camera film on desk and text reading "Is your brand still relevant?"

If your aim is to build an engaging, relevant brand there is one thing you must avoid: complacency. Brands unwilling or hesitant to embrace change, innovation, or advancements in technology quickly become irrelevant. Do you remember Kodak? It was a very popular photography company that sold cameras and roll film. It was built on a […]

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gold button with gold letters reading "press"

I recently heard an on-hold message that was so creative, memorable and powerful that I texted my editor with the message, “Hey, you HAVE to listen to this on-hold message...” I'll share the story behind my cryptic message in a moment, but first I want to address why you should even care about on-hold messages. […]

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text reading "how to generate new phone calls without breaking the bank"

Marketing-smart doctors want advertising results that are profitable—with an efficient Return-on-Investment (ROI), and a reasonable cost per lead. Whew…those are welcomed challenges in most marketplaces. These days, competition is first-team tough and sophisticated. In some markets, healthcare providers can’t compete without television advertising doing the heavy lifting. The fact is, TV delivers a positive difference […]

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calendar

[Healthcare Success Leadership Podcast Series] What does it take to upset longstanding “tradition” in healthcare delivery and to provide patients with quick, convenient access to care via same day appointments and other innovative approaches. Cleveland Clinic’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Paul Matsen, and Stewart Gandolf, CEO of Healthcare Success discuss the process of change, top-tier […]

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Christian Louboutin Show Shoes

Breaking through the noise and promotional clutter at an important business conference of hospital marketing professionals was a stiff creative challenge. But here’s a brief success story—how a creative approach by Healthcare Success was a big winner at the SHSMD16 conference…without spending a fortune. Attendees at national SHSMD16 conference (the Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development) […]

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child patient experience healing arts

[Guest Post by Dr. Paul Rosen] Evidence continues to build that art and music promote healing. Here’s a real-world story about the power of the healing arts and enhanced patient experience. Don't miss the inspiring original song and video. It's from the Nemours Creative Arts Therapy program at Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children. A couple […]

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balance scale with "good name" on one side and "bad name" on other

Your name, or the name of your practice, can be an important asset or an unfortunate liability for providers in doctor or healthcare marketing and advertising. Consider the legendary saga of  Edgar “Painless” Parker, a turn of the century street dentist. It seems the ethical standards for dentistry were sometimes cringe-worthy at the time. “After […]

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Physician Marketing Link image

What happens when your carefully crafted healthcare marketing plan causes your phone to ring? Prospective patients are calling your office. I can hear the phone ringing now. Well all-right! Good job! Whoot. Fist pump! But wait. There’s a big problem. People are calling, but nobody is answering the phone. Oops. The designated “care coordinator” is busy, […]

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patient satisfaction survey paper

Real-world marketing stories come to my attention with increasing regularity. And, frequently, they reinforce the strategic importance and positive benefits of online reviews by patients. Prospective patients are doing their homework. As many as 85 percent of patients are choosing doctors based on, or assisted by, online reviews, according to the frequently cited study by […]

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We spot something new in healthcare marketing and advertising almost daily. And a few new things make enough of a splash to hold our attention. Three items worth sharing crossed our radar recently. Facebook Canvas is in the “here and now” category. We would call Care Messenger “emerging, with potential.” And Virtual Reality Marketing, is just […]

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boxing glove punching flying man

Many doctors and medical practice executives have their marketing brains on overdrive. They’re looking for new, better, improved and/or more efficient ways to attract new patients and cases. The marketing and advertising plan (a left-over from last year) isn’t delivering results. The entire competitive landscape has changed, and not for the better. New patients seem […]

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Photo of Thomas Lee

[Leadership Podcast Series] In this insightful and inspiring interview, Thomas H. Lee, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Press Ganey, and Stewart Gandolf, CEO of Healthcare Success, discuss An Epidemic of Empathy in Healthcare. In an increasingly consumer-driven health care environment, organizations must compete on delivering value for the patient. The traditional physician-centered world of health care delivery […]

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two figures fencing

[Second of two parts] If you have not already done so, please read our previous post, Hospital PR Case Examples: One Bizarre, One Just Crazy about the hospital cyber-attack-for-ransom. This second case example is a different sort of hospital public relations (and media relations) squabble, between the local newspaper and the local hospital. Nobody wants […]

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doctor and patient holding thumbs up

Just last month a guest post by Paul Rosen, MD, observed how some progressive-thinking health systems are reaching out to non-healthcare businesses for lessons in problem solving. “Health systems that want to deliver the best in terms of patient safety, quality and experience,” he wrote, “should consider looking outside their own industry for benchmarking.” Benchmarking: […]

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"this way" "that way" signs

A professional colleague shared this slightly aggravating-but-true story with us recently. Not to sound like a second-hand rant, but this experience spotlights a big marketing lesson about those pesky little online directory listings. In the end, fortunately, things worked out for the better. This tale begins with a patient (our colleague) being referred from a […]

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live music app icon

Paul Rosen, MD A year ago, I had a chance meeting with OperaDelaware’s General Manager, Brendan Cooke. OperaDelaware is the 11th oldest opera company in the country, with offices just three miles from our front door at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE. Before long, Brendan and I were talking about the […]

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chalkboard drawing of lightbulb and people holding thumbs up

As the little quote reminds us, sometimes “Good things come in small packages.” To demonstrate the concept, here are three little, clever and marketing-smart ideas that you can easily adopt as your own, use today, and maybe showcase your talent a little bit. I’ll keep this brief. The marketing quick-test mnemonic: “ID buyer. Find desire. […]

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University YES big text image

There’s no mistaking this picture. Ryan is one happy kid. Ryan—the son of Niki Kaylor, our Director of Client Services—just received his first college acceptance letter. The envelope alone leaves no doubt about the University of South Carolina (USC) notification to Ryan, his family and friends. Niki—who happened to be at home with Ryan when […]

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woman giving welcome

In healthcare, successful “patient reactivation” cannot be a “dialing-for-dollars” quest for additional business from previous patients. As the following (true) story illustrates, expressing a genuine, person-to-person connection is an essential ingredient for success. Our Digital Advertising Director, Raheim Bundle, shared his experience with a local, family-oriented sports club where he has been a dues-paying member. […]

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Keeping up with what’s-new-and-creative among thousands of hospital and healthcare videos is daunting. YouTube alone has about a billion (with a B) active users each month. And every marketing-smart hospital in the US has embraced the engaging, educational and entertaining power of online video. The relatively low cost of video production, and the high user […]

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doctor staff with plastic heart

All healthcare marketing and communications professionals are well acquainted with the basic elements of the Communications Cycle. In essence: the sender expresses a message the recipient receives and interprets the message feedback to the sender reflects understanding (or misunderstanding) While it all sounds elementary, we know from experience that the communications process is always far […]

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sign reading "patience"

Nobody said it would be easy to upset tradition and office culture in order to dramatically re-invent the often-frustrating system of patient appointments. Pediatric Rheumatologist Dr. Paul Rosen spells out how faster, better, easier patient access produces business, personal and clinical advantages. I was talking to a friend last week about a recent experience she had […]

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excited child

You can probably guess from this Facebook picture, our daughter Natalie couldn’t be more excited about “jumping up” to the Junior High ministry at our church. Her enthusiasm is genuine, but I admire the highly effective ways the church uses social media to interact with students and their parents. Right up front I want you […]

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keys on keyboard labeled "easy" & "hard"

I'd like to share a real-world illustration of social media networking that came to me recently. The cornerstone concept is: Make it easy for people.  Strictly speaking, the subject matter isn’t about medical or hospital marketing. Nevertheless, it’s a good model for effective connectivity. In this case the engagement tool was a survey...collecting anonymous data […]

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figure next to large red 3D heart

By Gil Zeimer, HSS Account Manager/Senior Copywriter Ordinarily, we don’t do much chest thumping, but we can’t help a little “pointing-with-pride” in this success story. Many readers will relate to the familiar back-story, so other medical practices will likely find useful insight and marketing lessons. Our story begins about a year ago… In Greenville, South […]

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"share" button

Social proof is a principle of influence and persuasion that can be highly effective in healthcare marketing. People want validation that they are making the right choice or proper decision and the actions of others like themselves is compelling guidance. Here's how it works and ways to use it. There was an interesting item about […]

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Photo of Lori Waltz

Our Senior Consultant and Training Specialist Lori Ann Waltz just sent over another marketing success story, and you may be able to relate. This time Lori was off to Kentucky (birthplace of Abraham Lincoln). She went there at the request of a specialty practice that may have been one of “the best kept secrets” in the […]

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young frankenstein movie cover

Everyone likes to think that his or her marketing and advertising efforts are creative, fresh and energized. (Let’s hope that’s always so.) But what we rarely notice is their rapid decay. Familiarity can lead to benign neglect, and even the best of marketing efforts often become stale long before we’re aware of it. Unless we’re […]

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