Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Hospital Branding: Digital is a Lose-Lose Proposition

The phrase "win-win" has been engrained in our vocabulary, to the point where business books call it one of the most overused statements of the last decade.  Obviously, the meaning implies there is a mutual benefit to two parties who take part in a common activity or situation.  The opposite side of that equation is the "lose-lose," reflecting an individual or organization that chooses not to engage in a strategy that has limited risk and high potential return.

Such is the case with digital marketing.  Believe it or not, there are still many healthcare organizations that are merely skimming the surface and not committing more of their budgets to paid digital media.  They are engaged in social, SEO, and other forms of owned media, but not shifting their budgets in favor of digital spend versus traditional media.  To borrow another phrase in the business vernacular, digital media is a "no brainer."  Think about the benefits:
  • You can precisely target by geography and demographics to reach your desired audience.
  • You can generate valuable impressions for awareness and preference building just by serving on-line ads.
  • You can drive click-through rates to landing pages and portals - and measure it every click of the way.
  • And, in some paid instances, you can serve text ads and unless they are clicked on, you don't pay.  
The list goes on.  Add to it the opportunity to test creative via A/B messaging at a fraction of the price of traditional focus groups.  Consumers will actually vote with their "check book" (borrowing another phrase...) and click on those messages that motivate them versus just saying what they might do.

If you play follow the leader, you'll be interested to know that the Cleveland Clinic now puts 75% of its media spend in digital!  According to Chief Marketing Officer, Paul Matsen, this is significantly up from just a few years ago when digital was at the bottom of the overall media budget.  Interestingly, he also shared that 64% of the Clinic's web visits comes through mobile devices.  And,  the majority of new patients come through digital.  It makes perfect sense that digital is now at the top of the media heap.

The reluctance on the part of healthcare marketers to limit their exposure and spend in digital media is a "lose-lose."  You lose visibility, flexibility, and cost efficiencies that can really help your organization win.  

Rob Rosenberg is President of Springboard Brand & Creative Strategy, a brand strategy and communications firm specializing in hospital branding located in the Chicagoland area. For more information on Springboard or to discuss this and other ideas, please contact Rob at 847.398.4920 or rob@springboardbrand.com

1 comment:

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