Is hospital marketing a tool that can do more than just sell medical services? With Ebolaprevalent in the news, public health is on people’s minds. Hospitals can use this to help focus the attention of healthcare consumers on wellness and disease management. Diabetes, hypertension, obesity – these are all public concerns much more likely to affect the local population than Ebola, yet they are often overlooked. How can hospitals work to promote better health in their communities?
Understand Local Health Concerns
It starts with just understanding what health concerns are common in your area. Hospitals in the Hamptons don’t worry much about starving children, but it is a common problem in low income areas. ABC News reports that 49 percent of the babies born in the U.S. have parents that rely on food supplement programs.
Focus your hospital marketing on community health concerns, so you don’t waste valuable resources on less critical issues.
Set a Good Example
Create healthy standards within the hospital. Set up wellness promotions for staff that focus on weight loss, chronic disease prevention, staying fit and smoking cessation. This will send a message to the public that the hospital practices what it preaches. Encourage your business partners to set similar standards for their employees.
Reach out to local businesses and help them develop wellness strategies, as well. Marketing wellness promotions to employers will trickle down to the residents living in the town.
Set Up Preventative Services throughout the Community
This strategy does two things:
- It increases public awareness of current health issues.
- It puts the name of the hospital in the limelight.
Both work towards one common goal – better public health. Set up immunization sites to vaccinate children and provide flu shots. Expand cancer screening efforts by utilizing local community centers, festivals, schools and even churches. Offer diabetes prevention classes at adult education facilities or at the hospital.
Use Hospital Marketing to Empower the Community
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that making healthy options easier to manage will empower consumers to make better choices. For example, the hospital could offer free nutrition classes. How about a mobile app that helps pick healthy foods while grocery shopping?
Hospital marketing campaigns can target special public issues, as well. An ad pointing out the importance of breastfeeding addresses a public need while promoting the hospital at the same time. Targeting family members in the marketing plans will increase their awareness, too. Grandmothers and fathers are a new mother’s support system, after all.
Make Use of Social Media
Hospital marketing today means making the most of online resources like social media. Use online forums such as Patientslikeme to promote wellness campaigns. You can set up a forum on the hospital website to get people talking, too.
If hospitals can see beyond finances when it comes to marketing development, they do more than just promote their brand. A hospital is a critical asset to any community – use that power to improve public health with responsible hospital marketing.