By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
Sometimes healthcare marketing seems like juggling chainsaws and watermelons.
In the grand scheme of things, hospital executives, administrators and marketing professionals frenetically toss around competing priorities, political pressures and shifting goals—and at the same time, assure that nothing crashes to the ground.
Ultimately, the challenge for people responsible for the performance of hospital-owned ambulatory services and specialty practices is: how to get these offices and clinics to perform more profitably.
At Healthcare Success we see the chainsaws-and-watermelons flying (and falling). Health systems and hospitals struggle to judiciously apply limited marketing resources to an increasing number of practice acquisitions and employment of primary and specialty care physicians.
All too often, it seems, the buy-up/roll-up cycle has yet to payoff. A profitable investment was the intended end game, not a short- term, “loss leader” strategy.
To address these and related issues, we have released a new special report titled: How to Attract More Patients to Your Hospital-Owned Practices and Ambulatory Services. This free, 15-page report includes an strategic overview as well as a detailed discussion of six high-impact methods for improving performance and profitability.
In short, it’s about what hospital-owned practices and ambulatory services need most—how to win new patients. More about getting your free copy in a minute.
First, here’s a brief excerpt from part of the report that includes high-impact strategies to attract and grow new patient volume for hospital-owned practices and ambulatory services.
Where to begin? Getting started on marketing success…
How do you improve performance without adequate marketing resources, expertise and strategy? Where do you start?
Promoting Your Services on Consumers’ Terms: Attracting Patients from the Internet
Internet marketing is an essential, fact of life. People spend a great deal of time on the web, and they are increasingly using it to make their healthcare decisions.
So, your outpatient clinics and ambulatory services need to have a web presence, and they likely do. But is it the right kind of web presence? Does it target the right people? Address the right points? Convey the right brand? Differentiate the practices or services? Or does it get lost in the “clutter” of everything else on the hospital or health system website?
Plan Strategically… and Focus on What Drives Response
An effective Internet strategy starts with clear marketing objectives. Are those objectives clear, understood and embraced by everyone? Or are there competing influences?
What your ambulatory services’ websites look like is important, but not more important than their messages. While animated slideshows and graphics are alluring and can be used effectively, they can also distract from the message, if not executed strategically. In addition, they can’t take the place of powerful messaging… or make up for poor, inadequate or absent messaging.
All your web communications, websites included, need benefit- driven language, sales-oriented copy, motivating content, direct calls to action and more. These things drive more response than just focusing on communicating your advanced features.
Manage Your Site and Get — and Stay — Ready
Other elements that impact response include educational content relevant to your website visitors, motivating graphics, targeted “landing” pages, interesting and informative videos, offers that encourage visitors and readers to act, and more. Intuitive architecture (navigation) for the sites is critically important, as is continually evolving your sites. (Ignoring websites after launch is a common mistake.)
An effective Internet strategy also means properly training your staff to be able to do a quality job of handling phone inquires that come from any of your Internet efforts (website, pay-per-click online search advertising campaign, continuous optimization of your site for search engines, landing pages, internal email marketing, etc.)
For more about this concept and many others, take a moment to download out solution-driven special report, How to Attract More Patients to Your Hospital-Owned Practices and Ambulatory Services. It outlines common—and often confounding—issues facing healthcare marketing, with specific guidance to gain more patients and revenue.