How are you the hospital marketing and communications expert telling the value story to the healthcare consumer and patient? It is an important question. With the healthcare world turned upside down, and consumers are now becoming an involved new stakeholder, how you answer the question will quickly determine market success or failure.
The hospital and health system are in an undifferentiated market.
It’s not about quality. Quality is equal among hospitals in the consumers mind. We all know it’s not, but hospitals have done remarkable work using marketing communications without any quality substantial proof points to back up the claims. It’s the adage if one says something loud enough and long enough, people will believe. As an inadvertent consequence of the effort, quality as a differentiator is off the table for the healthcare consumer.
It’s not about clinical services and programs because hospitals try to be everything to everyone and have similar if not the same offerings. Most of the marketing communications when one analyzes the content across the spectrum of hospitals in a market is pretty much the same.
So if it’s not about the quality or what the hospital or health systems has in the way of capability, now what?
In today's world, it's about value, for the healthcare consumer.
Can you answer the healthcare consumer’s question of why should I use the hospital or health system? After all, with the diagnostic and treatment options available to the healthcare consumer, the hospital is only needed for three things, emergency care, intensive care and acute care for medically complex conditions?
Enter Value Marketing Communications
Value marketing is making the case to your healthcare consumer how you are solving their medical problem, offering a solution, giving results and even making them happy.
Value marketing communications are about a creative exchange between people and organizations in the marketplace. It is a dynamic transaction that always change based on the needs of the individual compared to what the healthcare team has to offer.
So instead of communicating about the mundane everyday activity, talk meaningfully about the value and benefit. Compelling content with the right context can engage, build relationships and in-and-of-itself provide value.
Instead of talking about programs and services, talk about the value and benefits those same programs and services and what they bring to the healthcare consumer, i.e., outcomes, price, experience and convenience.
Try not putting buildings and the latest high-tech gizmo at the forefront, talk about the value and benefit of what they bring to the healthcare consumer and patient.
Talk to the new stakeholders about the value and how the healthcare enterprise can solve their health problem by offering value-based solutions to their healthcare needs.
The healthcare consumer is awakening and demanding more. More value and benefit for them, not the healthcare enterprise.
Michael is an internationally followed healthcare blogger, business, marketing, and communications strategy thought leader.
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