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New mothers may not be getting the breastfeeding support they need. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that that less than half of the nation’s moms are breastfeeding enough, and they’re calling on healthcare professionals and others to do more in the way of education and support. It opens the door for […]

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As Halloween approaches, Cosmopolitan Orthodontics is generating publicity for their second annual Candy Buy Back program in suburban Minneapolis, St. Paul, MN. They are one of several dental and orthodontic practices around the country that use this attention-getting concept. It’s a novel orthodontic marketing idea that involves patients, parents, staff and the community, and it […]

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It’s my impression that everyone in the nation has at least one mobile phone. But mobile phones are handling more text messages than phone calls. And the folks at The Pew Internet & American Life Project who keep track of such things say that’s correct…for both adults and adolescents. On average, adults make and receive […]

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“The Medical groups that perform heart bypass surgery are now being rated alongside cars and toaster ovens in Consumer Reports,” quipped the New York Times article. Personally, a toaster oven seems preferable to cardiothoracic surgery, but anyone who handles group practice marketing will want to watch this idea unfold. It’s seems to be inspiring lively […]

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A recent article in the Los Angeles Times highlighted the use of pre-med students and other college students who want to pursue careers in medicine or nursing as “medical scribes” to accompany physicians during patient appointments.  These scribes carry laptop computers to enter treatment plans into electronic medical records software programs as well as follow […]

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Sleep Medicine Marketing Finds an Ally in the Spa Industry; Promoting Sleep Health Education Day spas seem to be evolving. Once a pure “pampering palace,” some locations are increasingly embracing holistic wellness themes, including sleep health issues. It’s a growing opportunity for sleep medicine marketing—both physician practices and hospital programs—to get involved and reach a […]

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Absolutely nothing about the Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy location in La Jolla, CA reminds us of a classic retail “drug store.” But then, that’s exactly what they were going for; excellent differentiation. To our marketing eye, it’s a unique blend of traditional pharmacy services and alternative care products. They appeal to an upscale, primarily female, target […]

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To all in the U.S. healthcare community who have been either too busy or too discouraged to really pay attention to the most fundamental implications of the new healthcare reform law (officially titled “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”), most of the prevailing opinion, including direct comments from White House officials and other government […]

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7 Criteria You MUST Consider When Looking For Health Care Marketing Talent (And how to avoid falling victim to "Marketing Malpractice") Doctors often tell us about their difficulties with finding and evaluating healthcare marketing talent. So we thought we'd give you a "cheat sheet" to help you. Before we do that, however, let's set the […]

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The iconic, Spielberg science fiction film Minority Report set us up for this one nearly a decade ago.  But right now, a new billboard technology is being tested in Japan that recognizes who’s looking at it and delivers a personalized message that’s suitable to the reader. OK, it’s not the film’s iris recognition of year […]

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It seems there’s an iPhone app for everything. (As of today, at least 250,000 apps, and 6.5 billion downloads. But that’s a moving target). Now there’s an app that falls into the category of medical device marketing & advertising. The iStethoscope turns an iPhone or iPod Touch into (surprise) a stethoscope, to hear a heartbeat […]

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Appearance-conscious men are buying skin-care products big time. There’s a boom in cosmetic products for men. Not just deodorant and aftershave stuff, we’re talking about eye gel, concealer, and an anti-shine powder that comes in a compact…it’s a bull market, according to the New York Times. Cosmetic products for men are not new, of course. […]

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Steve Smith, Healthcare Success Senior Consultant, Writer & Account Manager Singer James Brown sang, “It’s a Man’s World,” but he could also have written a song titled, “It’s a Man’s World Except for Healthcare Decisions.” Women still make approximately 80% of the health care decisions for their families, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, […]

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  We think Pediatric Dentist David Curtis is tuned-in to his community. His website is more than an online brochure—it also provides interactive advantages for patients and their parents. In Columbus, MS (population 23,818), “everything is digital.” What caught our eye was an article by Seth Putnam in the Columbus Dispatch titled: More local businesses […]

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Sometimes it’s tough to know who has the best crystal ball. When the final numbers are in for this year, US healthcare and pharmaceutical online advertising spending is expected to top $1 billion—up 10.6% from last year—according to a mid-year report from eMarketer, a respected analytics firm. This, they say, is “despite shifting regulatory hurdles […]

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'broken blinds?' ad van

Here’s a flash of marketing inspiration we spotted in traffic. We love the simplicity of the message on this truck. It’s an ultra-short-and-sweet advertising approach that could be applied to many healthcare arenas, even if you don’t have a work truck in the medical practice marketing department motor pool. Some examples: Bunions? Hernia? Hemorrhoids? Knee […]

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hands joining in circle

Overcoming negative, old-school ideas with genuine benefits in patient health. Nobody likes to be "sold." But there's no "selling" in communicating how products and services deliver needed healthcare benefits to patients. After almost twenty-five years consulting and helping physicians, dentists and many other healthcare professionals attract more of the patients and cases they want, I'm […]

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How to craft an effective elevator speech for precision results, referrals and reputation. Everyone has an interesting message, but it's tough to be clear, concise and memorable in less than 30 seconds. Here's how to sound spontaneous and make a lasting impression with a flash opportunity.

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The “Microhoo” Challenger to Google in Online Search and Internet Advertising If the Yahoo! and Microsoft Search Alliance news has fallen off your radar, here’s an update that’s important to SEO / Search Engine Optimization for healthcare marketing & advertising. Microsoft’s Bing is now powering organic search results on Yahoo! Search for the English language […]

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Dermatologists may need to team with psychologists; patient education isn’t enough. It seems that indoor tanning may be an addiction among college students participating in a study published in Archives of Dermatology and supported by the National Cancer Institute. The results also suggest a relation to anxiety, depression, and substance use among the participants. There […]

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Hearing Aid Purchase Decision Formula: Price + Professional + Hearing Loss There are some interesting numbers for audiology and hearing care marketing professionals in a recent market analysis. And for audiologists, hearing instrument specialists, the prediction is suggests a growth market opportunity on the horizon. Survey results published by iData Research says that patient income […]

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Health Surveillance Underway -- A Heads-up for Medical Group Marketing, Family Practices, General Practices, and Hospitals. Here’s a brief news note for healthcare professionals that’s worth repeating. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is watching for potential short-term health effects that may be related to the offshore oil spill near four Gulf Coast […]

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Answers that have guided thousands of practices and health care organizations in achieving their growth goals. Our daily work puts us on the receiving-end of a stream of healthcare and medical marketing questions of all kinds. We wouldn't think of saying that we've "heard 'em all," but our collective experience adds up to fielding many […]

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“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” –George Bernard Shaw Doctors and patients don’t agree about how well they are communicating with each other. This according to a study published in the August Archives of Internal Medicine. We suspect this physician-patient communications failure isn’t limited to internal medicine […]

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Ten tips to putting it all together for success from the start Our previous article about "permission-based e-newsletter" puts you on safe ground in getting started - you know how to compile and safely use your opt-in email list for good marketing and good email etiquette.

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How to begin your "permission-based" E-newsletter on safe turf. Some hospitals and healthcare providers periodically mail out a practice newsletter to friends, prospects and patients. These newsletters usually include updates about the organization, new services or procedures, event promotions, and helpful health tips. Many other practices that used to mail these newsletters have discontinued their […]

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  Six digital ways to keep patients connected to the allergy/asthma practice. Many allergist marketing programs publish daily pollen count and mold count numbers. It’s a useful way to keep sensitive patients checking-in with the practice. Now the numbers are getting out there quicker via social media. Some allergist marketing plans publish the data using […]

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Neil H. Baum, MD Today the patient is far different than the patient of a few decades ago. Patients can find healthcare information just as easily as a physician and many are taking a greater role in their healthcare and want to be involved in the decision making and work with the doctor as a […]

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A few days ago, a news item in the Philadelphia Business Journal caught our eye; a primary care practice was switching to a concierge medicine model—in a blue-collar neighborhood. Concierge practice marketing can be challenging anywhere because patients are typically required to pay an annual fee to enjoy a more personalized level of service. It's […]

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Stewart Gandolf is out on the road again, but he wanted to share this quick insight about healthcare publicity. And since he’s a founding partner of Healthcare Success (i.e. “the boss”), here goes. So Stewart says: “Most doctors tell me getting publicity in the local press is impossible.” I reply: “Oh.” (I’m hanging on every […]

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driving your brand in dental marketing & advertising

Speaking of attention-getting dental marketing and advertising, here’s a clever idea that caught our eye in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. (Getting attention is a good first step.) Yep, we know…this isn’t for everyone... but worth sharing. The dentists at Riverstone Dental Care told us that this unique bit of mobile dental advertising generates new patients and […]

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Sorry, but we’ve lost a proper attribution for this great little concept: The little fish always like to read about the big fish. The big fish seldom care to read about the little fish. And how is this useful to healthcare marketing and advertising? It’s a clever way to remember to target your marketing to […]

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The “rock star” approach to dental marketing? Could be. They definitely sound good to us. (Really good!) Open Wide is a rock and roll band of six practicing dentists -- and one school teacher who flosses her teeth daily. This isn’t a conventional dental marketing and advertising strategy, but we know a lot of musically […]

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Nobody has a clear vision about the shape of cardiology marketing in 2014 and beyond. What is already a highly dynamic competitive landscape for private practice cardiologists and cardiology groups promises more of the same as the Health Care Reform act takes effect over the next few years. With operating costs and competition increasing, and […]

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Asian, Hispanic cultures are comfortable with procedures according to a recent AACS survey. Any sort of economic rough road will do it. When the national economy is down, the American public approaches elective healthcare slowly. The last few years have been financially bumpy for many professions, including — perhaps especially — elective medical aesthetics practices. […]

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Here’s a clever and easy promotional idea for urologists and anyone doing urology marketing and advertising. One urology practice we know promotes the idea of scheduling a vasectomy on the Friday leading into Super Bowl weekend. The urologist’s marketing idea is: the patient—a guy, of course—has the procedure on Friday. Then, under doctor’s orders, is […]

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As we were talking with a prospective client about their marketing situation, it became evident that they did not recognize the difference between "marketing" and "advertising." Unfortunately, using these terms interchangeably is a common mistake, especially where the healthcare provider or a key staff member is just beginning to tackle the apparent complexities of medical […]

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green check with words reading "success"

The effectiveness of online marketing and pay-per-click advertising begin with a plan A page from the real-life-lessons department: How a chance encounter with a marketing-savvy town car driver demonstrates the effectiveness of having a plan and using pay-per-click Internet advertising for success. Turns out the encounter wasn't entirely by chance. I met a town car […]

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Once upon a time ... as some stories begin...the care and feeding of a profitable ambulatory surgery center seemed blessed with a seamless, predictable and uninterrupted patient flow. At least that was the idea. Unfortunately, reality intrudes and things change. Today, there’s nothing easy or automatic. ASCs—both large and small—are challenged to constantly align capacity […]

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Walgreens, the nation’s largest drugstore chain, is turning-up the heat in family practice marketing. It’s been ages since the corner “drug store” confined it’s offering to only pharmaceuticals. But about 350 Walgreens locations are now part of the changing competitive healthcare landscape and likely to be an increasingly important factor to consider in FP, GP, […]

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Testimonials--still an effective technique--but, more than ever, watch what you say and how you say it. Bloggers and celebrities included. The last time the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) updated its guidelines regarding the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising was a mere 30 years ago.

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If you had any doubt, this week’s launch of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media illustrates how the Internet—and social media in particular—is now a dominant force in healthcare marketing, advertising, public relations and essential communications. Historically, hospitals, healthcare organizations and providers have been considered slow to adopt new marketing approaches. But we’ve been watching […]

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How do you measure the value of your blog? What’s the ROI for your Facebook page? How much do your YouTube videos benefit your physician marketing? What's the pay-back on Twitter? A balanced view of benefits gives you the whole picture.

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Hospital Youtube and Twitter activity chart

If your hospital isn’t on this list, it should be. At this writing, the HSNL accounts for well over 750 hospitals with YouTube Channels, Facebook pages, Twitter Accounts, and/or Blogs. Here are the top-line numbers:Anyone (meaning everyone) working in hospital marketing or hospital public relations should check out the Hospital Social Network List (HSNL). It’s […]

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How to take advantage of new opportunities to include TV ads in your marketing plan It is possible to control television production and media costs and still deliver a professional-quality message with strong results. TV may not be right for every healthcare marketing plan, but it's no longer out of reach. New media options, friendly […]

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A regular and pragmatic medical marketing self-examination can be revealing, positive, negative and ultimately, extremely valuable in keeping your healthcare marketing plan operating at peak performance. Here's how to approach each of the seven classic fundamentals.
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How to make your on-premise practice sign recruit new patients One of the best long-term marketing tools for any consumer-direct practice is, unfortunately, often neglected or under-utilized. It's easy to overlook the powerful effectiveness of an on-premise sign. And far and away, it can be the best Return-On-Investment (ROI) for your location. The main reason? […]

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Gain personal and professional satisfaction plus boost your marketing plan effectiveness. We're willing to wager that you are already an expert. The professionals that we work with daily are all highly educated, experienced and smart. Almost by definition, every one of them is an expert, and they're passionate about some aspect of the work they've […]

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Healthcare practitioners ask us about budgeting more than any other single topic In fact, just this morning a dermatologist asked me how much money he should allocate to market his new dermatology / medi spa practice in Florida. It turns out there are three primary methodologies to establish a marketing budget.

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Attract new patients to your medical office without sacrificing your reputation Economic pressures can often squeeze the profits - and enjoyment - right out of your business. As a consequence, doctors, administrators, managers and staff often find themselves spending an inordinate amount of their time and energy trying to cut costs and optimize reimbursements. The […]

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