Saturday, March 29, 2008

What Where They Thinking?

The last couple of weeks have been interesting in the world of hospital marketing. It was one of those what were they thinking moments.

Let me set the stage. A new hospital opens in Bolingbrook, Illinois. It has been under construction for two years and is the first new greenfield hospital in 25 years. Looks like a major PR opportunity but no. The marketing consisted of some billboards without any mention of location, one full page advertisement, and one direct mail piece. Most of which happened during that two years before the hospital opens. Now that's useful.

So what do they do, open the hospital, a couple of newspaper stories and a billboard way off the expressway and a radio commercial. Build it and they will come mentality. Guess what? People are not coming. So for the last couple of weeks high on top of the hospital, the Adventist's and yes its Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital puts a giant black sign with white letters saying "NOW OPEN". Oh, I bet that will draw the patients. What were they thinking? Hey it works in retail, it will work for us? What is next a grand re-opening? Me thinks they are having trouble attracting docs to admit patients.

There I go again thinking that docs hold the patient admittance keys.

Thankfully, the sign finally came down.

Just another great example of what people in the hospital industry don't know about brand, marketing or even common sense.

A word of advice to the Adventist Health System in Winter Park, FL. You all have $2 billion in cash in the bank, the Midwest region pulls down nearly $500 million annually after expenses, spend some of that cash and do it right. But its going to cost you a whole lot more now because you have already lost the market opportunity.

I should have taken a picture and posted it. On second thought, I am sure they finally became embarrassed enough.

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