A Rose by Any Other Name: What to do When Healthcare Marketing is a Thorny Label

By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer

rose by any name

What’s in a name?

Be honest…does your boss think that “marketing” is an evil word? Or maybe it’s just a “necessary evil” that has to be tolerated because they still need the business.

From time to time we discover a negative undercurrent about marketing in all sorts of healthcare organizations. We work with physician groups, hospitals and individual practices where politics or other factors make “marketing” an emotionally charged term.

Doctors, for example, view their work as healers, humanitarians or providers of health solutions, and any notion of “sales,” “advertising” or “marketing” isn’t part of that picture.

The solution may be as simple as not calling it “marketing.” Sometimes adopting new words or using a more palatable vocabulary can dissolve political barriers. Or as Juliet said: “ ‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy…that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

Find a euphemism. Use a different label. The right choice of words might be “physician relations,” “community outreach,” “patient connections” or “business development.”

We’d like to know what name, label, tag or term you use. Read more about redefining old-school ideas in our free library of healthcare marketing articles. And if you want us to help you with your marketing—uh, business development—call us.

Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer at Healthcare Success
Stewart Gandolf, MBA, is Chief Executive Officer of Healthcare Success, one of the nation's leading healthcare and digital marketing agencies. Over the past 20 years, Stewart has marketed and consulted for over 1,000 healthcare clients, ranging from practices and hospitals to multi-billion dollar corporations. A frequent speaker, Stewart has shared his expertise at over 200 venues nationwide. As an author and expert resource, Stewart has also written for many leading industry publications, including the 21,000 subscriber Healthcare Success Insight blog. Stewart also co-authored, "Cash-Pay Healthcare: Start, Grow & Perfect Your Cash-Pay Healthcare Business." Stewart began his career with leading advertising agencies, including J. Walter Thompson, where he marketed Fortune 500 clients such as Wells Fargo and Bally's Total Fitness.



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