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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Using Traditional Media to Drive Web Traffic? Remember a Few Simple Rules.

Healthcare marketers increasingly use traditional print, billboard, broadcast and direct mail to drive consumers to on-line resources. This integrated approach is quite effective in engaging audiences to learn more about services and act on ‘calls to action.’ It also provides the marketing professional with data to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.

Christopher Boyer offers a few simple guidelines to make your integrated campaign more effective and create a much more satisfying consumer experience as they move from one marketing medium to the next:
  • Offer a short URL
  • Send them to the right page
  • Get to the point

Learn more about this and other on-line marketing strategies on Chris Boyer’s blog.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Market Research Study Focuses on eHealth Trends for Consumers and Health Professionals

Healthcare market research firm Manhattan Research recently released Taking the Pulse® Hospitals, a research study that focuses on the behaviors, attitudes, and future interests of consumers, physicians and nurses as relates to their use of technology for health. The market data comes from over 10,000 in-depth interviews, and is tailored for use by hospital and health system marketing teams.

A few eHealth trends as a preview of Taking the Pulse Hospitals:
  • Almost 160 million U.S. adults go online for health information
  • About 35% of the U.S. adults use social media for health and medical purposes
  • 64% of U.S. physicians use smartphones.
  • Approximately three out of four U.S. nurses recommend health websites to patients.

The research study was designed to support hospitals and health systems that are re-evaluating strategies for communicating with patients and stakeholders. It includes topics such as the health resource media mix, physician-patient relationship and connectivity, social media, electronic health records, mobile phones and applications, email newsletters, practice technology profile, and patient education.

You can download a complimentary white paper discussing the latest trends in how consumers and healthcare professionals use the Internet for health at

Friday, November 27, 2009

Webcast on Cardiovascular Service Line Strategies for Marketers

HealthLeaders Media Marketing Weekly is hosting a webcast on Cardiovascular Service Line Strategies for Marketers on Thursday, December 3 from 1 pm to 2:30 pm eastern. The 90 minute session features case studies presented by Kim Menefee, senior vice president of WellStar Health System in Marietta, Georgia, and Pete Turner, vice president of business development for Community Health Network & Indiana Heart Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana. I’m privileged to share the virtual panel with both; together we’ll explore how an integrated approach to developing and aligning business, clinical, brand and marketing strategies can enhance and grow cardiovascular services.

For more information about the webcast, click here to visit the HealthLeaders Media website

Monday, November 16, 2009

Report Projects Moderate Growth in Retail Clinics

Despite the recession, overall growth of the heathcare retail clinic market has increased approximately 15 percent in the past two years, according to a new report released today by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. Retail clinic market growth, however, will likely slow to 10-15 percent from 2010 through 2012 and will accelerate above 30 percent from 2013-2014, according to the report.

Retail Clinics:Update and Implications suggests that four factors will likely contribute to the sector’s growth:
  • Increased use and satisfaction by consumers
  • Increased use and acceptance by commercial health plans and large employers
  • Increased services provided through the retail medicine model
  • Increased demand for preventive and primary health care services as a result of health reform and consumer demand

According to the report and Deloitte’s 2009 Survey of Health Care Consumers, 33 percent of consumers indicate they are willing to use a retail clinic, especially younger and middle-aged working adults. Moreover, 30 percent of respondents are likely to use a retail clinic if it would cost them 50 percent less than seeing their physician. Most retail clinics currently operate in retail pharmacy settings (82 percent), or as a department or wholly owned subsidiary of the host organization, such as a grocery store (12 percent) or big-box discount store (6 percent). Notably, 2009 has seen increased activity by acute care organizations entering retail medicine via contractual arrangements with drug store and grocery chains.

Today, core services at retail clinics typically include preventative health screenings, prescriptions and over the counter (OTC) therapeutics and uncomplicated primary care. However, the retail clinic business model is capable of supporting additional revenue streams (zones) unrelated to its core operations, including medication management, employee wellness, chronic care management and health insurance.

Brand Management Requires a Comprehensive, Robust Framework

Brand management is an essential core competency for healthcare organizations seeking growth, market differentiation and competitive sustainability. And the creation, building and management of brands requires a comprehensive, robust framework to guide brand strategy, brand alignment and brand performance.

At this past week’s Chief Marketing Officers’ Innovator’s Studio work session, Mike Eaton, vice president for Navvis & Company, and Rob Klein, President of Klein & Partners, presented a 6-stage structure for brand management, and led the group on a discussion regarding the complexities and opportunities for building a powerful brand portfolio. Here’s a glimpse into their workshop session.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Walgreens Hosting Diabetes Wellness Clinics with Free Testing at In-Store Events Nationwide

Walgreens extends its position as a retail health services provider with free diabetes testing at more than 1,500 locations. The events began last week, Nov. 9-13, and continue Nov. 16-20 at most 24-hour Walgreens stores.

Each of these locations is hosting a six-hour walk-in clinic offering free blood glucose testing, or for individuals diagnosed with diabetes, free A1C testing. Free pharmacist consultations are also available. Walgreens also announced it will donate $1 to the American Diabetes Association for every test performed at its Diabetes Wellness Events, up to $100,000.

Walgreens is the nation’s largest drugstore chain with more than 70,000 providers and fiscal 2009 sales of $63 billion. The company operates 7,045 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Walgreens' diversified portfolio includes retail drugstores, Walgreens Health Initiatives Inc. (a pharmacy benefit manager), Walgreens Mail Service Inc., Walgreens Home Care Inc., Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy LLC and SeniorMed LLC (a pharmacy provider to long-term care facilities). Walgreens Health and Wellness Division includes Take Care Health Systems, providing worksite health and wellness centers and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 700 locations throughout the country.'

To find out if there are events in your market, visit or call 1-877-W-and-You (1-877-926-3968).

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Marketing and How Social Software Aligns

In his blog, Community and Social Media, Chris Brogan lines up “all the old fashioned marketing “Four P’s” to illustrate how social software can interact.

Chris writes, “I didn’t exactly lay out step-by-step plans, but maybe you can infer a bit from what we started with. You’ll notice something. The tools aren’t all that spectacular and amazing, except that they make performing certain tasks simpler than it used to be. Instead, the potential and the wonderment are all inside the human part of the equation.”

“What’s exciting about how social media and social software aligns with marketing is that there are new opportunities that far surpass the old methods for marketing, and that’s where the magic truly hides. Marketers do have to understand the tools, but more so, here’s a quick list of what else needs to be understood.” Read more at: Marketing and How Social Software Aligns

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Chief Marketing Officer's Innovator's Studio

Today's CMO Innovator's Studio work session addresses head-on how operational, clinical, business development and marketing misalignment undermines brand performance, wastes marketing dollars, and can result in negative ROI; and, conversely, how alignment can create a powerful, relevant and differentiated brand-driven culture –transforming an organization from one that simply ‘promotes a brand’ to one that ‘delivers the brand.’ Here are the opening discussion slides - more to come.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Brand Mastery to be Explored at Upcoming Innovator's Studio

The Chief Marketing Officers’ Innovator’s Studio convenes this week (November 9 & 10) in Chicago. This session’s deep dive topic – The New Brand Mastery – is significant and timely given the changing nature of the health industry. Increasing consolidation among providers, physician alignment and integration activities, emerging retail models, growing consumer expectations, new media channels, the new economics of health care reform – all play part in the complex dynamics shaping competition. And all have implications for health system brand strategies. On the agenda:

  • A brand excursion to Whole Foods Market in Lincoln Park, led by Maggie Bahler, Regional Marketing Director and Executive Marketing Coordinator for Whole Foods. There we’ll learn how the retailer achieves company-wide alignment to its brand strategy while emphasizing local market connections (sound like a familiar challenge?).
  • Jen Wagner-Mauk, Executive Director of Brand and Marketing for Affinity Health (Menasha, WI) and Megan Manahan, Vice President for Marketing and Communications with Mercy Health Partners (Toledo, OH) will share their journeys in repositioning their health system brands, including methods for creating brand alignment and commitment across their organizations.
  • Mike Eaton, vice president of the brand and marketing consultancy for Navvis & Company (St. Louis, MO), and Rob Klein, president of Klein & Partners (Hinsdale, IL), will facilitate a Brand Mastery Workshop, where they will frame out an approach to creating a comprehensive, robust brand leadership method – and put everyone to work brainstorming, prioritizing and designing innovative approaches to meet the brand challenges of the changing competitive landscape in healthcare.
  • Rob Klein will also share research results from a recent Omnibus survey. This consumer ‘kitchen sink’ study focused primarily on healthcare reform with selected other topics of interest.

You can follow session highlights on Twitter at #iscmo.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

When it Comes to Social Media Influence, What's to Believe?

In the last week alone, I’ve read or seen presented conflicting opinions on the influence that social media exerts when it comes to selection of healthcare services. In one study, consumers reported little influence. Yet another, a Spring 2009 Ad-ology Media Influence on Consumer Choice survey, reports that social media plays a part in 40% of hospital and urgent care center visits, and impacts 50% of 25-34 year olds when it comes to selecting a hospital or urgent care center.

Of course, the primary reason this is so among this age group is that nearly 30% of their hospital visits are maternity related. Blogs, forums, discussion boards are heavily used among expecting Moms.

So, what’s your experience?? Are you using social media to target younger health care consumers?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Ruth Colby Honored for Professional Excellence

Please send congratulations to Ruth Colby, chief strategy officer and senior vice president of business development at Silver Cross Hospital in Joliet, Ill., for receiving the 2009 Award for Individual Professional Excellence from the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development (SHSMD) of the American Hospital Association. She accepted her award from SHSMD President Diane Caslow during the Society’s Annual Conference this past month in Orlando.

Ruth was cited as a talented and innovative strategist who has successfully challenged her organization to push the boundaries, developing strategic alliances with academic medical centers, physicians and new niche-market entrants such as MinuteClinic. She and her team spearheaded the hospital’s IMatter program—a unique approach that rewards women for completing preventive health screenings by giving them discounts at local retailers.

In 2008 Ruth successfully led her organization’s efforts to obtain state approval for a $400 million replacement hospital at a new campus. As part of this project, she was instrumental in developing an innovative approach to addressing the healthcare, economic and social needs of Joliet’s East side neighborhoods. She created the Silver Cross Healthy Community Commission, a 501(c)(3) organization that provides independent oversight of the hospital’s ongoing commitment to the community. This year she led the effort to establish a freestanding emergency center in her market—the first such center licensed in Illinois.

SHSMD’s Award for Individual Professional Excellence is the highest honor the Society can bestow on one of its members. What a wonderful and deserving candidate!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Lynne Cunningham's Book Reviews

What a treat to open my email and find a post from long time friend and colleague Lynne Cunningham with the Studer Group. That’s because – for years now - Lynne has provided many of us in the healthcare marketing field with the invaluable service of reading and reviewing many, many books and articles. I am thrilled to share Lynne’s reviews with you and hope you’ll find them helpful in building your marketing leadership resource library.

Here are a couple of Lynne’s recent summaries:

Chasing the Rabbit: How Market Leaders Outdistance the Competition and How Great Companies can Catch Up and Win, by Steven Spear. How can companies perform so well that their industry counterparts are competitors in name only? Although they operate in the same industry, serve the same market, and even use the same suppliers, these “rabbits” lead the race and, more importantly, continually widen their lead. In Chasing the Rabbit, Steven J. Spear describes what sets high-velocity, market-leading organizations apart and explains how you can lead the pack in your industry.

Lynne’s take: Another good book to help you focus on process improvement efforts. The book includes lots of healthcare examples. There are also great examples to study to learn more about how to focus and spread best practices.

Excellence in the ED by Stephanie Baker. For years healthcare professionals believed creating excellence in the emergency department was next to impossible. And it's true that too many patients, too few resources and too few hours in the day add up to big challenges. Yet where there's a will—and a team of passionate, caring staff members—there's most definitely a way. By implementing proven, evidence-based tools and techniques, leaders can overcome the excuses and create an ED where employees and physicians want to work and patients want to receive care.

Lynne’s take: This book includes great case studies and testimonials. Learning Points at the end of each chapter reinforce key concepts. This is the textbook for how Hardwiring Excellence meets the Emergency Department. ED staff and physicians will instantly be able to relate.

You can browse through more of Lynne’s book reviews and recommendations at