Which Hospital Service Line Should You Market?


Which Hospital Service Line Should You Market?

With tight marketing budgets, a dilemma for marketers is how best to allocate the money to many service lines that may need attention. The doctors may complain that their specialty is not being adequately supported. There may even be inter-departmental politics involved and bad feelings that other specialties always seem to get the shout out while they are ignored.

As a marketing manager, you probably do not have the budget or the time to support every service line. What should you do? Here are some suggestions:

Service-line Marketing Dos

  • Strategic focus: Management at one hospital we partner with wanted to increase the number of births in their facility and developed an aggressive goal for the year. It stands to reason that maternity services needed attention.
  • Seasonality: During the flu or allergy season, appropriate services should be advertised.
  • Profitability: More profitable services should be prioritized. 80/20 rule applies here. 80% of the profits come from 20% of the services.
  • Low awareness/underutilization: This is a low hanging fruit. We conducted a survey for a new hospital client and found that more than 30% of the potential patients in their service area did not know about orthopedic services provided at the hospital. We prioritized orthopedic services and the revenue increased by over 30%.
  • Bandwidth: I called an eye doctor for a routine annual exam to find out that her next available appointment is in 16 months. I don’t think she needs promotional support.

Service-line Marketing Don’ts

  • Squeakiest wheel gets the grease: Sometimes the loudest voices get heard. This is not the best criteria to spend marketing dollars.
  • It’s our turn now: Rotating different departments is another poor way to spend money.
  • Our competitors are marketing it: Your situation and their situation may be apples and oranges.
  • Wanting to be fair to everybody: This is not a valid reason for support.