Award-Winning Branding Blog

Hospital Branding

Springboard Brand & Creative Strategy is pleased to present to you our award-winning blog on hospital branding. As an innovative branding and communications firm with clients ranging from leading health systems to medical associations, we are constantly thinking and writing about many of the latest trends and forces impacting healthcare organizations.

Follow our hospital branding blog and learn from the lessons of others in the areas of social media, brand building, advertising, integrated marketing, and strategic thinking.

If you have any questions about hospital branding or healthcare marketing, please feel free to contact us..

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Creating a Heartbeat Brand Requires Knowing Your Audience in New, Relevant Ways

Creating a Heartbeat Brand Requires Knowing Your Audience in New, Relevant Ways

Most research studies provide excellent insights into your brand.  For example, knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions people have of your brand, their intent to use, and likelihood to recommend.  In addition, there’s data collected on who replied to the survey; gender, age, income, etc.  Yes, this tells you about what people think of your brand, but it doesn’t tell you anything about the people who use it, or want to use it.  Creating the highest level of relevance with your brand requires knowing more about the people you’re targeting than has been customary.  Just like in good advertising practices, it’s about them – not you.  A heartbeat brand is one that appeals to the interests, lifestyle, visions and dreams of your audience.  Use your market research to help you understand these traits so your brand can be more effectively positioned and modified to meet their needs. There should be a section within your questionnaire that asks people about what matters most in their lives.  How they spend their time, activities they enjoy, hobbies they pursue, etc. Armed with this information, you can begin to reflect these passions and interests in your brand communications.  Images become more than design background, they become eye-catching relevant scenarios in which your audience sees themselves and how their life intersects with your brand, not the other way around. Knowing your audience in new, relevant ways will help you create positioning and messaging platforms that break through and become noticed.  Why?  Because you’ve captured the essence of what’s most important to people you’re trying to influence, not trying to influence them with your brand... read more

Putting Strategy in Your Content

How savvy healthcare marketers are using content to more effectively tell their brand’s stories to engage, attract and retain customers. We all understand that the benefits of content marketing help build awareness, authority and trust for your brand in a way that helps your audiences make decisions and take action. And we get that Google values fresh and original content, leading to better SEO and more visitors to your website. But how do you put an actionable strategy behind all of the content you create? The roadmap of content strategy goes like this:  Plan, Create, Distribute, Measure, Optimize, and Repeat. Plan First, understand the marketing purpose of the content you produce is to support your organizations strategic objectives – make sure your content strategy is on sync with them and generate content that’s aligned. Planning also includes the following: Your target audiences – their needs, wants and desires Your organization’s point-of-view – to uniquely carve out your niche The specific themes, causes or initiatives that support the goals of your organization This is also the time to identify your sources – service line directors, physicians and other influencers in your organization that will help generate content ideas, vet and approve any clinical language. Create Use the insights from your sources to create content that’s original, specific to your organization, unique for Google and aligned with your strategic objectives. This content can take many forms, but as with most of the marketing communications produced now – think mobile first. Other creative considerations should include: Selecting the most appropriate platforms New web content, blogs, online videos, Facebook Live events, social media... read more

New Success Factors for Your Healthcare Website

Your website is the hub of your digital marketing strategy.  It is the place where patients, members and influencers want to learn more about your organization.  While many medical product and service companies have an online presence, they don’t think of search engine optimization (SEO) while building it or even after the site’s been developed to maintain it.  A website can look great, but if it’s not built for SEO, no one will be able to find you. Follow these 5 important factors to make your website more successful, including design and development, and what to do once the website is live. Simple is better, especially for healthcare brands. Before you get started with a new website, first define your goals. What do you want your visitors to see and what do you want them to do? This all contributes to the design of your new site.  Not everything can stand out.  Highlight a few things that sets you apart from your competitors and make those stand out on your homepage.  If visitors want more information, then they can click through the inside pages of your site to learn more. Keep in mind, if your website is too cluttered or looks confusing, it overwhelms your visitors. They may end up leaving your site because they can’t find what they are looking for. Also, your site should be optimized for conversions.  How do you want to measure success? Make sure you have that clear call-to-action. Built for quality. Many people can build a website but it’s how you build it that matters.  When people think of search engine optimization (SEO),... read more
3 Important Steps to Help Write Your Medical Association’s Value Proposition

3 Important Steps to Help Write Your Medical Association’s Value Proposition

According to Deepak Chopra in his bestselling book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, “How can I help?” is the only question that truly matters. “It coaxes and expands your awareness out toward the service and care of others.” Many medical associations struggle with articulating an effective value proposition that helps their members expand awareness and services. Establishing this in clear and compelling manner is an essential step if you want to communicate how your organization can provide the keys to your members’ success. There are some important steps you must take before embarking upon creating your medical association’s value proposition. It all begins and ends with research. So where do you start? Here’s a brief 3-step plan. Refine your target audience First and foremost, you need to determine who your “key” target audience is. You can’t be “all things” to “all people.” Many have tried, and failed. But by clearly defining and refining your true core audience, you can be all the right things to the right people. It’d be easy for a medical association to assume that their target audience is “anyone in a certain specialty and/or those who use those particular services.” But having such a wide audience would make it nearly impossible to tailor its strategy to specific types of individuals for specific purposes. The key to success here is knowing who to target, and why. The increased focus and definition will result in a much more effective strategy. Be the go-to organization for the value you provide in the industry you serve When thinking about the opportunity you provide to that core audience, start by asking, “How... read more
“Conquesting” New Patients in Healthcare Marketing

“Conquesting” New Patients in Healthcare Marketing

You probably already have ads out there targeting specific populations based on demographics to promote awareness of your hospital and attract new patients.  Now, let’s take it to the next level and apply that marketing strategy with location.  What if you could target your competitors’ patients and feed them ads about the benefits of switching to healthcare providers or services at your hospital?  Sounds cool, right? Picture this.  A patient is sitting in the ER waiting room at a nearby hospital, anticipating his turn to be seen.  To pass the time, he plays games on his smartphone, looks at his social media feeds, and browses various websites.  An ad pops up promoting your hospital, specifically the short wait times in the E.R.  The patient doesn’t have to think twice about what he should do.  He packs up and makes the trip across town to your hospital for that faster service. Location-based mobile advertising, called geo-conquesting, allows you to specifically target potential patients who are physically located at your competitor’s location.  On average, smartphone users are on their phones more than 150 times a day – making it an easy way to reach consumers who are interested in the services you offer. With geo-conquesting, you set a virtual perimeter around competitor hospitals, clinics or health centers.  This allows you to target ads to smartphone users who enter within the set perimeter.  Remember, you need to give patients a valid reason to leave your competitor.  Whether you are promoting exercise classes, parenting education courses, webinars or simply wanting to increase volume with new patients, geo-conquesting can help reach people who are... read more
The Transition of the Chief Marketing Officer to the Chief Growth Officer-It’s the Real Thing

The Transition of the Chief Marketing Officer to the Chief Growth Officer-It’s the Real Thing

Last year brought about many major shifts and conversations in the healthcare industry; from new national health plans to ongoing debates of repeal or reform of the Affordable Care Act. All of these have had an impact on healthcare marketing and most organizations are holding tight on any specific directions until policies are determined. Another trend that healthcare marketers have to watch, based on what has occurred in the land of big brands, is the shift from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) to Chief Growth Officer (CGO). Leave it to Coca-Cola, one of the best known and most valuable brands on the globe to lead the way. When its CMO resigned in 2017, Coca-Cola didn’t replace his position, the first time it was without a CMO in a couple of decades. Rather, it hired a CGO and now other big brands have followed suit. This trend will certainly lead to some alterations in hospital marketing departments, too. The rationale for this change at Coke was that it was part of a restructuring to turn the company into a “growth oriented, and consumer-centered   organization.” Wait, what? Coca-Cola replaced its top­ ranked marketing executive with another position that will generate growth and provide a consumer focus. Isn’t that marketing’s job? Shouldn’t a top marketer be doing that? Bottom-line, marketing at Coke and at many global brands, is not seen as a “growth” department; one that adds revenue, new operations, and new customers to the organization. Startling, yes-and here are some supportive statistics: Nearly one-third of CEO’s considered firing their CMO in 2017 according to Forrester Research The average tenure of... read more
Consumer trends impacting healthcare marketing in 2018 have already happened

Consumer trends impacting healthcare marketing in 2018 have already happened

By now, we have all seen the articles, blog posts, and other content on consumer trends in healthcare marketing for 2018.   From Artificial Intelligence and big data to value, there is no doubt the industry will continue to transform and consumer expectations and behavior will keep pace with the changes.  And, while it’s tough to predict the future, there is a place to look and get an idea as to what will occur down the road; the rearview mirror. According to Amazon Founder, Jeff Bezos, this is often the first place he looks when predicting future trends and changes.  Amazon is one of the most innovative companies on the planet, yet it was (and still is) built on a premise that is very down to earth: focusing on what’s not going to change. Bezos is frequently asked to comment on “what’s going to change in the next ten years?” His answer may surprise you. “While that’s an interesting question, I almost never get the question, what’s not going to change in the next ten years.  And that’s the most important question because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in times and will be true ten years from now.  It’s impossible to imagine a future ten years from now where a customer comes up and says, ‘I don’t want great prices, faster delivery, and more selection.’”  So rather than try and predict what will change, he focuses on what will stay the same and makes Amazon’s deliverables even better.  And that’s a model all marketers can follow. So, what’s not going to change in... read more
The Revival of Direct Mail In Healthcare Marketing

The Revival of Direct Mail In Healthcare Marketing

Direct mail as a healthcare advertising tactic has undoubtedly declined in volume over the past decade. One of the contributing factors, of course, has been the rise and surge of digital and social media platforms, both allowing healthcare brands to effectively and efficiently deliver their message to consumers where they are; on line, on their phones, and always on demand. As a result, marketers are increasingly putting more of their budget into these new channels to the tune of over $70 Billion, nearly tripling its spend in the last eight years. In the mix, you’ll still find big traditional media such as television, radio, and (magazine) print.  These media are proven brand support and many of the elements can be shared with other platforms whether on line videos, banner ads, Pandora radio, etc. – so, all in all a very cost effective balance of new and old. Under the radar, one very traditional promotional tactic is making a bit of a comeback – slowly and surely – direct mail via snail mail is on the move again.  Especially in healthcare marketing.  Why the resurgence in a world that’s fast-paced, on line, and always moving?  There are several reasons: There is still a group of readers out there who like to touch and open. Focus groups in many markets support that direct mail is still a preferred medium to reach people with healthcare messages.  They like the detail, the information, and if it includes some sort of keepsake, such as a magnet or card, even better. Even though seniors are becoming Facebook fanatics, they do like the added information that... read more
Three Important Steps to Winning with Online Owned Media

Three Important Steps to Winning with Online Owned Media

Creating a winning digital strategy takes the right combination of ‘earned,’ ‘owned’ and ‘paid’ media. Understanding what those are, and how to leverage them to create a successful plan can be confusing. A great way to tackle this is by thinking of earned, owned and paid media as a triumvirate. Each is an important part of your organization’s strategy, and combined, they can contribute to a successful digital marketing plan. For the purposes of this blog, we are going to focus on owned media. Owned Media is any communication channel or platform that belongs to your brand that you create and have control over. This can include your website, any content you publish, your social media channels, and the content you distribute on those channels. The cornerstone for any digital owned media strategy is a good website. For many, building a website can be an overwhelming prospect. But building one doesn’t have to be such a monumental task. It’s important to remember that the goal is to build that website, and get your organization online. A website is not a “one and done” project. It is a living, breathing entity that you can enhance and refine over time. What you start with does not have to be your end game. Unlike the catalogs and printed materials of days gone by, your website can be modified quickly and easily as you learn what messaging and design resonates with your audience(s). If you build it they will come? While goal #1 is getting online, merely creating a website with your name on it will not help you meet your business goals. Make... read more
The Power of Testimonials in Healthcare Branding

The Power of Testimonials in Healthcare Branding

If you aren’t already using testimonials in your healthcare marketing plans, I hope that this inspires you to do so. Testimonials are a powerful tool that can persuade potential customers to buy or use your services. In fact, testimonials could be one of the most powerful marketing tools you have! People feel more confident engaging in a relationship when they know there are other satisfied customers. Through testimonials, you can give potential patients a reason to believe and a trusted opinion from a third party. Testimonials are effective because they: Build trust. Your customers share the positive experiences they’ve had with your organization’s services. Provide feedback. Asking for testimonials is a great psychological spur to encourage companies to continually strive for their best performances—and allows quick corrections if they begin to drift off course. Aren’t “salesy.” Because they aren’t written in your corporate voice, they stand out as unbiased and authentic. Overcome skepticism. A good testimonial has the power to convince your toughest prospects that your products or services are worth pursuing. A few quick tips: Ask for testimonials at every opportunity and quote the best ones throughout your marketing materials: brochures, website, emails, etc. Customers value different things, so select a range of testimonials that will appeal to all of your customer segments. You can’t have too many glowing customer testimonials! Don’t use family members, friends, or paid actors to do testimonials. Testimonials should come from people you’ve selected who genuinely admire your healthcare system. Get written permission from your customers before using their testimonials. Keep your testimonials up-to-date. The information will begin to seem irrelevant if it... read more
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