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Little Things Make a Big Difference: The Art of Customer Service in Hospital and Medical Marketing

by Steve Smith, Healthcare Success Senior Consultant True story: The patient has a terminal illness. She arrived at the metropolitan hospital on time for an appointment with her radiation oncologist and was sitting in the waiting room when the doctor emerged with another patient, walking him to the door to say goodbye.
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Facebook is Gaining Traction with Medical and Hospital Marketing and Public Relations

Mark Zuckerberg wants you to “get on the bus.” His bus, of course, is Facebook. And Mr. Zuckerberg aimed his comments squarely at companies that have, so far, resisted using social media. His words of encouragement may be a tiny bit self-serving, but with 500 million members, and 250 million daily users, Facebook is a […]
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Branding in Unlikely Places: Using Patient Friendly Billing Statement in Hospital and Medical Marketing

In hospital and medical marketing, your brand is part of everything you do. It’s not only your brochures and business cards...it's everything. From the individual or group provider to the multi-location health system, your brand is the recognition connecting point for patients and the public. It communicates your professional reputation. And done right, your branding […]
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How To Use Marketing To Win Patients Despite Our Current Economic Crisis

17 Things Savvy Healthcare Providers Can Do To Keep Their Organizations Healthy Despite A Very Sick Economy There's no doubt that the nation's economic news is serious and troubling. Your own experience tells you that people—pretty much all of us—are justifiably concerned, from Wall Street to Main Street. While everyone's situation is different, you've likely […]
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Healthcare Marketing to Protect Your Business from Recession, Healthcare Reform, Competition and Change

Keeping the roof over your head when it looks like the sky is falling. A solid plan for healthcare marketing is a fundamental business tool for coping and succeeding in the face of healthcare reform and other changes. Competition has increased ...the roll-up trend created more groups...and economic pressures push down on reimbursement and elective […]
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Pharma Execs Are Still Pondering Digital Strategy: How to Measure Effectiveness?

Pharma Execs Are Still Pondering Digital Strategy: How to Measure Effectiveness?

Recent market research suggests that many pharmaceutical marketing executives are still on the sidelines and working on their digital game plan. While marketing planners in other industries have quickly jumped into online channels, pharma has been comparatively slow to embrace the digital revolution. The findings from Digital Marketing in Pharma say that about half of […]
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Tech-Savvy Nurses: Emerging Target of Influence for Pharmaceutical Marketing & Advertising

Each week, according to one recent survey, physicians get about 20 visits from pharmaceutical company representatives, but not everyone gets face time with the doc. Compare that with another study that says that nurses are not only “digitally advanced,” but they are likely to recommend online resources to patients. Although physicians are a primary pharmaceutical […]
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Creating Cancer Awareness: How a Beer (or Two) Inspired the International 'Movember' Healthcare Public Relations Campaign

Mistakenly, we thought the eleventh month was November. But an idea born over a few beers in Melbourne, Australia in 2003 has designated this as MOVEMBER in the interest of men’s health. It’s now an international healthcare PR effort for cancer awareness, and something hospitals and healthcare public relations efforts might want to support. If […]
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High-Touch Technology Enhances Patient Satisfaction and Hospital Public Relations

The personal touches that define individual ‘patient satisfaction’ often include comfort and convenience. And in that respect, the new personal access, multi-media terminals at St. Joseph’s General Hospital on Vancouver Island are on par with many fine hotels. Plus it’s a great opportunity for hospital public relations. Picture this. You’re a patient or family member […]
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Fresh Online Face of AAE: Association’s Website is Sterling Endodontic Marketing

We’re impressed with the new AAE website (aae.org). The American Association of Endodontists has revitalized its online presence with more content and improved endodontic marketing messages for the public and the professional ranks. Refreshing (or completely re-doing) a website is good advice for most healthcare practices, hospitals and organizations. Too often their website is a […]
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WARNING: These Graphics are Graphic - Proposed Tobacco Warnings Are Shocking Healthcare Marketing

If you haven’t seen the FDA’s proposed graphic new health warnings for cigarette packages and advertisements, here's your first look. You'll likely see a lot more of them. But BE ADVISED that these graphics are well beyond the current, words-only advisory, and there’s nothing subtle about them. The FDA proposed a total of 36 warning […]
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Quick Capture Offer: 1 Dollar-1 Day Only Promotional Idea for Healthcare Marketing & Advertising

When a compelling offer catches your attention – such as the astoundingly low cost of only a dollar – it’s hard to resist. And when it’s only available for a limited time – in this case for one day only – serious buyers have to act immediately or lose the opportunity. The 1 Dollar-1 Day […]
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Doctor-to-Doctor Advice: 3 Basic Steps to Getting Started in Social Media for Physician Marketing

This qualifies as one of the best short videos for doctors who may be wondering if social media fits their medical practice marketing and advertising plan. It’s a short (3 minute) doctor-to-doctor conversation with Dr. Jeffrey Benabio, a San Diego dermatologist. He talks about why physicians – dermatologists or other medical specialties – would want […]
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Taking Aim at the Competition: A Page from the Retail Playbook for Hospital Marketing and Advertising

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. […]
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Claims and Credibility: A Short Post about a Big Gaffe in Healthcare and Medical Practice Marketing

Please permit this short-but-passionate message of concern about medical practices that SAY they are cutting-edge, yet their websites are crummy. Their claim is simply not credible. It’s a pitfall that medical practice marketing needs to avoid. It’s amazing how often we discover medical practices that have no website at all – or they have a […]
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Fortune Doesn’t Always Follow Fame: A Quick Case Example of Doctor/Physician Marketing Neglect

This little saga – based on a true story – is about an ophthalmologist, but we routinely hear the same tale of opportunity lost in nearly every healthcare profession. (Insert if you like: group practice, hospital physician, cardiologist, urologist, rheumatologist, dermatologist, or any–ologist.) The lesson for doctor/physician marketing is that being good – even great […]
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How-To Example of Leveraging Media: Prosthodontic Marketing Gets More Impact for Esthetic Restoration Campaign

The American College of Prosthodontists (ACP) recently launched a marketing campaign about esthetic restoration. Using an effective combination of video and audio material, the ACP placement plan is a good case example for healthcare marketing and advertising decision-makers about how to leverage media exposure for added (and affordable) reach and audience impact. Here’s a quick […]
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Social Media Tripwires and Online Effectiveness: Toolkits for Doctors, Hospitals and Healthcare Marketing Communicators

Two interesting online publications popped-up on the healthcare marketing and advertising radar last week, and they may be useful for hospitals, doctors and communication professionals. Legal Implications of Social Media: The Ohio State Medical Association (OSMA) responded to member inquiries about using social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to help market their practice and engaging patients […]
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What’s Meaningful Use? Patient Portal Introduced by Multispecialty Group Practice Marketing in Albany, NY Area

A virtual office visit. Consult with the doctor online. Send a brief note. Request or cancel medical appointments, medication refills, or a referral. Physicians and patients in the upstate, Albany NY area are connecting in new ways with the introduction myCareDOT patient portal. Community Care Physicians (CCP) – a multispecialty medical group of 200 providers […]
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Beneath the White Coat: Where Healthcare Public Relations and PR Opportunity Hides

Last week The Orange County Register carried a great feature article about a Newport Beach family physician’s remarkable second career as a musician. It's titled From Doc Star to Rock Star…Really, and you couldn’t ask for a better example of healthcare public relations – a compelling and well-written PR splash discovered just beyond the doctor’s […]
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Financing: Talk about Benefits for Better Case Acceptance

The right choice of words helps patients say "yes"to the elective care they want It's a challenge that cuts across so many professions–dental/orthodontics, cosmetic surgery, vision correction–anywhere the price of elective care seems just out of reach for the patient who needs and wants your services.
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Great Customer Service in Ten Seconds Or Less

What does a typical visit to your medical practice have to say about your practice reputation? Here are five ways to exceed expectations and create a memorable service experience - a cornerstone of superior healthcare branding.
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New Opportunity for Local Search: Google Boost Brings Healthcare Marketing & Advertising Closer to Home

Everyone wants to be at the top of the results list when a prospective patient (or anyone) does a Google search for "Dentist in Des Moines," but only seven listings are going to make the "local business listings." Many hospitals, urgent care centers, dental offices, and other medical healthcare providers have picked-up on geo-specific advertising […]
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Survey:Traditional Communications Channels Still Beat Mobile for Healthcare Marketing & Advertising

The intersection of healthcare marketing and technology is a busy corner with lots of activity – shiny new toys, much fanfare, and an occasional dash of confusion. BUT – and this is a big “but” for marketing and advertising professionals – BUT traditional communications channels still dominate the search for health information over mobile health. […]
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Public Imperative: Walking Six Miles Each Week Could Be a Neurology Marketing Concept to Fight Dementia with Brain Power

The results of a research study reported in the Journal Neurology suggest that adults who walk six to nine miles each week may benefit from improved memory and brain function in late adulthood. We could see physical activity programs emerge in neurology marketing. The study involved about 300 people in Pittsburgh who tracked their weekly […]
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Digital Coupons: What’s Old is New Again for Chiropractic Marketing & Advertising (and others too)

It's one of the oldest tools in advertising in America. The various forms of a coupon and coupon offers are well-established and often-used tools in chiropractic marketing and other healthcare products and services.  Over time, they’ve moved from print ads and free standing inserts to also include distribution via email and taking a bit of […]
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TxtMsg to Hospital Marketing & Advertising Execs: Take Two Apps and Call Me in the Morning

The trend for hospital marketing and advertising professionals is increasingly: “think mobile.” It's a message that's reinforced with the introduction next week of an online “app store” by the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA). The first-ever mobile application store by and for healthcare professionals—doctors health care executives, nurses and other medical providers—launches in November […]
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The Humble Carrot: Enduring Vegetable Icon of Vision Health and Optometry Marketing

The vision-health benefits of eating carrots have stronger roots in popular folklore than in pure science. (The surprising origin of the carrots-for-better-vision is revealed below.) But the orange-ish root vegetable remains an enduring icon that pops up from time to time in optometry marketing. Here are two creative examples we happened to see recently.
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"Fertility Boot Camp" Wellness Retreat - Holistic Ally in Reproductive Endocrinology Marketing

A Chicago medical spa and wellness center that emphasizes integrative health sponsored a one-day retreat earlier this month titled: Fertility Boot Camp: Whip your EGGS into Shape! It’s an idea that may be of interest for reproductive endocrinology marketing. The objective, according to the Tiffani Kim Institute, was for women to learn “how to nurture […]
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Bodily Email: Internal Organs that Communicate for Themselves Could Differentiate Your Cardiology Marketing

There's another survey out that (again) confirms that physicians are reluctant to connect with patients via email. (More on that in a future post.) You know; concerns about workload, reimbursement, privacy, security, liability, etc. But now some human hearts can start the digital dialog on their own. A new type of wireless body area network […]
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EyeBall 2010: Clever Name for a Charitable Cause in Ophthalmology Marketing

The play-on-words name pretty much says it all, and a creative example for ophthalmology marketing. In case you missed last week’s big event in Nashville, EyeBall 2010 was the sixth annual black tie, ballroom dancing event of the Wang Foundation for Sight Restoration. Proceeds from the event support the work of the Foundation, a 501c(3) […]
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16 Internet Social Media Gathering Spots for MDs; Listening-posts for Doctor/Physician Marketing

Doctors are talking to doctors—colleague to colleague—just as they always have. But they’re talking online and in a big way. Physician Networking Communities have changed how and where doctors interact, and driven changes in the healthcare and doctor marketing landscape. Virtually all physicians use the Internet for information that’s relevant to their practice. But for […]
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How to Drive New Patients to Your Practice Website Tomorrow [Part Two]

Should there be any question about the importance (and the immediacy) of the internet as a dental marketing tool, just ponder the sheer number of online searches: about eight billion — yes, with a b — searches per month. So the real question is: How can my local dental practice Web site capture well-qualified prospective […]
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Replace "Feel Good" Activities with Real Marketing to Attract Real Patients

You may be able to fund your marketing plan without spending another dime, simply by slashing waste Good intentions and charitable good deeds are not the same as effective marketing. Giving is good and marketing is business-keep those objectives separate to discover savings that produce results. It was a case of mistaken identity. The catch-all […]
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Emerging Health Communities on the Healthcare Marketing & Advertising Radar. Web-savvy Physician's View from Health 2.0

It's safe to think of Doc Gurley as web-and-tech-savvy. She's the only Harvard-trained and Board-certified practicing Internist that we know of  who has a website, Facebook page, Twitter feed, blog...and a column at sfgate.com. That's not your every-doc CV, so we thought this was a well-qualified observer who posted an exceptional (and detailed) recap of […]
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"And the Winner Is..." SHSMD Conference Follow-up Is an Imaginative Use of Video in Medical & Hospital Marketing

We liked the clever use of video in a post-SHSMD event follow-up. It's an idea that can be adapted to many healthcare, hospital and medical marketing and advertising situations. A link to the video follows, but here's a bit of background for context. The company, eVariant, demonstrated their CRM and marketing analytics product at last […]
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Who’d have thought Hand Hygiene could be entertaining? A Dance and Learn Video (Really) for Internal Healthcare Public Relations Audiences.

Since we don’t have a Dancing With the Stars heading, let’s give this creative music video a home in the healthcare public relations & PR category. It’s about hand washing in hospitals, clinics, and similar healthcare locations, with an entertaining and educational message for your internal audiences; physicians, nurses, technicians, etc. The title and description […]
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5 Best Practice Concepts to Improve Marketing to Physicians

(This material is adapted from an article that we authored for Becker's Hospital Review, a bimonthly publication providing business and legal news and analysis for hospitals and health systems. Becker's Hospital Review reaches more than 15,000 people, primarily acute care hospital CEOs and CFOs. The marketing concepts discussed in this article apply to many professional, medical and […]
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Ophthalmology Marketing: Novelty Contact Lenses Risk Halloween Trick, not Treat.

If you’ve heard this before it’s worth repeating. The American Academy of Ophthalmology is out with its annual warning about the dangers of Halloween theatrical and decorative “contact lenses.” It’s an ophthalmology marketing and advertising message that merits retelling to patients, parents and their children. The over-the-counter, special effect, vampire, color, and glow-in-the-dark lens products […]
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The Good News & the Bad News about EMR for Medical Practice Marketing & Advertising

The availability of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) is an open opportunity for differentiation in medical practice marketing and advertising. The good news and the bad news is that almost no one is using EMR, according to a Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll. And patients are in the dark about its availability to them. On the plus side, […]
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Branding: How to Keep From Being Plain Vanilla

(Editor's Note: This article was adapted from an article in Dental Economics, though the principles apply to all healthcare practitioners.) Let's say a new family moves in a couple of blocks from your office, and the mother holds a gathering for her new neighbors. At the gathering she asks, "I'd like to find a first-rate […]
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Physical Therapy Marketing: Anti-gravity Treadmill Brings Space Science Down to Earth

Although anti-gravity treadmill machines were introduced to the market a few years ago, they are not yet commonplace—and they’re an opportunity for differentiation in physical therapy marketing (for facilities that have one). At the Indiana Orthopaedic Hospital (Indianapolis), according to an IndyStar news item, the treadmill, by AlterG, is helping some patients recover more quickly. […]
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Gastroenterology Marketing to Tell the Tale of Water: Soothing News May Help Colonoscopy Recommendations

Gastroenterologists and colonoscopists may find this clinically interesting. And for gastroenterology marketing, there may be a new message about reducing the unpleasantness of colonoscopy. Please reach for your copy of this month’s GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. It’s a considerable marketing challenge to put a positive spin on unsedated colonoscopy procedures—or even the recommendations to patients—but a […]
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7 misleading myths of dental marketing

7 Misleading Myths of Dental Marketing

How to avoid "conventional wisdom" myths, preserve resources, and boost your ROI Let's put the bottom line right here at the top – Return-on-Investment (ROI) is your primary measuring stick for evaluating marketing efforts. Now, hold that thought. Although ROI is marketing's gold-standard score card, we are often surprised (and a bit disappointed) when we […]
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Is "Speed-Networking" Successful for Cardiology Marketing?

It's a clever concept...physicians and prospective patients have three to five minutes to "meet and greet" in a non-clinical, semi-social environment. The "speed dating" format is being used in cardiology marketing by physician groups and hospitals to connect with the public and get acquainted, at least briefly. The atmosphere is casual and friendly; the objective […]
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Marketing 101

It’s no secret that dentistry is evolving throughout much of the Middle East. Until recently, the majority of patients failed to understand the value of quality dentistry, the Emirati market was limited to government-subsidised care, and dental marketing was virtually nonexistent. Now the landscape is rapidly changing. Rising numbers of affluent patients are beginning to […]
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Alternative to the Dreaded Dentist’s Drill Could Open New (but Narrow) Dental Marketing Gateway

A lot of dental patients—maybe most of us—cringe at the sound of the dentist’s drill. But dental marketing and advertising professionals take note—a new treatment for incipient caries proposes a drill-less approach…at least for some patients and cases. The good news is a “no drill” alternative treatment using an infiltrant—brand name Icon—targets intermediate-stage decay. According […]
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Blueprint for Business

  In many areas of the Middle East, it’s simply not enough to be a well-trained and skilled dentist. It also means being savvy about business and marketing to grow the practice and to achieve your personal and financial goals. Our previous article discussed how an ethical dental marketing programe is an opportunity to take […]
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Marketing Expert Answers Strategy Questions

When it comes to marketing strategies for a practice, one of the most important decisions to make is deciding between external and internal marketing. This according to a recent article, What's on first: internal or external marketing?, authored by Stewart Gandolf, co-founder of Healthcare Success. According to Gandolf, the question is imperative to answer for […]
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Marketing's New Landscape: Building for the Long Haul and Gaining Market Share after the Economic Storm

Editor's Note: This material is adapted from an article that we authored for THE Aesthetic Guide, a national publication serving readership in aesthetic medical practices. Many of the marketing concepts discussed in this article apply to other professional, medical and healthcare marketing situations. There are positive signs on the horizon that the nation's economic climate […]
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