Posts Tagged ‘doctor advertising’
Our media manager, Pam Myers, answers the most frequently asked questions about agency media buying. Pam oversees media planning and buying for MassMedia’s health care accounts, including HealthCare Partners of Nevada, Women’s Cancer Center, United Blood Services and Red Rock Fertility. She brings more than 11 years of strategic marketing and advertising experience to the department.
Q: What is the most important aspect of putting together an effective media buying strategy?
A: The foundation for any successful media plan is identifying the target audience and focusing on the mediums that will reach them. MassMedia uses the industry’s top research tools, such as Scarborough, to dig deeper into the habits and behaviors of patients in Southern Nevada. Many of our clients are surprised to learn the profile of their target audience. For example, men are consumers of health care but research shows that women are the primary decision makers. This key information allows us to target the right audience effectively.
Q: What are the benefits of using an agency to plan and buy media?
A: It’s beneficial for businesses to use an agency for many reasons. For one, they can tap into the agency’s buying power. MassMedia purchases millions of dollars in advertising each year, which means all of our clients benefit from the low rates of our large overall spend. We also maintain great relationships with the various vendors to secure the best rates as well as added value and premier placements. MassMedia also uses SmartPlus, a media buying software, to make the buys more efficient, monitor our clients’ campaigns and track success.
Q: What would people be surprised to know about the media buying process?
A: My job doesn’t stop once the buy is placed. We account for all of our clients’ placements and spots to ensure they are running according to contract. Just because a buy is finalized, it doesn’t mean the campaign will run 100 percent accurately. Much of our time goes into verifying our campaigns and we sometimes catch discrepancies, such as missed spots or print issues. This would otherwise go unseen and calling attention to these errors means we can negotiate additional exposure at no cost to our clients.
Q: Any final thoughts or words of wisdom?
Media planning and buying is actually fun! With sufficient time allotted for planning, strategy and negotiating, the final buy is symbolic of all the hard work that has gone into it. I also really enjoy the positive feedback from my clients and hearing how their advertising positively impacts their businesses.
Need more patients for your practice? When the Affordable Care Act passed, pundits were quick to declare the winners and the losers. Both columns were equally long. Now that the Supreme Court has upheld the law, and whatever your political affiliation may be and whether or not you agree with the law, there’s one thing that is certain: it presents an incredible opportunity for Nevada’s providers to differentiate themselves from their peers and capture a great number of patients that simply were not there before.
Do the Math
Just look at the number of new patients entering the health care market and do the math. On the campaign trail, President Obama declares that under the Affordable Care Act, 30 million people will be added. However, non-partisan organization FactCheck.org took a look at this figure and found the President was low-balling it. According to FactCheck.org, “even if we subtract the estimated 10 million uninsured who are not U.S. citizens…with the Census Bureau now reporting 46.3 million people without insurance, one might think that the correct figure should be closer to 36.3 million citizens without insurance.”
According to the U.S. Census’ Community Population Survey, approximately 21.3 percent of Nevada residents are uninsured, compared to 16 percent nationally. A report by FamiliesUSA, released in 2009, states that figure is much higher. That report found more than one out of three people (37.2 percent or 841,000 individuals) in Nevada under the age of 65 went without health insurance for all or part of the two-year period between 2007 and 2008.
New rules included in the Affordable Care Act, combined with grants in the stimulus, dramatically reduce administrative burdens placed on physicians. Their roles make it easier for physicians to deal with insurance companies and help physicians implement their own electronic medical record system.
The Affordable Care Act is also intended to reduce the amount of time physicians spend on emergency service, freeing them up to focus on preventative care. Research shows more patients will be willing to seek treatment before they get very sick or develop life-altering illnesses because they have insurance.
So, you’ve got a big new pool of patients and you can make room for them in your practice. What now?
The most important thing to remember is that the Affordable Care Act has raised the national understanding of what quality health care is. Patients old and new are more educated about their health care and they have become smarter health care shoppers. They are now more adept at choosing a doctor and making decisions about their health care. The providers that can stand out from the crowd are going to win big in this new market.
Market to young adults. Studies show that a disproportionate number, nearly half, of the uninsured are under 30. When these individuals enter the health care market, they are going to turn primarily to the Internet to make decisions about which doctor to choose. Your website, social media outlets and entries on review sites are going to take on a new importance with this audience. They tell a comprehensive story about you as a provider that is going to inform their provider selection decision.
Geo-target. You may not want to go after all 841,000 newly insured patients in Nevada. The sheer size of the uninsured population in Nevada makes it very likely that many of them are your neighbors and live around your office. Readily available consumer information makes it easier to specifically identify the newly insured so you can whittle the patients you are targeting down to a manageable pool.
Consider an ACO. Being a part of an Accountable Care Organization (ACO), a federal experiment intended to develop approaches for providing high quality care at low costs, will make you stand out in a crowded field.
For more information on how to take advantage of these developments, call MassMedia Healthcare Marketing at 702-433-4331
By: Pam Myers
Healthcare decisions are extremely important to older adults and thankfully seniors are living longer these days. That means advertisers need to make sure they are communicating effectively to older adults through an integrated approach within their daily lives. This group will be most engaged through traditional media outlets.
Can you guess what one of the most effective ways to reach seniors is? Through the local newspaper. Even though most newspapers are continuing to suffer revenue declines, the Las Vegas Review Journal reports, adults 65+ have the largest readership reaching 113,700 (30.2%) daily and 130,000 (26.4%) for the Sunday paper. In addition, according to the State of the News Media 72% of seniors consistently read the daily newspaper. Many of the younger generations are getting their news through online sources such as Twitter and News apps, but seniors like to touch and feel their daily newspaper.
Where else are seniors obtaining information? Traditional advertising channels such as television and radio. According to a study conducted by Marshall Marketing, within the past week 94% of seniors watched television and 64% listened to the radio. By working with the stations you can craft a schedule where your message will be heard by the target audience. Pulling show rankers will allow you to review and analyze the shows they watch and listen to, along with getting the most reach and frequency for your advertising dollars. In addition, of all the traditional media, the audience for AM/FM radio has remained the most stable during this tumultuous couple of years.
Knowing your audience, what they do during their daily lives, and where they get their news will make your marketing efforts more effective and impactful. It requires a great deal of research and planning, but will be well worth it.
Follow Pam on Twitter @pammyers310 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Heidi Hurst, MA is the Director of the Northern Nevada Immunization Coalition (NNIC). She talks to MassMedia about the implementation and success of their 2010-2011 flu vaccination marketing and public relations campaign.
Heidi has more than16 years of experience in nonprofit program management. She joined NNIC in 2007 and has since lead the coalition in fiscal partnerships, strategic planning and project management. Heidi specializes in coalition building and advocacy.
How has your experience been using MassMedia’s services (scope of work, outcomes, etc.)?
Overall it has been great. MassMedia’s response has been really fast, which was important to this campaign. The campaign wouldn’t have worked without it. Also, even though there were people in the Vegas office working on the campaign and people locally in Reno working with us, everything felt seamless and ran smoothly.
Why was it imperative to create a marketing outreach campaign for the influenza vaccination?
We wanted to create something new that hadn’t been seen before. The problem with flu season is that it’s always the same message, delivered in the same way and people stop listening. We wanted to give people the message in a new and fun way.
What elements did this campaign include and were they effective?
We thought the billboards were really effective. We received several comments on them. They were colorful and well placed which made them stand out. The blog was also something we received good feedback on and that was nice since it was something new for us. We also liked partnering with the banks in rural areas. It was a great opportunity for regional outreach and it worked. The rural communities were supportive. From publishing stories in the local paper to handing out collateral, it really helped out.
Describe some of the feedback you’ve received in response to the InFLUence Others: Get Vaccinated campaign?
Our coalition members really liked the campaign, which was important to us. We do an annual strategic planning survey and through this we received really great feedback on the campaign, better than we have on previous campaigns. Our coalition members are not marketing people, so if they saw, liked and responded to the campaign that’s a really good sign. They are a sample of the general public who we also received comments from here and there at events.
Also, the campaign was well branded. I just think the play on the title, tagline, the t-shirts, and everything all came together nicely. The fact that the campaign has won an ADDY Award is a testament to that. We have also submitted the campaign to the National Influenza Vaccine Summit and hope to be hearing back from them soon.
What was your favorite part of the entire campaign?
I thought having people hold the “I Can InFLUence” sign and taking pictures of them was a lot of fun. We posted these pictures on Facebook and they were well received. The Facebook flu shot application was also a great element and I was surprised to see how many were sent, it was a lot! Our Facebook fan base and interaction definitely increased during this campaign. We have never had the opportunity to incorporate social media in that way or to that extent, and it was a lot of fun!
What was the biggest challenge for the campaign and do you think it was overcome?
The biggest challenge was the timeline. I remember thinking when I was writing out the RFP that it would be tough, but everyone at MassMedia really stepped up and did an incredible job with it. We basically had everything designed, done and ready to print within the first week; I have never had that happen before.
By Ashley Campbell
You’ve finished updating your brand identity and logo and now ask yourself, “How should I introduce the new look to our patients and integrate it into our medical practice?”
There are a few marketing strategy phases that you should consider when integrating your updated brand into your marketing campaign.
Start by adding the new logo to your stationery, statements and invoices. When a patient walks up to the counter, they’ll notice the change on your business cards, or when reviewing their invoices and statements. It’s a subtle change but every touch point creates brand identity for your medical practice.
Your email signature can also be updated to include your new medical marketing logo and will be viewed when sending out external emails to referring physicians, consultants and vendors
Announce the revamp of your brand by creating a direct mail piece or an eblast showcasing the exciting new look and feel. This will not only allow patients to see your brand for the first time, but it is a chance to advertise your practice.
You must integrate your new logo and brand into your advertising as soon as possible. Depending on your healthcare marketing plan, you can integrate your new identity into your existing ad campaign. Updating healthcare advertising will take some time, but remaining consistent is very important when building a reputable brand. Remember to also update your medical practices’ website!
Healthcare marketing collateral materials, such as brochures, flyers, posters and information kits are all items that need to be updated as well. Again, every touch point for your customer should create brand identity and should remain consistent throughout. Having a strong, consistent brand will aide in positioning your medical practice as a reputable and reliable resource.
The most expensive and time consuming marketing piece to be completed is your medical practice signage. This is usually the last piece that needs updating because of the size, location and material needed to build your updated signage. It will be expensive, but it is worth it.
By Pam Meyers
When someone thinks of a brand they tend to think of large consumer corporations such as Pepsi, Coke, Apple, etc. Why do those names come up first? They were successful at branding their product or service by being consistent with their messaging and logo. Branding and healthcare marketing is not just for large companies and hospitals; it is for all businesses that want to be recognized as a leader in their industry. Creating a successful brand can help attract patients to your practice and instill confidence.
According to Wikipedia branding is it the identity of a specific product, service, or business. What exactly does that mean? And what does that mean for your practice? It seems a lot of physicians are skeptical of the word. A better definition is that a brand is delivering on a promise consistently. Branding now extends to people, think of Oprah Winfrey, Jerry Seinfeld, Martha Stewart, Kim Kardashian, these savvy individuals know they have to be different and stand out from the crowd. However, branding is not very common in private healthcare practices. You would be surprised to know a large percentage of healthcare practices do not use branding to establish and reinforce a specific reputation in their market.
So the good news is that most of your professional colleagues are not trying to brand their practices or promote their practices through health care public relations agencies. The even better news is that the practice that successfully brands itself will standout above the competition.
In service industries, including healthcare, effective branding is about the entire experience and relationship that patients have with you and your team. When you communicate what makes your healthcare practice different, you are setting expectations — a direct or implied promise — that patients will get the benefit of your unique value each time they visit or call.
Finally, here are some healthcare brand-building points to consider:
Guard your brand within your office. Once you’ve created your brand, make sure you monitor all printed materials and any other collateral that is created. Without someone maintaining the brand it can quickly get diluted and ineffective. Stay focused on the goals that were identified when the brand was initially created and it should be easy to maintain.
Deliver a consistent patient experience. People prefer consistent quality to surprises, and a brand isn’t really a brand if the practice doesn’t deliver a consistent, high-quality experience. Remember, just a few negative experiences can blow your brand credibility and betray the trust you’ve worked so hard to build.
Deliver consistent branded communications. In addition to delivering consistent in-office experiences, you must effectively communicate your brand message at every marketing opportunity such as your website, brochures, business cards, etc.
When you create a powerful practice brand, you’ll attract the patients, cases, and referrals that you want. Deliver your branding message consistently, and your reward will be consistent profit growth.
By Aimee Romero
People base their ideas about doctors on two things – their personal experiences with their own doctors and what they see fictional doctors do in movies and on TV.
This makes shaping people’s ideas about your practice tricky because you are neither their doctor nor are you the star of Grey’s Anatomy. You can’t control their previous medical experiences or their cinematic experiences.
So what can you control that will shape your target audience’s opinion of you and your practice? How can you make your way in to their lives and minds in a manner that will be both positive and memorable?
One tried and true method of earning positive media coverage is to tap in to the most universal expectation people have of a “doctor” and make it your calling card. That expectation is the fundamental role of a doctor – to heal the sick. Forget the money and the insurance claims; a doctor’s duty is to serve humankind, regardless of profit.
People seek out medical care because they have a medical need and often that need goes unmet because the cost of treatment is too high for the patient to pay. For so many patients, these stories of suffering and years of neglect make compelling human interest stories. We want to see these people receive the help they need and a doctor who steps in is not only generous, but is also making a smart business decision. Branding yourself as a generous doctor will attract patients and referrals and help will grow your practice.
Pro bono medical care is the most memorable and easily understood “doctor story” that the media can tell a mass audience. It reinforces what people want to believe about professional caregivers and doctors in particular. By simply donating your services to a deserving patient once a year, you can build a powerful image as “the doctor who cares and sacrifices for the greater good.” That is the kind of powerful image that sticks in people’s minds forever.
It doesn’t matter what your specialty is, you can make a positive pro bono story out of anything that your practice can donate. Whether it’s life-saving surgery, or something as simple as donating old copiers and laptops to a local school, it shows that your practice cares about the community.
Even plastic surgeons do not have to be stuck with the image of Nip/Tuck or Dr. 90210. Reconstructive work on accident survivors, cosmetic dental work and other types of reparations make very effective PR outreach, especially when the cosmetic work is life-changing for the patient.
Finding the story that will build your image is actually rather simple. Remember why you were attracted to medicine and why you find it fulfilling and use your skills to change someone’s life and make the world smile.
By Carmesha Thompson
A couple of weeks ago, I went to a dinner party and began chatting with a doctor who specialized in otolaryngology. If you’re like me and have no idea what type of specialty this is, it means ear, nose and throat. After telling him, I worked in the public relations, marketing and advertising industry, he admitted that even though his sister worked in PR as well, he could never gain a firm understanding on the industry as a whole.
After providing a general summary of public relations, I suggested he give MassMedia, an agency that specializes in healthcare public relations, a call in order to grow his practice. He said he understood the benefits of healthcare advertising and medical marketing, but didn’t see the added value in public relations.
“I’m sure being on the news for something good can’t hurt, but I don’t see why I should put so much work towards it or why I should pay someone else to do it,” he said.
I started thinking that if this doctor felt this way, then there are probably more that feel the same way. It’s important for doctors to understand the full positive impact that excellent PR can have on their practice and oneway this impact can be felt is by being positioned as a credible expert source.
When viewers see anyone representing an industry on the news, they automatically assume that that person is an expert in their field whose knowledge can be trusted and valued. That is because the news is an objective third-party. It is an impartial source (i.e. no hidden agendas) with an established reputation. Unlike advertising, people can not pay news stations and papers in order to be featured, mentioned or quoted. Viewers know this, so when they see an industry representative on or in the news, they automatically trust that representative and believe the suggestions or information they are providing to be true.
The media is always looking for healthcare expert sources to comment on stories. With all of the media coverage that the flu season has been receiving lately, there were numerous news stories and articles that the doctor I talked to could have been quoted in as a source since he is an ear, nose and throat doctor.
If he had been in the media, people that saw him or read an article in which he was used as a source would have thought of him as a premier expert in his field, whether he is or isn’t, with no hesitation and this might have lead them to look him up for service. That is how powerful the media is and that is a key component of healthcare public relations.
So how do you get in front of the media? That is where MassMedia Healthcare Marketing, a public relations firm in Nevada, comes in. When they need a source, the media is never going to randomly look up a doctor in the phonebook or on the Internet. They are going to turn to a public relations firm that represents healthcare clients, such as MassMedia, to bring the reliable and readily available sources to them.
However MassMedia doesn’t wait for reporters to come to them. They go to the healthcare reporters by ensuring that the media know of their healthcare clients and by pitching their healthcare clients for feature articles and news segments. There are additional ways to get in front of the media, but positioning yourself and/ or your practice as a credible source in your industry is an excellent start.
By Danielle Longley
Internet medical marketing, digital healthcare marketing, web marketing, online physician marketing or e-marketing, whatever you want to call it, it’s more important now than ever. Internet marketing is the marketing of products or services over the Internet.
Online presence is vital to healthcare marketing. More and more American’s are turning to the Internet to do their research, comparisons and decision-making. According to a recent study done by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, in 2010 approximately 61 percent of American adults looked online for health information.
So how do you take advantage of the Internet to promote your medical practice? Start, by knowing your resources. The Internet offers a plethora of information through a vast variety of sites and search engines, but before you can decide what’s right for your practice, you need to know what’s available.
Start with a website. Your healthcare website should be geared to making your potential patient’s decision easier and both potential and loyal patient’s experience better. Content drives action. The content on your physician website should be built specifically for your target audience. Tell them a story about your services and your practice that they can relate to. What visitors to your site really want is content that first describes the problems they face and then provides details on how your practice solves these problems. To do this you need to your audience, well.
In just the past few years social media has exploded onto the scene as an affordable way to market healthcare products and services. It’s easy, convenient and continually updated. Hospitals, physicians and other healthcare professionals are gradually entering and participating in social media. Social media is extremely important for healthcare professionals because at the center of all the updates and chatter, are trust and relationships. It offers physicians and their practices the opportunity to interact with their audiences in a peer-to-peer environment, outside the exam room, and in a less serious setting. It’s essential for your practice to stay ahead of the curve through the use of social media tools including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, ICYou, WebMD, and more.
Blogging has become a way to establish your expertise. It is an informal, reliable, direct source of information. It’s an easy and efficient way to get your practices viewpoints and expertise into the market. Blog about your medical services and related topics, describe the problem and provide a solution. However, remember a blog is not a sales pitch. It’s valuable information to the client to broaden their knowledge and help them make their own decision. The less salesy and more personal you are, the more respected you will be by your readers, also known as, your potential clients. Even if the person reading your blog doesn’t need your services, chances are good that they know someone who does, or they wouldn’t be there.
To win at Internet marketing you need five things: 1. Know who your audience is 2. Know where are they online 3. Create audience specific content 4. Be a resource 5. Participate. The Internet is a two way street, that’s why it works. You can participate through updating your healthcare website or blog, responding to comments and taking part in conversations. If you have something valuable to say, say it. If you appreciate a great review a patient wrote, thank them. The more valuable information you put out there about your services and the solutions you offer, the more potential patients will find you, know who you are and trust you.
By Kristi Morris
Increasing your marketing effectiveness is as easy as outlining a well-rounded healthcare marketing plan and staying consistent with your brand. A good integrated medical marketing plan is essential to the success of a small medical practice or business. In fact, the ability to properly market your healthcare practice or product is on of the most important aspects of your business. Learn the basic components and considerations of a strategic healthcare marketing plan, and you will be well on your way to increasing the effectiveness of your marketing dollars.
Focus on Relationships
The most effective healthcare marketing plan is not always the most expensive marketing plan. In this economy, focusing on the people you already have relationships with will go a long way in promoting your business, or practice. Treat your patients, clients, even vendors as if they are your strategic business partners. Build customer loyalty by keeping it personal, and treat each person you come in contact with as though they are your friend. Establish a culture of customer service, and put the needs of your patients first. Taking the time to learn who they are, and why they have come to see you will contribute to your success, and the success of your practice. And don’t forget, good old fashioned face-to-face meetings are the best way to maintain a patient and client relationship.
While successful healthcare marketing used to be a straightforward formula of ‘you get what you pay for’ the new marketing landscape is a little bit different. While traditional paid media such as television, print or billboard still plays a major role in healthcare marketing, now more than ever, a practice needs to have an online presence. As many as 69% of consumers are now using the internet to make well informed healthcare decisions. Meaning if your practice is not on the web, you could be missing out on substantial market share. A physician’s website is a very important aspect to an integrated healthcare marketing plan.
By bringing your organization, whether it be a hospital, dentist, pediatrician or weight loss clinic into an arena where you can stay in constant contact with more people, you will have the opportunity to not only build a better perception of your organization, but also to build a stronger affiliation with your brand. An online presence no longer means just a doctors webpage. Social networking allows healthcare providers to get the word out, generate excitement, and receive valuable feedback.
Consider an online newsletter, a physician blog, tweeting live procedures, or simply using the internet as a means to communicate in times of crisis. Healthcare providers can leverage social media networks to provide real-time updates both for those directly affected by the crisis and those watching from afar.
Media and Community Outreach
You have a great practice with a reputation for focusing on your patients and you have an online presence with a medical website and doctor’s facebook. What’s next? Get your medical practice noticed. And the best way to get noticed by potential patients is to get noticed by the media with a solid medical public relations campaign. Give the media a reason to come knocking at your door. Host an event, or a day, and send out a press release to generate media excitement. Maybe it is flu season, and you are offering free flu shots to the first 25 people in the door. Or maybe it is National Diabetes Month, and you want to encourage people to get tested for diabetes. Either way, write up a press release, and send it to the media. The media is constantly looking for an opportunity to feature a promising business or practice. All you have to do is give them one. Using a healthcare pr agency can help you accomplish these tasks.
Integrating with the community you serve is a vital move for your practice. There are several opportunities to reach out to your community. Form a strategic partnership with a non-profit organization such as United Blood Services. Or consider participating in an educational speaking commitment where you can act as an expert witness for anything from losing weight to maintaining a healthy cholesterol level. Find ways to educate the community at large on your area of expertise through webinars, seminars and trade shows.
Marketing for healthcare can seem overwhelming, but follow those simple tips and you will be on your way to success.