Posts Tagged ‘Las Vegas Physician Marketing’
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.
By: Carmesha Thompson
MassMedia Healthcare Marketing has always encouraged our clients to use social media to provide their current and potential patients and/ or constituents with useful health content pertinent to their practice/organization. As a result, their target demographic will perceive them as being a valuable resource and trusted source of health information. By posting this content on social media applications, practices/organizations are bringing the information to their patients and/ or constituents, saving them from otherwise having to look for it themselves. We also recommend that practices/organizations take advantage of the accessibility of others through social media and use it to interact with and influence their target audience.
Recently MassMedia launched the social media pages of Nevada Early Childhood Advisory Council whose Head Start and Early Head Start programs promote school readiness for economically disadvantaged children by enhancing their social and cognitive development through the provision of educational, health, nutritional, social and other services.
Using their Facebook and Twitter pages as well as their blog, Head Start plans to interact with and influence media, political and community leaders, and of course Nevada parents on a daily basis. By establishing a branded presence, interacting with influencers and sharing appreciated and unique content, Head Start and MassMedia will create an online community that provides valuable information and fosters increased engagement.
These networks will feature tips for parents on keeping children healthy, cognitive development (such as counting games), and family activities that are local. Their social media pages will also include useful facts and health-related news, trends and reminders regarding children. In addition, the networks will also include links to assess children’s development and milestones as well as links to tips and resources to help children learn and understand (such as printable worksheets to practice writing). Many of the updates will be translated in Spanish to further the reach of the message.
Be sure to ‘Like’ their Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/NevadaEarlyChildhood) and follow them on Twitter (http://twitter.com/NevadaECAC) to not only receive this beneficial information, but to also observe how we utilize social media to engage and inform their audience.
By: Melissa Gonzalez
I was recently tasked with determining how relevant localized social marketing like Four Square, Groupon and Facebook Places is to the healthcare industry. As an engager, it’s easy to overlook the obvious progression of social media changes, but through a marketing lens the changes and patterns that are beginning to shape and drive consumer habits are quite enlightening.
We all know the healthcare industry has been slow to adopt social media; for an often very conservative industry it’s uncharted territory. But recently the industry is beginning to accept its importance and get involved, realizing it’s vital to continue to engage with consumers/patients where they are – and right now, they’re online.
Here are some recent social media trends on the rise. Don’t be surprised if you find healthcare joining the ranks of the many small businesses that are using these resources to get their brand in front of the computer and most of all, move the needle.
Group-Buying Websites: Groupon and Living Social
Group-buying sites like Living Social and Groupon grew ten-fold in the last year. Living Social had 7 million unique visitors in March alone, up 27 percent from the previous month according to ABC News, April 2011. With Facebook small business accounts growing daily, users are able to share local deals sent to their email with online friends and social media networks.
Tim O’Shaughnessy, the CEO of LivingSocial says, “The business model is based on two fundamentals: People can’t resist a bargain; and small businesses are always looking for more customers.” It’s astonishing how one little email can generate more business than some could have ever possibly imagined and it’s because of the ease of use to share these deals with friends over social media.
Healthcare providers that would work the best with Groupon include dentists and optometrists who can perform a routine service that is often paid out of pocket. Groupon could be considered a strong alternative to the typical couponing they might otherwise do.
Targeted Localized Marketing: Foursquare, Facebook Check-ins and Google Places
When trying to engage and interact with your consumers/ patients within their community, healthcare providers will need to take a more localized approach.
Targeted localized marketing in a more defined geographic area can benefit consumer engagement, especially in day-to-day transactions that surround family life such as grocery shopping, getting an oil change or going to the doctor’s office. Web searches for products and services in specific geographic regions or neighborhoods done on the computer or smart phone are growing increasingly common; i.e. “Dentist Summerlin Las Vegas.” If you are a dentist in the Summerlin area of Las Vegas, you want to make sure your practice shows up in search results such as Google Maps.
Applications such as Foursquare, Facebook Check-ins and Google Places lets consumers share their whereabouts with the ability to comment. In fact, some businesses have gone as far as to incentivize checking-in with coupons codes for discounts on products and services. Facebook Places has benefited from this high level of adoption, soaring past Foursquare to reach a 32 percent current usage rate; while Foursquare’s location-based service has remained steady over the past two quarters.
It appears that the important message for healthcare is this – stay current with localized social media and how your consumers engage with it, and make sure you’re brand is involved.
Follow Melissa on Twitter at mmariegonzalez or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
By: Jocelyn Torres
What does the department of motor vehicles, an airport and a doctor’s office have in common?
They all make you wait long hours in waiting rooms.
One of the top complaints that people have about doctor’s offices is the waiting rooms. Patients are waiting too long, being treated poorly or simply just bored. Some healthcare companies have focused their attention and budgets on improving online communication but unfortunately have forgotten about basic face-to-face interaction, which happens mostly in waiting rooms.
Improve your waiting room interaction by staying away from these three common mistakes.
1. Rude Receptionists
Some patients will overlook a rude receptionist if they have a great relationship with their doctor. However if no previous relationship exists and your first contact with a particular doctor’s office treats you rudely, chances are you are not going to book that appointment. It is important to remember that all employees not just the doctors are brand ambassadors for your company.
Keep your patients busy. Provide them with brochures to read, surveys to answer, your social media tags, etc. The key is to give your patients something to do that will benefit both themselves and the practice.
3. 30 plus minute wait
Reducing the waiting time may not be an option; however there are ways to make the long wait bearable. The Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health in New York updated their waiting room to include TV’s with health information and family-friendly cable programming, computers and adjustable group sitting areas. In addition, they allow patients to use their cell phones. Ideally you want to make your patients forget that they are waiting in a doctor’s office.
Do not waste an opportunity to market your brand and communicate with your patients.
Treat your patients politely and be considerate of their time, and you will see an improvement in your patient’s attitude towards and investment in the brand.
Follow Jocelyn on Twitter at @Jocy_Torres or contact her at email@example.com
Paula Yakubik, managing partner of MassMedia Healthcare Marketing, discusses the importance of having a website, how it can streamline your practice, tips to keep in mind when building a website, and the impact that utilizing search engine optimization (SEO) can have on your website.
1. How important is it for a medical practice to have a website?
It is vital that in today’s information-driven society all medical practices have an online presence. Before launching any formal marketing plan, you should establish this presence. More and more Americans 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. Physician practices that integrate an Internet strategy into their overall marketing plan have a better chance of achieving success. Your patients and customers are online looking for information and providers. If you are not there, they will seek out a second source. A well-planned, informative site that is easy to navigate will benefit both the physician and patient.
2. How can a website help a medical practice cut costs?
A good website can help any practice save time and money. A useful website will cut down on the number of phone calls into your practice by including information such as directions to the office, hours of operation, frequently asked questions, and links to healthcare information that website visitors may find helpful. A medical practice’s website should also include downloadable patient forms that patients can fill out prior to their appointment.
3. What are some key tips to keep in mind when building a website?
First, your healthcare website should be geared towards 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 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 know your audience well.
Next, hire a professional consultant. I know most of you have a cousin or a sister who can throw together a website, but if you are going to do it, do it right. Find a consultant that specializes in healthcare, understands how to market to a specific target audience and clearly understands how a website can increase your practice’s patient volume.
It is also important to remember that all marketing initiatives should be strategically integrated into your site and should ultimately tie back into the website as it can assist in tracking and measuring the success of marketing tactics.
4. What is SEO? Does every website need to have it?
Your website should be one of your practice’s greatest marketing tools. If your customers go online looking for your product and services and they can’t find your website, they will seek out another provider or another source. Even worse, what if they type in keywords specific to your practice and your website does not come up. What’s the point of a great website, if no one can ever find it?
It’s no longer enough just to have a great website. It needs to be created and formatted correctly so that your potential customers can find it. We believe if your website does not rank or appear on the first page of a search on Google, Bing or Yahoo, that you are losing potential customers.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies work to get your practice placed on the first page of searches by utilizing keywords your customers are typing in to find you. Web developers and programmers specialize in SEO services. They work with each of the major search engines everyday to make sure they are up-to-date on their unique specifications and that they have a keen understanding of what is new and required of our customers to land on page one.
Great SEO will increase traffic to your site, which will increase the opportunity for your practice to gain new patients.
Paula Yakubik is a partner with MassMedia Healthcare Marketing. You can follow her on Twitter @Pyakubik. She can be reached directly at (702) 433-4331 or 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 Pam Myers
As if getting through medical school wasn’t hard enough, physicians today now have to successfully market their practice, engage with their patients and monitor their reputations online. Those are just a few marketing and public relations challenges physicians face in today’s competitive health care market.
To have a successful practice, integrated marketing strategies are essential. Long gone are the days when a professional practice could survive on the skill and training of the physicians alone. With that said and with the new era of marketing with social media….a good question comes to mind: Should doctors tweet?
Personally, I would like to view my doctor in a more human way and read about any conferences or continuing education they attend to bring their practice to the next level as well as their point of view on current medical procedures. However, I do worry about my visits being discussed in 140 characters or less. Is there anyone who regulates or monitors Twitter for patients’ rights (HIPPA violations)? Since all posts are stamped with a date and time, a tweet that reveals what a doctor observed could be potentially linked to a patient’s appointment.
A recent study conducted by Dr. Katherine Chretien, a hospitalist at the Washington DC VA Medical Center, and her colleagues published in the February 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association found that:
- Approximately half of the 5,156 tweets by the physicians they analyzed had to do with health or medicine
- 12% were self-promotional
- 1% recommended a medical product or service
- 3% were flagged as “unprofessional”
From this study Chretien concluded, “This research helped us to identify how physicians are using social media and has helped us gauge whether or not there is a need for greater accountability for physicians who use social media.”
So, should physicians use Twitter? That can really only be answered by the physician, but here are a couple of questions they should ask themselves:
- Do they have something interesting to share?
- Will they be able to consistently tweet?
- Do they fully understand this online platform?
- Have they reviewed the American Medical Association social media guidelines?
One last thing to keep in mind is that social media is just another communication tool and nothing should be tweeted if it wouldn’t be said at the office/hospital. Once you hit “send” there’s no turning back.
Follow Pam on Twitter @pammyers310 or email her at email@example.com.
By Danielle Longley
These days we use our cell phones less for making calls and more for managing every other aspect of our lives. With the advancement of smartphones we have the ability to access our email, look up information instantly, get directions, connect to social media networks and now, manage our health.
Mobile healthcare is an increasing trend, supported by over 5,000 mobile health applications. While consumers love being able to track calories and monitor fitness in the palm of their hand, mobile marketing has some more serious benefits for healthcare providers.
The database of mobile applications is continually growing. Many of them are created for and beneficial to providers. Mobile applications have the ability to improve physician efficiency, facilitate communications and improve patient relationships. Many physicians and practitioners are using iPhones and iPads during office visits and throughout the day. Are you one of them? If not, here’s why you might want to be.
With the ability to send e-prescriptions, you don’t have to worry about writing legibly and your patient doesn’t have to worry about misplacing it between your office and the pharmacy. Apps created for electronic health records allow you to instantly access information without turning to paper records and will soon allow you to share records with other physicians and referred specialists cutting out time, paperwork and hassle for both you and the patient.
There are apps for 3D renderings of anatomical systems giving you the ability to see all sides and angels. With this you can really show patients where and what is going on. You can access drug dictionaries with up-to-date information on thousands of drugs and have x-rays and scans sent straight to your phone for review.
How about prescribing mobile treatments? Patient’s health, to a certain extent, can be monitored and tracked through their phone. There are apps for monitoring blood pressure (there is an actual blood pressure cuff that plugs into the iPhone), medication reminders, medication trackers and more. The results and data are tracked and graphed and many of these apps allow results to be emailed to physicians. Through these apps you can remotely monitor patients’ health, enhance patient care, improve patient relationships and eliminate unnecessary office visits.
Mobile is the way healthcare marketing is going and it’s where consumers want it to be. Over half of patients surveyed in a study said they would like to be able to use mobile billing and sixty percent would like to receive their lab results on their phone. While you don’t have to create your own application, although that would be cool, just incorporating some mobile applications into your routine and tailoring your marketing strategy to include mobile resources can increase your efficiency and your customer’s satisfaction.
You can’t put a price on improving patient relationships….but there is an app for that.
By Leanne Drown
We all know by now that social media is imperative in marketing your medical practice, but there are still a lot of questions about what it means to launch a social media campaign, how it can make a difference, how to stay within HIPAA regulations and what the impact will be. Instead of trying to answer all these questions in one blog post, we decided to share a few really good and compelling examples. Take a read through, let it marinate a bit and start to think about what these types of campaigns could mean for your practice. Children’s hospitals definitely lead the pack in the social media sphere, but that doesn’t mean you can’t join them!
The UCSF Challenge for the Children
In only 8 weeks, the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital raised over $1 million for a new center in Mission Bay. Using Facebook, Twitter and Causes.com, the Challenge recruited individual contributors and team leaders who then created groups through their personal networks. Throughout the eight-week contest, more than 50 teams signed up to compete for various prizes, with the top two teams earning the prize of naming a space in the new UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. Companies such as Zynga (known for Farmville), alongside individual patients of UCSF Benioff Hospital, rallied their social networks to surpass the initial goal.
Humana wanted to promote Freewheelin, their bike sharing program, within communities of green & health friendly individuals to support better health. First they identified local cycling clubs on Meetup.com and arranged events during which they would share information about their program. In order to drive traffic to these events, they created a Facebook page, Blog, Twitter handle, Flickr group and YouTube account. Over the course of the campaign, more than 1,500 photos were uploaded to Flickr. The end result was eight days of rides with over 7,500 total rides and 41,000 miles ridden. While Freewheelin is no longer an active brand, the initiative is still going strong under the name B-Cycle.
Dr. Irena Vaksman, Dentist
Dr. Vaksman, who practices dentistry in San Francisco, has the challenge of practicing in a building that houses hundreds of other dentists. Most having more established practices than hers. In order to grow her practice she decided to go online (with the help of her husband). In addition to creating a Facebook page, a YouTube channel and a Twitter stream, Dr. Vaksman decided to offer a Groupon to the residents of her community. As a result of the Groupon, Dr. Vaksman received 320 new patients. Valksman’s patients now communicate with her on her Facebook page, and her practice continues to grow.
Follow Leanne on Twitter @leannedrown or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Tivona Betz
Every year more and more people trade in their boring cell phones for a flashy smartphone for the convenience of having everything they need at their finger tips. Smartphone users can log onto the Internet, post to their Facebook page, text and chat with their friends and family, and download thousands of applications, all while walking their dog.
However, health care physicians should look at smartphones as more than just a way to check their email and talk with family and friends. They should also be regarded as a valuable tool to assist them with their practice and patients. And it should be noted that many doctors already recognize it as such. According to a 2009 survey by Hall & Partners, 71 percent of physicians consider a smartphone essential to their practice and 72 percent of physicians are using smartphones to communicate, manage personal and business workflows and access medical information.
There are thousands of health and fitness applications for health care professionals to help them access medical calculators and medical records, track vital signs, order medication, e-prescribe, and coordinate care with other team members.
For instance, Merck Serono developed an electronic injection device with two-way Bluetooth communication functions to track all injections made by a patient. If a patient forgets an injection, a nurse will be alerted and will be able to contact the patient to remind them.
One of the most popular medical applications doctors can access is Epocrates’ free drug reference application. In a study on the drug reference application, 60 percent of Epocrates’ users claimed they have avoided three or more medical errors each month since using the application.
Other companies that are creating health care applications for smartphones include The Good Shepherd Health System, Zibbel, Qualcomm, Kaiser, and Mayo.
Smartphones are also making doctors more accessible to their patients in a quicker manner through e-visits. E-visits, or online physician consultations, are being used to treat patients for non-emergency conditions and to answer questions about minor ailments, symptoms or medications.
According to Manhattan Research, about 42 percent of U.S. physicians say they’ve discussed clinical symptoms online with patients and more than 9 million consumers report having had email communication with their physician. This can all be done with the assistance of a smartphone.
E-visits can lower costs and provide convenience for the patient and physician as they enable doctors to respond more quickly to patient concerns and keep in-office time slots available for those who really need to see a physician in person.
In fact, the Mayo Clinic found through a two-year study that e-visits could have replaced actual office visits in 40 percent of 2,531 case studies.
Patients also recognize the benefits of e-visits. According to Healthcare unwired, 85 percent of patients who have contacted their doctor through other methods other than by an office visit were satisfied with the results and according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, 41 percent of patients said they would like more of their care delivered through their mobile device.
As technology changes and evolves, the health care industry must change and evolve with it. The capabilities of a smartphone are endless, and physicians should utilize them to the fullest by embracing them and their applications as tools that can streamline their practice and ultimately benefit their patients.