Sunday, April 1, 2018

Does HIPPO Drive Hospital Marketing? Come on Now, be Honest.

The other day, I heard a hospital advertisement on the radio. A 60-second spot chock full of everything under the sun, including the kitchen sink. Since then, I have had the opportunity to hear it serval more time. I lost track of all the different features packed in 60-seconds within it, without any mention of benefits. Does your audience care that in the jammed packed copy chorus of “all about me,” that you spent one million dollars updating your cardiac cath lab?

The disappointing part is that not anywhere in the ad, was any reason of why I should choose the hospital. Why they are different because from the ad this hospital sounded just like all the other hospitals. What is the benefit to me? What is the value proposition that you gave me to answer the question why I should choose this hospital?  

One could tell from the laundry list of features that there were too many voices in creating that ad. It was a clear case of everyone in leadership being involved and stating add this, and this, and this, and this. My head hurts just thinking about it. Which finally leads me to, is your hospital marketing driven by HIPPO?

Sounds interesting you say? What is this marketing by HIPPO?  Get ready because you may not like the answer.

HIPPO = Highest Internally Paid Person’s Opinion

The not so funny thing about it is that the marketing department will be blamed for the nonsense when really, the question is, was this driven in a large extent by a highest paid person’s opinion?

And that happens a lot in hospital marketing. One maybe two people say something and then it’s the whole universe that acts that way.  I am the highest internally paid person here, so do this. A competitor does this, so you do this. I have made up my mind because I believe this to be true and I am the insert title here- CEO - EVP – VP, etc.

Do you work for a HIPPO driven hospital marketing department? Be honest now.

Does your hospital look like this? Larger than life executive egos (big fish in a little pond)? Lack of sustained focus on the meaning of mission, vision, and values beyond executive decree? Short attention span due to constantly shifting plans and priorities? The inability to execute operationally driven by crisis and chaos? Adherence to that “this is the way we have always done it so way we are doing it that way”? 

But wait, there's more as we continue along the path of marketing HIPPO characteristics. Is organizational communication poor, and marketing makes things look pretty? And the best one of all - proposed marketing solutions are seen an “elegant” and not as the right way to build revenue and brand because they aren’t expedient.  It’s all about the HIPPO and what they believe regardless of any data-driven outcomes as to what people need and want.

In today’s world of lightning-fast change, social media and the growing power of the healthcare consumer with more of an economic stake, you can’t afford ineffective and inefficient healthcare marketing.  That doesn’t build a strong brand. That doesn’t provide you with a competitive advantage. And most importantly, it doesn’t engage the healthcare consumer in any meaningful way.

If you are not engaging the healthcare consumer on their terms by giving them the outcome and value reasons for why they could choose you, then you are failing.

It’s not about you anymore; it’s all about the healthcare consumer. Don’t be a HIPPO.

Michael is a healthcare business, marketing, communications strategist and thought-leader.  As an internationally followed healthcare strategy blogger, his blog, Healthcare Marketing Matters is read in  52 countries and listed on the 100 Top Healthcare Marketing Blogs, and Websites ranked at No. 3 on the list by Michael is a Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives, Professional Certified Marketer, American Marketing Association. As an expert in digital marketing & social media with a Klout score of 64, Michael is in the top 10 percent of social media experts nationwide.  Michael is an established influencer and inquires for strategic consulting engagements can be made by calling   815-351-0671. Opinions expressed are my own.

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