Dec
29

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The future of healthcare marketing doesn’t merely promise better things, but gives people the things they need to better their lives

• things that create meaningful interaction and experiences that leave people not just satisfied (merely baseline today), but emotionally gratified and enriched

• which then spark conversation and word-of-mouth

• which is a recognized predictor for growth

Key is to create stuff that your customers love to talk about rather than what you love to talk about.

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May
02

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How can healthcare providers play a more meaningful role in, and add more value to, people’s everyday lives?

As the lines between healthcare, wellness and active lifestyle continue to blur, healthcare brands can look to Nike and its Fuel Band for inspiration.

Nike Fuel Band

  • underscores the authenticity of the Nike brand, whose heritage and values are summed up in those three words that begin with “Just…”
  • demonstrates the brand’s relevance in the lives of its customers, who happen to span all demographics
  • improves the brand’s ability to deliver performance for “all” athletes, regardless of athletic ability
  • adds momentum to the brand, not only in terms of growth, but about what’s “hot” and what might be next
  • demonstrates responsiveness to people’s changing attitudes and behaviors about health and healthy lifestyle

While “health” used to be compartmentalized, consumers are now more health-engaged than ever before. So beyond your transactional clinical care, consider how your healthcare brand (whether healthcare system, hospital, physician group or service line) can help consumers incorporate health into their everyday lives and close the gap between their intentions and behaviors.

 

 

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Mar
18

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There are some web design trends that come and go year after year. But there are some that are here to stay, and for good reason. Here are few current trends in healthcare web design that are sure to stick around.

More Microsites and Landing Pages

Many healthcare sites present so many searchable options that it is difficult to target individual audiences. Here is where your healthcare marketing can benefit from a microsite or landing page. It does not make a lot of sense to launch, for example, a large cardiovascular campaign and then send interested parties to your home page or a sub-page deep within the navigational structure of your website.

Promoting a specific landing page or microsite allows you to create an experience that specifically compliments the campaign and allows you to tailor your message and calls to action. New York Presbyterian created an entire microsite focused on it’s “Amazing Things Are Happening Here” campaign. It is completely dedicated to viewing the inspiring patient stories that pay off their campaign line.

Responsive Design

Though responsive design has been around for a few years now, it’s surprising how many healthcare websites are still not delivering a mobile optimized experience to their users. While healthcare systems and hospitals do face more challenges in this area due to the fact that there are usually many navigation items and a deep level of pages, with careful planning and some creative thinking, you can have your site available to all devices. Florida Hospital was up to the challenge and created a fully responsive website that is still easy to navigate and absorb on small screens.

Check out this previous post about the many opportunities healthcare organizations are missing out on by not targeting mobile users.

Advanced Search

Healthcare organizations should be taking full advantage of a simple site feature that has been around for ages – search functionality. Some websites have not only begun to put their search boxes front and center in order to encourage more users to utilize it, they have also begun to enhance the basic search box with features like auto-fill and categorical searching. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt does a nice job of breaking their search up into services, doctors, health library or their entire website.

Better Story Telling

While on the surface story telling may not seem like a design challenge, nothing could be further from the truth. Many health organizations are utilizing some of the top trends in web design to bring their stories to life. With the use of one page scrolling websites, large images, video and compelling copy, they are allowing their stories to unfold in front of the visitor, giving them a true sense of who they are and what they offer.

Rather than bombarding users with an unwieldy number of ways to navigate through information, these sites are controlling the flow of information in order to tell their story in a unique and interesting way. Children’s National Health System’s landing page uses all of these techniques to bring their story to life while still providing many entry points into their main site and associated content.

For those healthcare systems and hospitals who are still lagging behind with their website design practices, your relevancy will quickly be waning.  Now’s the time to take the steps necessary to ensure your website is as sophisticated as, and pays off, the clinical care you provide.

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Jan
21

healtcareImagine how you’d feel if your healthcare provider treated you like Apple or USAA?

I thought of this idea on a recent post-op visit to a top healthcare provider. While the surgery was a clinical success, I wondered why my ‘brand experience’ was not. Was it my failed attempts at setting-up the initial consultation (stuck in an unending web of automated voice prompts), my inability to pre-register online (hand-written forms still required), the sharp (and I don’t mean in a good way) insurance liaison I had to engage with, or maybe my inability to connect with a caring professional post-op (online communication not allowed).

Waiting for my appointment, I pondered what they could learn from both Apple and USAA – two amazing organizations that I value and respect. Who truly put the customer at the center of everything they do and consider their perspective in every decision they make. Who design everything around their customers’ journey – processes, technology, policies, partners, rewards – so they all work together to support and reinforce delivering a superior brand experience. Not just meeting needs, but delighting customers!

So how is the customer experience for Apple or USAA relevant to the healthcare brand experience?

Because critical to your business success is understanding that your brand reputation is based on how your customers perceive their interactions with your organization – across every touch-point. It does (and will) determine whether they stay with you, what they say about you, and whether they advocate for you. It’s either you or your dreaded competition (and subsequent loss of revenue, referrals and brand reputation).

The customer experience is even more important in today’s competitive and complex healthcare arena, as healthcare consumers are finally empowered, have choices, and most importantly, have voices (social media and word-of-mouth speak volumes). Done correctly, it can be the true differentiator, lead to real profits and foster loyalty.

Now what if that healthcare provider I went to had thought about me as the center of their universe (which I should be), creating one team who understood and managed my customer journey – versus entrusting it to a series of internally driven silos that were not interdependent or supportive of one another? I probably wouldn’t be writing this post.

Below are 8 ways (adapting from companies like Apple and USAA) that healthcare providers can create change and begin to build a better “branded” customer experience:

1. Filter through a customer lens – map the customer journey, as it’s the only way to identify areas for improvement, opportunity and innovation

2. Commit to the details – make it easy to do business with you (KISS) as patients are just like us, and want to deal with providers who have a can-do attitude and will make their life better (literally and figuratively)

3. Create a feedback loop – invite and listen to what your patients have to say (across all channels) to identify the challenges they encounter and how to solve (targeted surveys, calls, social media, etc.)

4. Build trusted relationships – with ‘care coordinators’ trained to be go-to resources, assisting patients through the process, alleviating barriers, and delighting whenever possible

5. Focus on appreciation– shift from an operational focus to one that aligns around your purpose, value proposition and dedication to customer appreciation

6. Personalize the experience – behavioral data collection and analysis should be king, as insights gained will allow you to deliver more personalized care

7. Empower employees – engage them as they rule and have a huge impact on the customer experience, so make sure their ideas are heard

8. Embrace digital – allow patients to interact with you where and how they like, including information exchange using smart phones and tablets, as the lines are blurring

What do you think? How would you characterize your more recent experiences with your healthcare providers?

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Jan
30


Here’s an example of leisure marketers creating new customer value – as hospitality brands roll out new and more varied options for health and fitness on-the-go. For both guest and hotel, it’s a win-win proposition. For business travelers, it fills a need to re-energize in the midst of high-pressure road trips. For hoteliers, it’s a way to create more value and boost guest satisfaction at what can be low incremental cost.

Multiple hotel brands (e.g. Kimpton, Affinia, Peninsula, etc.) are centering their “healthier” offering around the increasing popularity of yoga, as noted earlier this month in the NYTimes.com article A Moment of Zen, on the Go. Acccording to a recent study released by Yoga Journal, Americans practicing yoga jumped 29%, to 20.4 million — or 8.7% of American adults — since the previous study in 2008, when 15.8 million practiced.

The newest “healthy travel” hotel is International Hotels Group Even, which is scheduled to open its first hotel this year, with a target of 100 hotels in five years. Designed to make wellness a natural part of travel, amenities will include fitness that extends beyond the best-in-class gym to in-room workout spaces with exercise equipment available for checkout, spa-like showers, hypoallergenic linens, healthier food options, signature flavored and filtered drinking water, among others.

We see this same health trend in two of the verticals in which we specialize. For our healthcare marketing clients, consumer interest in pursuing healthier lifestyles and a higher quality of wellbeing is leading them toward “well care vs. sick care” strategies. And in the seemingly very different world of beauty marketing, health benefits are even finding their way into nails and nail care.

There’s a common thread here of consumers increasingly seeking health and wellness (quality of life) through the way they live, shop and use brands. As such, we see a strong opportunity for marketers to integrate a health and wellness idea and to drive growth by executing programs and tailoring messages that relate to the type of health and wellness-seeking consumer their brand speaks to.

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Nov
14

It’s an exciting, fulfilling and proud day here at Trajectory, and for one of our clients – as The Reading Hospital is now Reading Health System.

We rebranded and relaunched them today, after more than a year’s worth of branding and marketing discussion, debate, planning and creating.

By unveiling a new system name, logo and tagline, a simplified brand hierarchy and naming structure, and a more compelling set of promises and market positioning that better reflect the organization’s collective vision, they’re building on their strengths to more effectively advance in the changing world of healthcare.

The new tagline – Advancing Health. Transforming Lives. – conveys the essence of the Reading Health System brand. It’s genuine to their desire to advance the health of their communities beyond “sick” care, and conveys their desire to transform lives by being a source of energy, optimism, knowledge and support.

Congratulations to our client, Reading Health System – and to its wonderful physicians, nurses and staff. Not only for the previous 144 years of service to your communities and your region, but for the many years of Advancing Health and Transforming Lives to come.

You can see our internal brand vision video, along with some of the new external marketing campaign television, on our YouTube channel.

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Apr
09

It’s five years from now. Your healthcare system, hospital or physician group competitive set has grown to resemble that of most other categories. The power has shifted to consumers. They have multiple options and are heavily influencing each others choices through their feedback and communities. Brand actually drives a disproportionate share of the purchase decision.

Ask yourself – HONESTLY – if this was the case, how effectively could you compete? Beyond the table stakes technology, infrastructure, skilled physicians?

Do you stand out? Stand for something? Have you pinpointed what’s more compelling about your brand that will sway selection in your favor?

Here are five ways to know. Five ways to know if you’re on the road to thriving or disappearing:

1. Is your organization collectively driven by a clear view of the future, by shared purpose and goals?

2. Do you have a clear picture of your communities, and how you (can more importantly and uniquely) help them live better lives?

3. If they walked into your front door, or the door of your website, could they distinguish you (based on this experience) from your competitors?

4. Does your brand permeate everything that you are and do – values, culture, people, promises, experiences and communications? Or are you still fractured across departments.

5. If we took your name off of your marketing, is it still yours (because you’ve figured out how to tap into aspirations in ways that have come to be identified as yours)

So…how bullish are you about your future?

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Feb
08

Inspiration should come from many different places. Case in point being: Nestle’s New Weight Loss Program Pairs Pets With Their Owners.

Nestle’ launched this unique initiative in the US to help pet owners and their furry friends shed excess pounds together. The company’s pet and people weight management experts have teamed up to give owners of overweight pets an online program to help both them and their animals lose weight.

Is this initiative relevant to your healthcare marketing efforts? Absolutely. You just need to be open to looking at everything fresh.

Consider the power of friends (though not the furry kind) to…

– motivate each other and pursue progress together, which might lead to a “2 together” program
– influence each other, which could lead to a “BFF assist network
– impact each other’s health and well-being, which could lead to a “power of two” program

Inspired by Nestle’s new program, we’re reminded of the powerful link between friendship and health, and therefore, a powerful marketing opportunity to be leveraged.

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