Sunday, March 15, 2009

Strategy vs Tactical Marketing

Stewart vs. Cramer

First this message. If you did not see the Jon Stewart's interview of Mad Money Jim Cramer from CNBC on Comedy Central Daily Show, you really need to see what everyone is talking about. I actually felt sorry for Cramer, but hey, CNBC needs to get its act together and figure out what their responsibility is in financial reporting. Yea for the little guy! Thanks Jon.

Now back to the regularly scheduled program........

Hospital Advertising, my favorite subject

Seeing an increase in hospital advertising. Once again, it’s not clear what people are attempting to accomplish. That's because the strategic essence of marketing is missing.

Look, anybody can create an ad.

Anybody can hear the CEO, run out, spend some money and throw it up against the wall to see what sticks. How is your advertising supporting the business objectives? What is your brand message? Is a billboard on a busy expressway where people zip along at 65 miles an hour really that memorable? How about a call to action? What does your brand stand for and how is that supported by advertising? Do you even know what your brand is?

Please stop insulting consumers with promises of "World Class Healthcare". Unless you are Mayo, The Cleveland Clinic, John Hopkins etc, you don't have a world class healthcare offering.

Maybe you have missed the headlines and stories, but the US has the most expensive healthcare in the world, with some pretty dismal outcomes. There is nothing about a community hospital that is world-class. Unless you have people coming from around the world for care; not a believable message for me. And that goes for a lot of consumers too.

Really now. No awards like The Top 100 Hospitals, US News and World Reports ranking, Malcolm Baldridge Quality Award or even a JD Powers Patient Satisfaction award, how can you say with a straight face that your healthcare is world-class?

With that kind of marketing coming from agencies and marketing departments, this is what makes it so difficult to get people to understand the true nature of marketing. It is all about the marketing strategy. And there is a great gaping hole lacking some serious marketing strategy.

Figure out the right strategy first, then the rest comes easy.

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