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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Communicating Quality

What marketing executive today isn't challenged with whether and how a health system's quality performance, reporting measures, third party recognitions and other aspects of clinical quality, patient safety and customer satisfaction improvement initiatives matter when it comes to driving preference, volume and market share.

Of course quality matters - no argument from me on that point - rather, the issue at hand for most marketers is discerning at what point quality is an ante versus a true differentiating attribute. The first step in the process is developing a full assessment of what your organization is doing and how well it is doing in comparison to others, as well as understanding the potential impact of that performance - positive or negative - on consumer preference, referral patterns, contracting leverage and pay-for-value reimbursements.

Danny Fell has kindly shared a Strategic Quality Measures Readiness Assessment that he and a colleague developed for quality planning. The assessment was designed to get groups thinking about all the ways they approach and deal with quality - but mostly from a communications standpoint. The tool is available below for your review and use in developing that 'inventory' of quality activities and measures that should be considered as you develop marketing strategy.

Danny Fell is an Executive Vice President with Neathawk Dubuque & Packett, a Richmond, Virginia based marketing and advertising agency. You can email him at dfell@ndp-agency and follow his marketing posts at

Friday, January 29, 2010

Kitchen Sink Research Provides Insights into Consumers' Views on Timely Healthcare Topics

Did you know that 24% of consumers changed primary care doctors in the past few years and that nearly 30% of those that changed did so for quality reasons? Or that one in six say they have encountered a serious quality issue or medical error in a hospital over the past 3 years? That 4% have traveled out of the country and 17% have traveled outside their service areas for medical care?

These and other interesting insights can be found in Klein & Partners 4th Quarter 2009 Kitchen Sink study, which takes the pulse on how consumers feel about a variety of current health care topics. Thanks to Klein & Partners president, Rob Klein, for offering up the study for Chief Marketing Officer readers.

You can reach Rob at

Thursday, January 28, 2010

New Campaign Metric: Social Chatter

The rising popularity of status updates on Twitter and Facebook is giving birth to a new way for advertisers to gauge the success of ads: whether they generate consumer buzz. Ad measurement firm Millward Brown is moving to establish that metric with a new service that will place digital word-of-mouth measurements for online campaigns alongside ad effectiveness metrics like awareness, brand lift and intent to purchase.

Millward Brown has hooked up with buzz monitor firm Cymfony to analyze online sentiment expressed on social networks, blogs and message forums. The social media measurements include volume, sentiment and share of voice. Cymfony is one of a host of companies that monitors social media. Others include Radian6 and Nielsen BuzzMetrics.

Dynamic Logic used the capability to analyze an online campaign for a consumer products company that introduced a new product formula. Traditional brand metrics showed that awareness fell below the goal, even though traffic increased for the entire category. The social media buzz, however, showed that consumers who used the new formulation were pleased with it, indicating that marketing was the problem. Ali Rana, vp of emerging media at Dynamic Logic, said going beyond mere mentions to figure out sentiment is key for brands seeing if they're ads are working.

"Our clients have long been wanting holistic measurement," he said. "This helps fill in some of those gaps for now."

New Campaign Metric: Social Chatter

Monday, January 25, 2010

Is Your Marketing on Target for Young Moms?

If you are targeting female Gen Xers and Ys for obstetric, pediatric, urgent care, docs or other health and wellness services, The New Female Consumer: The Rise of the Real Mom is a terrific resource for health care marketers seeking to gain a better understanding of their lives, priorities, needs and motivators.

This Advertising Age and JWT white paper explores what multiple generations of American women want when it comes to family, work and life in the 21st century, decades after the women's liberation movement. It focuses in depth on Generation X (ages 30 to 44) and millennial (ages 18 to 29) mothers and how they differ from their older counterparts. And also examines how marketers can and should improve communications that target this demographic.

Here are a couple of insights from the study:
  • To reach this demographic, marketers need not just to communicate that the goods and services they offer are practical and convenient; they also need to make real moms feel confident and in charge.
  • Marketers should empower these female consumers to delegate to others (spouses, children, brands) so they can have more time to be who they want to be—at home, at work and on their own.
  • Marketers have to use new ways to reach a population that rarely has time to sit down to read or watch or enjoy something without simultaneously doing something else
The New Female Consumer is a free, downloadable guide chocked full of insights, data, graphs and other information to help you better understand young moms.

Click here to link to the PDF.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Will Apple's Reveal be More Marketing Magic?

Conjuring up the Latest Buzz, Without a Word

by David Carr; New York Times

This Wednesday, Steven P. Jobs will step to the stage at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco and unveil a shiny new machine that may or may not change the world.

In the magician’s world, that’s called “the reveal.”

And the most magical part? Even as the media and technology worlds have anticipated this announcement for months, Apple has said not word one about The Device. Reporting on the announcement has become crowdsourced, with thousands of tech and media journalists scrambling for the latest wisp and building on the reporting of others.

However miraculous the thingamajig turns out to be — all rumors point to some kind of tabletlike device — it can’t be more remarkable than the control that Apple and Mr. Jobs have over their audience. Click here to read more.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Pre-Paid Gift Cards for Urgent Care

Solantic walk-in urgent care, the Jacksonville-based company that introduced the three-day feel better guarantee and a transparent menu board with up-front pricing, recently announced the launch of online ordering for the Solantic Card.

The cash-value card works similarly to a retail gift card, providing consumers a unique and convenient way to pay for services provided at Solantic’s 30 urgent care centers throughout Florida. Cards may be purchased in increments of $25 up to $500, and redeemed for urgent care and wellness services provided at Solantic locations. Cards also are available for purchase in Solantic centers.

The Solantic Card was created as a solution for those seeking to supplement high-deductible health insurance plans, to cover co-pays, for the self-employed, and for wellness services. It also provides an attractive option for employers who don’t provide traditional health benefits, but are looking for alternatives ways to provide medical coverage.

Just like Starbucks, card balances can be checked online and additional value can be added to the card at any time. Solantic’s prices are also posted online and in the clinic. A basic visit (defined as a minimally complicated medical condition requiring minor treatment) is $89.

Since its founding in 2001, Solantic has been a leader in applying retail concepts to the practice of urgent care medicine. The company displays wait times on queue monitors, offers online registration, and a guarantee on its services—if you don’t feel better, return to Solantic and be treated for free. They currently operate 30 centers across the state of Florida.

Friday, January 22, 2010

AOL Offers Free Study and Webinar on On-line Marketing to Hispanics

If your health system is targeting Hispanic consumers, you may want to check into this offer from AOL Advertising. AOL partnered with the consulting group Cheskin to conduct research about how Hispanics use the internet in their daily lives and what that means for businesses and agencies charged with marketing to this segment. The published results – 2010 Hispanic Cyberstudy – are free, as is a webinar scheduled for 2:00 EST on February 2, 2010.

Click here for more information.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Marketing Oncology Services

HealthLeaders Media Webcast
January 25, 2010; 1 pm to 2:30 pm

On January 25, 2010, HealthLeaders Media will host a webcast titled Marketing Oncology: Service Line Strategies for Marketers. The session will feature the business development and marketing successes of Baystate Health's Cancer Care Center (Massachusetts), and explore ways that marketers can identify and pursue growth opportunities for oncology service lines.

Participants will learn how Baystate health launched a free-standing all inclusive cancer center, brought physicians and staff together to improve the patient experience at all touch points, and employed segmentation, physician referral development, promotions and other marketing strategies to grow the business.

I am pleased to be joining the webcast with HealthLeaders editor Gienna Shaw and Suzanne Hendery, vice president for marketing and communications at Baystate Health, an integrated delivery system of three hospitals, including Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA.

The program is scheduled for Monday, January 25, 2010 from 1 pm to 2:30 pm EST. Click here for more information.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Missing: The Average American Consumer

In just a few months, the "biggest market research project of the decade" will be conducted by the US Census Bureau when it begins to count heads and amass information on the American population. And although data won't begin to be released until 2011, demographic expert Peter Francese has some projections as to what it might reveal:
  • 309 million people live in the United States, but one person will be missing: the average American. "The concept of an 'average American' is gone, probably forever," Francese writes in 2010 America, a new Advertising Age white paper, "and replaced by a complex, multidimensional society that defies simplistic labeling."

  • US households are growing more complex and varied. The iconic American family of two parents with kids is just 22% of the population.
  • Minorities are the new majority. In the two largest states, as well as New Mexico and Hawaii, the nation's traditional majority group - white non-Hispanics - is in the minority. And in the nation's 10 largest cities, he says, "no racial or ethnic category describes a majority of the population." He also notes how diversity varies greatly by age, "with the younger population substantially more diverse than the old."

Peter Francese is a demographic trends analyst at WPP's Ogilvy & Mather and founder of American Demographics magazine. His 32-page report, available at, will give marketers a window on what the census will show and how to adapt those findings in a marketing world reliant on broadscale demographics that no longer exist. The cost of the white paper is $249.00.

Read the article: New US Census to Reveal Major Shift: No More Joe Consumer.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Micro-Targeting Increases Marketing ROI

Chief Marketing Officers' Innovator's Studio Webcast
January 21, 2010; 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. EST

Increased scrutiny of marketing expenditures and rising expectations for ROI have marketing executives scrambling to create a much more effective, laser-focused approach to reaching and influencing consumers and physicians.

Customized, micro-targeting to individuals is fast becoming the standard to optimize marketing performance. In this first virtual work session of 2010, Innovator's Studio CMOs will learn how one health system:
  • Developed an automated marketing system to reach key customer audiences
  • Developed interest-specific messaging
  • Tied processes and data together between intertwined systems (web, call center, etc.
  • Identified and responded to qualified leads
  • Achieved and measured business impact.
Halifax Health (Daytona Beach, Florida) refocused its marketing investments by integrating online and offline marketing, and employing a combination of CRM, eMarketing automation, analytics and reporting systems. This was achieved by its marketing and finance teams working together to integrate marketing data with procedures to track revenue and marketing attribution.

Ann Martorano, hospital administrator and chief marketing officer for Halifax Health, will be joined by Tanya Andreadis, Halifax director of marketing and eBusiness, and by Bill Moschella, principal and CEO of eVariant to share their case study. Navvis & Company vice president Carla Bryant will facilitate the meeting.

Innovator's Studio clients can contact Jody Corrigan ( to register for the work session. To learn more about the Innovator's Studio, please contact me at 757.640.8515 or

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Words of Wisdom on Getting Advice from Outside Industries

From HealthLeaders Media Editor Gienna Shaw

What's the best investment an innovative healthcare organization can make? The CEO of a mid-sized hospital gave me a great answer to that question in an interview this week: "Plane tickets." Preparing for a big change at his organization, he flew as far as Rome to gather information from organizations that had undertaken a similar venture. Read more -- Words of Wisdom on Getting Advice from Outside Industries.

Posted using ShareThis

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Brand Powerhouse Buys MDVIP

What happens when a CPG brand master enters the physician services business? That's yet to be seen but it does set the marketing imagination in motion when Proctor & Gamble announces that it will assume full ownership of MDVIP, a concierge network of 350 physicians in 28 states and the District of Columbia.

A December 18, 2009 Modern Healthcare article reports that this move will increase P&G's initial investment to 100% from the 48% made in January 2007. A release issued when P&G made the original investment stated that MDVIP "works with the nation's finest physicians to give them the tools they need to practice preventive and personalized healthcare for patients who consider their health a priority. The MDVIP model is based on three pillars: exceptional doctors, exceptional care, and exceptional results."

The purchase, is "consistent with P&G's mission to improve the lives of consumers in the important areas of health and wellness." (Advertising Age) P&G's Web site indicates it sold some $80.3 billion worth of products in 2009 with “health and well-being” items (“personal health care” included) accounting for $16.7 billion.

The deal was cleared by the FTC on December 11.

Read more: P&G buying remaining stake in concierge doc network MDVIP - Modern Healthcare

Monday, January 11, 2010

Creating a Facebook Fan Page for Your Women's Heart Marketing Program

Women's HeartAdvantage Webcast
Rescheduled for February 23, 2010; 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm

Want to learn how a Facebook Fan Page can attract, engage and build loyalty among women at risk for or with heart disease? Women’s HeartAdvantage is hosting a webcast on Tuesday, February 23 at 1:00 pm eastern to discuss the strategy behind the social media application as well as step by step instructions for setting up and managing a Facebook Fan Page. Navvis & Company vice president Carla Bryant is the featured speaker for the one hour webinar.

Registration is complementary for Chief Marketing Officer readers. To sign up for the event, just call (540.545.8260) or email Jody Corrigan ( She'll send you the log-in instructions for the webcast.