Archive for category Marketing Strategy
Carrying the most historic cultural influence, the Baby Boomers now into their 50s and 60s are continuing to live a better and longer life. What does this mean to us marketers? Brands Editor Shareen Pathak, of digiday.com, recently published an article on the behavioral habits of the baby boomers’ lifestyle:
From spending habits to the frequency in use of technology, the Baby Boomers’ lifestyle continues to interest us and in response, the OLAA team compared Pathak’s feature to our experiences as outlined in the recent article, Using Digital marketing to Reach Baby Boomers. We found that our research was congruent.
Social Media Behavior:
In addition to spending 39.3 hours online per month surfing the web and using social media platforms, Baby Boomers have been found to spend a lot of time on online dating platforms targeted towards an older demographic. Recently, a “Tinder” for mature adults and seniors called Stitch was launched. In response, brands such as Match.com have followed suit by launching similar services catering to this group.
On top of the Baby Boomers controlling 70% of the disposable income in the United States, Baby Boomers are willing to spend that money. According to the surveys found by Shareen Pathak from Digiday.com, the 55-64 age group outspends the average consumer in almost every category: dining out, household, entertainment, personal care and gifts.
Don’t count the Baby Boomers out of being tech savvy. In addition to time spent online, Nielsen research found that this group is 40% more likely to own an iPhone (mirroring Gen X).
For additional information on Baby Boomers and their relevancy in today’s marketplace, check out the original articles.
An Emergency Room visit is not typically a matter of choice for a patient, and yet, the ER is the often the highest access point for patient volume. So how do you even begin to approach a marketing campaign that drives the daily census?
You acknowledge the challenges, and develop creative solutions.
- Liability. In a true, life threatening emergency, every second counts. A patient needs to get to the nearest facility and a message that suggests otherwise can be damaging to both the patient and the hospital itself. In emergency-related marketing messages, always instruct patients to dial 911 in case of an emergency to ensure they access medical care as quickly as possible.
- Awareness. So many still don’t know the difference between ER and Urgent Care, and improper utilization affects health and dollars for all parties involved. Develop patient education materials such as blog posts, flyers, email blasts and brochures that describe the conditions treated in each. This understanding will also assist patients in knowing when they can make a choice, and when and why they should choose one of your facilities.
Quality. With Emergency Services come the issues of patient safety and clinical excellence. Safety in itself is scary to talk about, and when you’re communicating quality, this can mean something entirely different to each person. For some, this may be cutting edge technology. Possibly awards or recognitions. But more than likely, the quality someone remembers will be how they and their family were cared for, the level of communication and how the facility looked and felt. Emotion and experience are the greatest factors, and what will drive a patient to come and come back when choice is possible. The reality of emotion is often overlooked, and yet should always be at the forefront of marketing message development.
“It is simply impossible to become a great leader without being a great communicator.” Yet becoming an effective communicator is no easy task. Great communicators listen and observe their environment. They “possess the uncanny ability to adapt their message without missing a beat.” They share and inspire adoption of ideas by connecting with individuals on an emotional, individual level.
So how does this relate to marketing? A brand is like a person. It lives, breathes, and is constantly evolving. Throughout its life, a brand is telling and re-telling its story and sharing its core message. How that message is actually heard, and how that brand becomes a leader in its marketplace, relies on great communication. This includes external and internal marketing, advertising, social media, public relations, etc… and listening to customers’ wants, needs, values and concerns.
“Successful communication consists of personality, character, clear context, an appropriate tone and engaging content – which all contribute to concise messaging and effective advertising.”
- Mary Ellen Kubik, Advertising Coordinator
The article below from Forbes discusses 10 Communication Secrets of Great Leaders. As you read, apply the secrets to your organization, product or service’s brand and ask yourself:
- Is your brand message clear and specific?
- Does your brand speak to its audience as individuals?
- Are you focused on your brand’s expertise?
And most importantly, is your brand a great leader?
In the healthcare industry, awards and recognitions are everywhere. From US News & World Report to Healthgrades, and Leapfrog to AHA/ASA, awards are presented to healthcare providers for quality outcomes, patient safety and in recognition of individual service lines. Winners of these recognitions tend to display these awards every opportunity they can. However, it is essential to communicate these awards effectively to receive the best ROI – which isn’t always tangible.
For internal audiences, awards and recognitions are a major source of pride. For a leading physician, service line directors or a department nurse, awards are a direct reflection of the individual and team impact on their patients. Collectively, awards and recognitions can elevate an organization’s perception as a great place to work, supporting recruitment of the best talent and retention of existing employees. Flyers, posters, and announcements can help to build that internal pride surrounding the recognition.
For external audiences, this isn’t as clear. Market research has revealed that when asked if awards factor into healthcare decision making, the average person will say no. On the surface, awards don’t make an immediate impact and in general, people don’t understand the difference between awards and what they truly mean.
Yet, the perception of credibility is a huge factor in the decision making process, and recognition by a third party can support an image of quality of care in the market place – if utilized correctly. The challenge is understanding when, where, and how they will be most effective.
Because there are so many varying methodologies, names and designations, awards are best promoted in a message that educates current and prospective patients, authenticates the recognition and utilizes relevant communication vehicles. Press coverage, newsletters and an organization’s website are intended to provide real-time updates and information, and allow for additional content that explains and supports awards. Service-line collateral can also be an effective medium to include key recognitions, as these types of materials are often being used to compare providers and healthcare options.
The more controversial tool for communicating awards is within advertising. The most effective service line campaigns connect with audiences by emphasizing the emotional factors tied to positive patient outcomes. If including an award in a print ad, on a digital banner or within a radio spot, the required award language or badge can often take away from other messaging that will more powerfully disrupt, resonate and motivate. On a billboard, when the window to make an impression is only have 3 seconds, an award can clutter a message and take away from a brand awareness opportunity.
The decision to purchase and promote an award is undoubtedly significant, as the cost for a single recognition can vary from $10,000 to $100,000. That’s why it is imperative to communicate awards in the most effective manner that supports qualitative ROI.
“It’s the quality of the award message, not the quantity of its use. If an investment is made, the best way to respect that investment is to leverage the award in the appropriate way and let it support your brand, not become your brand.”
- Michelle Torr, Sr. Advertising Executive
Brand experiences occur when a consumer walks into a store, office or restaurant, or when a product is used or a service is utilized. Brand experiences also occur when a consumer visits a brand’s website. A website is a 24-hour extension of the brand experience, and acts as a 24-hour sales person (even if the site isn’t e-commerce). The look, functionality and content are demonstrations of a brand’s values, and when the online image is consistent with the physical brand experience, it establishes and sustains trust, credibility and consumer loyalty. For those who have not yet experienced the brand firsthand, the website sets the stage for what the person can expect.
That’s why it is essential to approach website development with the same level of strategic thought put into business planning, brand development and marketing execution plans. When a website isn’t strategically planned, the brand can suffer, creating a disconnect in the brand and experience, resulting in loss of customer buy-in and loss in short and long term sales.
But when it is, the benefits are significant:
- Cost reduction – Ensures that what is built meets the business objectives, and isn’t more (or less) than needed.
- Efficient resource planning – Identifies what and when resources are needed, including time, budget and staff.
- Measurable progress – Creates measurement criteria for success and allows for a more informed iteration.
- Maximizing website value – Creates an efficient experience and brings added value to users.
- Foundation for iteration – To improve the management of the website, planning allows for smaller release cycles and iterative design.
- User success – Understanding what users want and need will make them successful, and they’ll make the brand successful in return.
- Coordinated efforts – By thoroughly researching what is necessary on a new website, business strategies will be more aligned and resources will work more in sync.
So what’s involved in website strategy development? Orange Label and Jon Farjo, strategic digital partner and Chief Strategist of Omatik, identify two critical areas to creating a solid long-term plan: research and planning.
- Analytics review – Analysis of data to determine what is currently happening on the current website, if one exists, and understand how users are accessing the website, what they are doing while they are there and identify areas of opportunity for improvement.
- Stakeholder interviews – Asking a series of relevant questions designed to understand the current and future direction of the business model and how the redesigned website will facilitate the desired user experience. Answers will help to inform recommendations for the new website.
- User interviews and usability studies – For areas of utmost importance, especially where transactions or lead generation occurs, it’s best to understand how users interact in greater detail. Meeting with customers, investors, donors, etc… to determine how they feel and use these areas will give additional insights in the strategy. It is always helpful to obtain a third eye perspective, as it often times can provide insight on missed or unforeseen issues.
- Business plans – Upon understanding business operations, a website strategy can assist, automate, and elevate these activities.
- Competitive research – Analyze what competitors are doing well and looking at areas of opportunity to capitalize on.
- Recommendations reporting – Based upon the findings within the research phase, recommendations are presented in the areas of Information Architecture, Accessibility, Usability, SEO, Social Media, Email, Design, Content, Development and Technology/Integrations.
- Phased rollout – Taking all of the approved recommendations and putting them into manageable phases. This is key to launching more quickly and efficiently, as well as creating longer-term value for users.
- Resourcing –This is perhaps the most important part of the strategy since it will inform necessary budgets and staffing to execute the website redesign properly.
Research and planning is unquestionably a thoughtful, time intensive exercise, but the benefits are significant, ensuring a positive connection between the brand and viewer while supporting key business objectives.
Many times within large medical organizations, an intense marketing focus (of both dollars and attention) is brought to external campaigns for the public, with a priority of driving patient volume and brand awareness. Another significant portion is often directed to primary and specialty care physicians, to support referral volume and recruitment efforts.
While both are certainly a priority, what about your own physicians? Many times, if physicians don’t see your brand, your organization’s latest news or ad campaigns in their personal lives, they assume it’s just not happening. An internally directed strategy keeps your physicians informed, and like any marketing plan, should be targeted based on the audience’s behaviors.
A good first step? Find out what those behaviors are by surveying your physicians with a few simple questions:
- What are your media habits / what media do you access for information and entertainment? (specific radio or TV stations, websites, publications, etc…)
- What time of day and days of the week do you use media?
- What tools do you prefer to use for professional and interpersonal communication? (email, phone, text, fax, printed materials, etc…)
- How often do you prefer to receive updates from the organization’s executive team?
Selling and reselling your organization to your internal audiences, ensuring that they are bought into your brand should be a priority. In addition, all communication efforts should be approached strategically, with defined goals and objectives and a long-term plan designed to achieve them.
Remaining relevant and up-to-date on all digital platforms is essential for healthcare advertisers and providers’ long term success. For some, this includes having an app, which more and more hospitals are beginning to implement. But before investing time and dollars into app development, there are questions to ask to determine if an app is the best healthcare marketing solution. Based on the hospital’s marketing goals and objectives, is an app effective? Is it worth the cost? Is it App Worthy? Below are 3 Steps to help you answer these key questions and prepare for an effective hospital app strategy:
Step 1: Establish web presence that translates across all devices and has strong mobile visitorship, and review Google analytics and traffic trends to uncover patient, staff and community mobile behavior and needs. Websites for hospitals and healthcare organizations play a significant role in patient experience and in managing the hospital’s brand perception in the marketplace. Learn more here.
Step 2: Develop an app concept that addresses needs of the mobile or tablet-based user that are not and cannot be met by the optimized website, and therefore, will offer a new or different experience to patients and the community. For a hospital or healthcare provider, this experience could be scheduling an appointment, real-time Emergency Room or Urgent Care wait time updates, or an interactive physician referral tool. There must be a strategic, defined purpose for an app that will enhance an individual’s life, in a way that is unique, not provided anywhere else, and is true to the brand and brand strategy.
Step 3: Allocate the necessary resources for ongoing app management. For example, if the app is for appointment-setting, will the software between the mobile app and in-office desktops sync? If there are bugs, is IT or another vendor available to address issues in real time? If for a physician referral platform, is there a designated process for updating physician information and insurances accepted as changes occur? Plan ahead to ensure that the app will run smoothly, otherwise you risk the integrity of the user experience.
With more than 100 million consumers generating $7 trillion a year in goods and services, the Baby Boomer generation has more disposable income than any other age group. According to marketingcharts.com, Baby Boomers control 70% of disposable income in the United States. They are generally in a stronger financial state than other demographics and have a growing number of personal and professional interests, which continues to impact the economy by creating new business opportunities.
So, how do you influence Baby Boomers and increase market share with this lucrative demographic? There are many relevant ways to reach this age group, yet one often overlooked method is digital marketing. A common misconception is that online marketing and advertising only appeals to younger generations, such as Millennials. Although it is true that the younger demographics were the first adopt online technology, Baby Boomers were not far behind.
Understand Online Behavior
In fact, much of the technology being used today was invented by famous Baby Boomers such as Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. The tech savvy generation spends on average of 39.3 hours online per month and 1 in 5 use social media as a means to find healthcare information. (Read more on Digital Healthcare Advertising) http://www.orangelabeladvertising.com/blog/2014/07/3-reasons-why-healthcare-providers-should-use-digital-advertising/
Send the Right Message
However, when using online marketing to reach Baby Boomers, it is important to understand that they were the first generation to be constantly exposed to advertising messages coming from all angles. Quantity of ads alone is an unlikely way to secure new customers and gain their loyalty. To create an online campaign that captures attention and elicits response, it is important to focus on quality, which Baby Boomers associate with customer service and personal communication. Provide contact information, feature a live chat on your website, and encourage current and prospective clients to connect on Facebook.
Baby Boomers are among the fastest growing groups on social media – particularly Facebook – using social platforms to keep up with family and friends, read the latest news and current events, and stay connected to brands. To remain relevant and top of mind it is important to be present with a social media and content marketing strategy that resonates.