In today’s hospital marketing world, healthcare systems sometimes still adhere to old-fashioned marketing practices. Traditionally, hospital marketing has been a siloed endeavor. Hospitals would identify key marketing channels, place each channel in a silo along its own, isolated track, and pursue each channel with its own separate marketing plan-known as cross-channel marketing.
Now, though, traditional advertising and marketing channels have become diffused. Everything has begun to blend in with everything else, and lines have been blurred.
Plus, consumers get information from a variety of different sources, which means you can no longer rely on just one tried-and-tested channel to deliver positive impact like you could before.
Put simply, the days of isolated marketing channels – a hospital choosing broadcast, billboards, print, and digital, and erecting solid barriers between each and all – are numbered. For hospital marketers the future lies in cross-channel marketing adaptation.
Examining Cross-Channel Hospital Marketing
Cross-channel marketing is essentially telling the same story in multiple, different ways – but in a cohesive and coordinated manner in which all channels depend on each other for success.
For example, a cross-channel hospital marketing strategy could look something like this:
- A website is created to act as the hub for the campaign
- Google AdWords pay-per-click campaigns are created for the hospital targeting primary keywords
- The PPC campaign leads to a landing page on the website that encourages viewers to fill out a contact form or make a phone call to schedule an appointment
- Display ads are created and sent out through the internet, leading to landing pages
- Blogs are written and published to the website on a regular basis
- These blogs are then shared socially via the hospital’s social media channels
- Social media channels drive traffic back to the website and to the landing pages
- Print ads give a URL to a landing page, sending people back to the website
- Email campaigns share blogs, news articles and social content, also driving traffic to the website
- Broadcast ads prominently display the website URL
In this manner, each channel feeds into every other channel. The chances of a patient receiving a branded message from any of the above channel (and from more than one) is significantly increased, meaning the campaign gets more reach than it would if the hospital focused on just a few traditional channels and there was no interaction or overlap between them.
Using Coca-Cola as an Example
Coca-Cola is one example of a brand that has embraced cross-channel marketing to drive market share and brand recognition for one of its latest products, Coke Zero.
The company realized that Millennials as a whole aren’t drinking Coke Zero (only 15 percent have actually tried it). But those who do try it largely continue to drink it. Coca-Cola launched a cross-channel campaign that incorporated broadcast, digital retail, social media, and traditional media to create a seamless promotion directing customers from one channel to another – all in an effort to promote Coke Zero and get more people to try the drink.
The same principles apply for hospital marketing. Patients are far more likely to choose a hospital that they encounter time and time again, and cross-channel marketing accomplishes that. By using several different channels in a unified way, a healthcare organization can deliver messages to target audiences in a manner that encourages participation, builds brand authority, and increases brand engagement.
Adopting cross-channel hospital marketing is the next level of advertising and marketing. Leveraging all available channels – traditional and digital – and fusing them together in an interwoven approach is the foundation for success in today’s hyper-digital age.
Contact TotalCom to learn more about an organization can adopt cross-channel hospital marketing for their future campaigns.