Skip to main content

"Groundhog Day" In Health Care

THE TAKEAWAY: Don't try to create strategic separation by informing your marketplace that you’re JUST NOW offering something that’s been commonplace for decades in the rest of the world.

So...I was driving to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport yesterday evening, when I hear a radio ad for a local hospital, one I competed with for two decades (at least when we weren’t doing joint ventures together. But I digress...) Said ad spent 60 breezy, breathless seconds praising the facility’s “new” wireless IT infrastructure.

Wow! Think about it! Wireless ANYWHERE! So visitors can GET ONLINE! And doctors and nurses can COMMUNICATE WIRELESSLY!

A fairly expensive campaign, I’m assuming, given Chicago’s media costs and the drive time placement on the biggest, baddest station of ‘em all.

And a great campaign...for 1995. And for the exactly three people on the planet who’ve never been to Starbuck’s.

Maybe the campaign’s next ad will tell me all about how they’re connected to the electrical power grid. Hey! We’ve got LIGHTS! And AIR CONDITIONING and everything!

Just when I think health care marketing and branding MIGHT be moving into a new age, something like this jolts me back to the sad reality that there's a lot of 1981-ish thinking out there.


Popular posts from this blog

Being Disrupted Ain't Fun. Deal With It.

Articles about disrupting healthcare, particularly those analogizing, say, Tesla's example with healthcare's current state, are frequently met with a chorus of (paraphrasing here) "Irrelevant! Cars are easy, healthcare is hard." You know, patients and doctors as examples of "information asymmetry" and all that. Well, let me ask you this: assuming you drive a car with a traditional internal combustion engine, how much do you know about the metallurgy in your car's engine block? I'll bet the answer is: virtually nothing. In fact it's probably less than you know about your own body's GI tract. Yet somehow, every day, us (allegedly) ignorant people buy and drive cars without help from a cadre of experts. Most of us do so and live happily ever after (at least until the warranty expires. Warranties...another thing healthcare could learn from Tesla.) Now, us free range dummies - impatient with information asymmetry - are storming healthcar…

Becoming Consumer Friendly In Five Easy Steps...Or Not

An article at offers hospitals 5 steps to becoming more consumer friendly.

If you still think there's a secret sauce to your hospital becoming more "consumer friendly," these 5 steps are as good a place to start as any.  Unfortunately, it's a little like that old Steve Martin comedy bit where he says he'll teach you how to be rich. The first step is to go find a million dollars.

Step 1 from the article is realizing that "...a Medicare beneficiary with chronic conditions is different from a young mom who brings her kids in for an annual check-up." This is market segmentation for beginners, and, yes, one size decidedly does not fit all. I'm sure your marketing team's been saying this for a while.

Steps 2-5: have a strategy, metrics, a champion and resources. OK. Hard to argue with any of those.

But those things, alone or together, won't overcome culture. They're important components to be sure, but insufficient without a …

Behind Every Resume Is A Potential Customer...and Karma.

I recently heard from an executive colleague who, thanks to a merger, found herself looking for her next opportunity. Her story, probably depressingly familiar to many of you, was all about the big black hole of rudeness and non-responsiveness that so often sums up employers' attitudes toward candidates.

This colleague, thinking she'd see the healthcare world from a new vantage point, pursued opportunities with consultants, IT vendors, architects and other suppliers who, far from appreciating her solid resume, were like the 3 Stooges of clueless.

So back to a senior health system role she went, WHERE SHE NOW INITIATES AND MANAGES RFPs FOR SOME OF THE VERY SAME COMPANIES who wouldn't talk to her as a candidate, but profess their LOVE for her now that she's got money to spend on their services.

Not gonna happen. Any guesses who's off the RFP list?

I smiled when I heard her story, imagining the BusDev people working hard to grow the revenue pipeline, all the while b…