Friday, February 15, 2013

How to Use Your Hospital Newsletter for Healthcare Marketing

Many healthcare organizations publish newsletters to share announcements and health tips with patients and the community. While this is a great way to get information to the public, a hospital newsletter can also play a role in your healthcare marketing strategy. Whether you publish a newsletter monthly, quarterly or on some other schedule, use each issue as an opportunity to enforce your brand, connect with patients, and attract new and repeat patients.
Brand Recognition: Don't think of your hospital newsletter as separate from your other healthcare marketing pieces. It can also be an important part of your hospital branding strategy. Although you should be focusing the content of your articles on hospital news and health information, rather than outright "selling" your services, you should still make sure the overall look and feel of your newsletter reflects your hospital's brand. Remember, your brand is not just the colors or design you use, but also the promises you make and the mission statement you follow. Show how you are living up to those promises and the steps you are taking to further your mission in the articles featured in your healthcare newsletter.

Make the Connection: As a healthcare marketer, you know how important it is to be able to reach your audience in a way they can understand. Using technical terms and your hospital's "lingo" in your healthcare newsletter articles will only make readers feel confused and alienated. Instead, make sure the language you use is easy to understand for people who don't have a background in medicine. Engage and inspire your audience with topics that are relevant to them - seasonal trends, community health concerns, or even healthcare and politics. Connect emotionally with your audience by sharing patient success stories, which also inspire positive attitudes towards your hospital. Pair these articles with promotions for services you provide to have even more healthcare marketing success. Patients and potential patients will be looking for expert information and advice they can understand and trust, as well as a place they can turn to for more information.

Draw Them In: Ultimately, your healthcare marketing goal is to bring new and repeat patients through your doors. Your healthcare newsletter is a perfect avenue for increasing patient traffic - and your revenue. Just like your traditional healthcare marketing pieces, the main goal of your articles should be to inspire readers to take some kind of action, whether that is to schedule an appointment, visit your website, offer feedback or seek out more information. Your hospital newsletter will keep patients coming back to you, as the valuable information you provide will keep you in the front of their minds when they need trustworthy medical care. However, don't just have your newsletter sit in your waiting rooms - reach a broad base of the community with a good mailing list to attract new patients.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Marketing for Banks Through Exceptional Annual Reports

Due to regulatory requirements, banks need to produce and release a bank annual report each year, which undoubtedly entails an ample amount of time, money and stress. So why not put all your effort to extra beneficial use and treat your annual report as a practical bank marketing tool, drawing something back to your bank in return?

Customarily, bank annual reports include such content as financial details, balance sheets, and CEO's and chairperson's reports. But if you view your annual report as a part of your bank's overall marketing plan, you'll find there are ways that your content can be presented in a more useful and enlightening manner and elements can be included that can enhance the marketing impact of your bank annual report. After all, whoever reads your report will consider it a representation of your bank and will likely make assumptions about your financial institution based on what is conveyed in your report.
Boost the marketing power of your bank annual report with any of the following elements:

• Specific statements of your goals or vision. An expression of your bank's aims or vision should be clearly stated and woven into various articles and letters throughout the report. Keep your statements positive and easy to understand so people get a clear picture of your passion and vision.

• Summaries of your bank's successes and achievements. Marketing for banks via an annual report should include not only who you are, but also what you have done over the past year. Presenting what you've done and how your bank has achieved its goals portrays your bank as an ambitious, go-getting organization that successfully puts its plans into action. Additionally, if people see their money and support being used in beneficial ways, they will be more likely to continue doing so in the future.

• Overview of community involvement, charitable giving and support. People respect and appreciate when any organization gives back to the community in which they live, work and raise their families. So if your bank or employees donated money, time or services to the community, be sure to explain it in your annual report. Your generosity won't go unnoticed!

• Case studies or customer testimonials. Case studies and testimonials that exhibit the positive results of your bank's service are helpful in demonstrating the outcomes of your efforts, and they also show the warmer, human side of your financial institution.

• Future plans. Including an announcement of your bank's future plans is a vital marketing tool that shows you're a forward-looking financial institution with a vision toward future success. These initiates could be included in the CEO's or chairperson's report.

• Names of board and committee members, donors, sponsors, supporters, helpers, etc. These people deserve to be recognized in your bank annual report. Listing their names - or better yet, thanking them - shows that you value each and every one of them and the contributions they made. Just remember that while you want to include as many names as possible, be sure to do so in the most concise manner possible.

• Photos. People love putting faces to names so try to include pictures whenever possible. Make sure the photos you plan to use are of high quality, or consider hiring a professional photographer to take new ones.

• Contact information. Help people get in touch with your bank by including all of your contact information such as address, phone number, fax number, website and email address. These details can be presented on the back cover of your report.

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Importance of Hospital Marketing

It should come as no surprise that people's preference in hospitals is not at the top of their list of concerns. Most people don't sit around pondering where they'd like to go if they had a heart attack or needed knee surgery. But when people do have health problems that need treatment, you absolutely want your hospital to be - and stay - at the top of their minds.

Especially now that we're in the age of Patient Empowerment, hospital marketing has never been more important. Because when health-related issues do rear their ugly head, people are making informed decisions about where they go, who they see and who they're willing to trust with their health, not to mention that of their children and loved ones.

However, during economic dips like the one we're currently facing, many hospitals are choosing to cut their hospital marketing budget. In fact, that's often the first thing to go when finances are tight. This could prove to be a huge mistake. By doing away with marketing efforts, hospitals may lose current patients, new patients and even referrals. Patients who count on appointment reminders via phone call or direct mail may simply forget about their appointment altogether or even question the hospital's or their doctor's status. People new to the area who could be potential patients may not even know your hospital exists if you don't advertise your hospital or abandon your website. Also, referring physicians and other colleagues may stop passing referrals your way if you've stopped communicating with them.