Apr 16 2014
Healthcare Pros STILL
Flushing Money Down the Drain!
Thanks for your visit. We have recently relocated to Cookeville Tennessee (between Nashville and Knoxville), home of Tennessee Tech University. Return here often for new posts in this series for Doctorpreneurs©and Healthcare professionals.
Why not just open the window and throw your money out? Why bother spending it on meaningless, confused thinking about marketing? Why keep feeding the nonperformance of media, mobile apps, direct mail magazines and newsletters, social media and, oh yes, outdoor advertising? Can we look at this open-mindedly?
The business and sports worlds have fed your fires since childhood that you must be competitive at all costs in order to win… that’s 100% false for healthcare professionals! In fact, many healthcare pros have marketing success expectations as unrealistic as imagining that a heart attack can be treated with a BandAid®
REALITY: No one “buys” billboards with smiling doctor faces (or, even worse, the recent trend toward somber looks!). Most people are not so stupid as to think that hospital “magazines” and “newsletters” with feature (dressed-up PR) stories are interesting or meaningful enough to be worth reading. My guess is that –other than the few and far between genuine healthcare educational mailing pieces– most of these exorbitantly expensive items go straight to the recycle pail. All this nonsense came and went thirty years ago. [Interesting how America's healthcare institutions are accelerating these feeble old-fashioned attempts at marketing. Is it some kind of knee-jerk attempt to cope with the Obamacare muddle?]
BOTTOM LINE: No one cares! The public simply doesn’t care how great hospitals, doctors, therapists (or any professionals for that matter) think they are! Healthcare consumers may have more (and more personal) issues on the line than other kinds of consumers, but they really and truly only care about the same thing that every consumer cares most about: What’s in it for me? Period.
So if you’ve read this far, perhaps it would be useful to explore and reassess your current “marketing” practices, and decide if your money could be better spent on strengthening patient, patient family, and referral network relations. If you’re looking for a role model institution, consider the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center… you’ll find no shallow representations of professional skills… “Treatment” is their specialty, and it applies to everyone who enters their doors. Oh, and guess what? The only expense is training and training maintenance time.
Marketing –if it’s done right– might sometimes succeed at building brand loyalty for some products and services in some markets and marketplaces. But when the two end-results people seek most from healthcare professionals are 1) Reassurance and 2) Trust, it’s not likely either will ever be achieved with empty images or promises.