Brand Awareness vs. Volume-Building: It’s All in the Media

February 25, 2016
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By Denise Tumulty

Hospital marketers are being pushed hard these days. The message from the C-suite is increasingly, “We need to build our brand! But we need to see patient volume increase too!”

By Denise Tumulty

Hospital marketers are being pushed hard these days. The message from the C-suite is increasingly, “We need to build our brand! But we need to see patient volume increase too!”

To be clear, healthcare marketers are absolutely tasked with building brand awareness. The healthcare space is more competitive than ever and changing by the day, between the growth of health systems, the rate of physician group acquisitions, and the expansion of outpatient services and urgent care clinics. It’s difficult for hospital marketers to keep up – never mind the consumers!

But at the same time, it’s imperative that the marketing team be able to show that patient volume was, indeed, driven in by last month’s radio and TV blitz.

The good news is that a watchful eye on your media mix may be all it takes to bring the tension between brand-building and volume-driving into balance. The challenge is to tap the right mix of mass and targeted media.

Brand Awareness

When it comes to brand awareness, traditional mass media still matters. Through both quantitative and qualitative analysis, it has been demonstrated that TV, radio, and print are some of the top drivers of brand awareness among consumers for hospitals. 

For best brand recall, keep your message very simple — and very memorable.

That thirty-second radio spot shouldn’t try to tell prospective patients everything they need to know about your new Gamma Knife surgical procedures. But it should tell them that it’s cutting edge care and safer than other surgical options — and that they need to call or log on now to find out more.

Patient Volume

To demonstrate ROI, you need media that checks three boxes – it must be targetable, trackable, and have a clear call to action. Paid search (PPC), online display, retargeted online display, and direct mail all meet that criteria.

Online’s demographic and geo-targeting abilities allow you to reach the right people with the right message at the right time. Targeted pay-per-click ads and retargeting are great for consumers who are further along the decision-making path and researching specific conditions and procedures. Just be sure to add a strong call to action, and then track their actions once they respond.

Ultimately, there’s no magic number. The optimal media mix will be different for every client and every situation. But we can help you crunch the data, plan the media — and get the numbers you need. Just contact Wax Custom Communications at 305-350-5700 or visit waxcom.com.

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