Archive for the 'Health care marketing' Category

05
Sep
13

Healthier Marketing: Taco Bell Cutting the Cord On Kids’ Meals

Fast food chains have been constantly under critique since pediatric obesity became a leading medical issue.  The convenience and favorable taste of fast food makes kids’ meals wildly popular,

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 their high calorie count and low nutritional value makes them highly criticized.  The unhealthy food is not the only problem.  Criti

In recent years, chains have begun to listen to health advisers. They claim to make steps toward healthier options, however, these changes might just be cosmetic, rather than a true interest in a creating healthier community.cs have long despised the marketing tactics of these restaurants, especially their relationship with children. The toy offering with each kid’s meal has been called unethical since children beg for the toy, not understanding the unhealthy food that comes along with it.

So far, Taco Bell has become the first national fast food chain to eliminate kid’s meals.  This decision was made following intense pressure from health advocates to eliminate the meals in order to promote healthier food choices for children.  However, CEO Greg Creed says that the pressure from the advocates was not the only force driving the elimination.  Creed says kid’s meals were not profitable for the company, representing only .5% of total sales, and the meals did not suit their target market of millennials.

Other fast food chains feeling heat from health advocates include Jack In The Box which eliminated the kid’s meal option in 2007, however Jack In The Box not a national chain.  For their Kids’ meals, McDonald’s, added apples and downsized the fries. Yet the toys still remain and the kids want them. Trust me, I was specifically asked by my five year old for dinner from McDonald’s last week so he could “get a cool toy”. Which I interpret to be: a piece of plastic crap surrounded by junk food he barely likes and hardly eats. And yet McDonald’s got my money.

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According to various reports, the real reason most brands eliminate kid’s meals or add healthier options is to increase their brand image.  Taco Bell looks good to health advocates and to the public by eliminating possible deceptive marketing to children that comes from offering cool toys in meals. Also, these other options do an excellent job of bringing customers in the doors, where they usually continue to buy the unhealthier menu choices and a profit is still made.

Should brands shift towards healthier food options, even if its not for healthier reasons?  Should Taco Bell be praised for eliminating the kid’s meal, even though they are doing it for primarily fiscal reasons? Is McDonald’s still king because apples are in  happy meals and the fries are smaller, or does it really make any difference?

Tell us what you think in the comments, and head over to our Facebook or Twitter at @weise_ideas.  Be sure to visit us at at WeiseIdeas.com

23
Jul
13

Healthcare Marketing: British Fertility Campaign Controversy: How Old is Too Old to Have a Baby?

The Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a baby boy yesterday, continuing the conversation over delayed child rearing in Britain.  Duchess Catherine has now had her first son at 31 years of age.  Her pregnancy demonstrates the recent trend of women in Britain choosing to have children later in life.Image

According to First Response, a UK pregnancy testing company, women in Britain are postponing child rearing too late in life, which is why the company invested in a new fertility advertising campaign. The campaign, dubbed “Get Fertile Britain,” aims to shock, provoke, and some say shame, women in the UK to think about the consequences of delaying childbirth.

The campaign’s advertisement, receiving the bulk of the criticism, is a portrait of 46-year-old TV personality Kate Garraway, dressed as a heavily pregnant 70-year-old woman.

Relying on the shock value of the advertisement to stir conversations, First Response says the goal of the campaign is to alert women to think about fertility at a younger age, as studies have found that fertility declines with age starting in early thirties and declines rapidly after 37.

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First Response is overtly concerned because statistics have shown that women in the UK are choosing to delay childbirth more than women in any other country. The average British woman has her first child around 30 years of age, which is five years later than the average American woman. Many wom

en put off raising children because of student debt, the cost of raising a child, work and other life obstacles.

The campaign is receiving a lot of international attention, stirring up controversy among many women, some stating that “those struggling with infertility don’t need to see a wrinkly old mum” and that “the campaign is wrong, misogynistic, and naïve.” Many women feel the campaign is shaming them for making the choice to prolong childrearing.

According to a recent study, 70 percent of women in Britain want to have children and the majority are planning to have their first child in their early thirties.  75 percent are not concerned about their ability to conceive; however, those women over 40 years of age that needed IVF assistance were “shocked” that they needed fertility treatments in order to conceive.

What are your thoughts on the “Get Britain Fertile” campaign? Do you find it effective or offensive? Tell us in a comment below and at Facebook or Twitter.

06
Feb
13

“2013 Health Care Advertising: Looking for Answers”

Here is a preview of my featured article,”2013 Health Care Advertising: Looking for Answers, seen in the February issue of The Review.

To read the entire article, click here.

With the future of health care evolving, consumer behavior and attitudes must be examined. Weise Communications Co-founder and President Tracy Weise offers her top five suggestions for health care advertising and consumer engagement for 2013.

1.            Create Medical Communities through Social Media

Hospitals and health care systems can optimize outreach to educate consumers by moving beyond corporate websites and creating a strong social media presence via social media sites, blogs, referrals and webinars.

2.             Increase Engagement with Mobile Media

As more consumers utilize their smart phones and tablets for Web browsing, medical apps will allow consumers to order medication, set appointments, learn about health initiatives and obtain the contact information of health care institutions.

3.            Take a Broad Approach to Community Wellness

Online and offline advertising communication messages featuring, “well care” not just “sick care” will motivate consumers to take control of their own health in order to decrease hospital readmissions.

4.            Be Keenly Aware of the Competition

In order to prevent patients from traveling far and wide seeking optimal doctors and ideal medical costs, health care advertising can lesson competition for the health care consumer by creating specific and consistent messages to target audiences.

5.            Show Sensitivity for Consumer Anxiety Through Proactive, Targeted Communications

Health care institutions can ease consumer fears of the changing health marketplace by emphasizing positive messages about health care changes, providing dedication to community health, and advocating for the most profitable health care institutional services.

 

19
Dec
12

Healthcare Marketing Predictions for 2013

X_Ray_Heart_by_mmattes_GreenBlack1With the major healthcare reform provisions slated to take effect in 2014, less than 13 months away, Weise Communications believes 2013 will be a year of preparing for those changes to occur. As we have spent the last year with physicians, medical practitioners, highly publicized medical facilities and budding health and wellness entrepreneurs, we have compiled our list of healthcare marketing predictions for 2013.

Physicians and medical professionals will embrace technology to enhance the patient experience. We foresee software as a service (SaaS) combining with platform as a service (PaaS) to provide cloud-based solutions that will enhance EMR and patient communications.

Consumers are abandoning PC/desktop computers, the entire medical community will need to adapt to tablets and mobile. 2013 will be the year that the luxury of a mobile optimized website will no longer be optional.

HIPAA for mobile will be a massive concern for 2013, so EMR costs will continue to rise. Mobile will be an extraordinary opportunity for marketers in 2013.

More than ever before, patients are becoming advocates for their own health and wellness. They are relying on sources like WebMD and Everyday Health for information. Also, they are using social media for validation and referrals. There will be more pressure on medical facilities to embrace social media to ensure accurate information is being delivered from a reputable source.

Franchising and licensing will continue to be a business model that ensures affordable and accessible healthcare treatment options. It will also provide an alternative to the increasing amount of government involvement in the healthcare decision-making process.

Let us know your healthcare marketing prediction for 2013, and we’ll plan on discussing how accurate we are at SHSMD 2013 in Chicago. Share your thoughts with us on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow @Weise_Ideas on Twitter.

 

12
Dec
12

Healthcare Advertising: E-Cigarettes; Messaging Targets Many Audiences

The marketing of Electronic Cigarettes, the “cigarette alternative,” is becoming more aggressive and reaching larger audiences. While these devices have been available for several years, the advertising is now reaching new venues. Advertising can be seen on cable TV and is pervasive with online videos. Websites clad with sexy women in sultry positions and superhero men puffing on electronic cigs are easy to find. Adding in fun and young flavors such as bubblegum, strawberry, chocolate and peach and you have a whole fun new and sexy category of safe smoking. This ultimately creates a market for e-cigs that include non-smokers.

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An article by Anthony Nagy from Business Insider discusses the advertising messages presented by manufacturers of e-cigs. I agree with Nagy’s overall assessment that the marketers are missing an opportunity to message the health benefits of the devices. If, as proponents state, it is true that this is a great alternative for those addicted to the unhealthy habit of smoking, then shouldn’t the messages tailored for smokers include this health message?

We did find one such an example:

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The New York Times suggests that many of the current campaigns are reminiscent of iconic cigarette ads. Clearly those campaigns were successful and with the prevalence of online ordering, it is a strong possibility that a youth market will be intrigued and motivated by the campaigns. After all, what teenager does not want to be sexy and strong? Without the prevalence of the aforementioned health messaging, however, I wonder if the campaigns will be the first step in developing young smokers? Is it possible that e-cigarettes could the gateway to smoking real cigarettes rather than (or in addition to) the bridge to quit?

What do you think about the marketing for e-cigs? Are they reaching audiences in the right way? Will the marketing of these devices lead to a healthier society with less smoking or create a new era of people who jump from electronic cigarettes to real ones?

Share your thoughts here or on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow us on Twitter at @Weise Ideas.

25
Sep
12

Top Ten Things We Learned at SHSMD 2012

Attendees of SHSMD2012 are back at their home locations plotting a return to Chicago in 2013, attempting to sync their Poken and wondering if they missed anything from Saturday morning’s keynote, Thomas Goetz (he only spoke to about 20% of the audience Ari Fleisher had on Thursday). While everyone will have their personal take-aways, Tracy Weise, Jay Weise and I developed a top ten list of things we learned in Philadelphia.

1. Hospitals and all medical facilities are overturning every rock for ideas, actionable plans to reduce readmission rates. The most effective tactic so far is educating the family of a patient and allowing the pressure of a loved one to encourage post-hospital stay behavior.

2. Awesome description of the difference between the nuance of healthcare system and service line marketing: The healthcare system branding creates a promise, the service line marketing delivers on the promise created.

3. The overwhelming majority of attendees were unconcerned about outcome of Presidential election as it relates to healthcare reform. Some things are in place and will stay in place; other things will change regardless of who wins.

4. Acceptance of the “must do” strategies in the American Hospital Association report:

    • Increase Hospital-Physician alignment
    • Improve the quality of patient safety
    • Make advancements in hospital efficiency
    • Develop an integrated information system

5. In a session that included an interactive questionnaire, Lack of strategy, lack of time and lack of staff were the biggest reasons offered for not implementing a robust social media plan. However, an argument can be made that there is still a lack of knowledge about social media in the healthcare marketing community.

    • Only 1.1% of the 1,300 SHSMD2012 attendees checked into the SHSMD 2012 Conference using the location based social media platform foursquare
    • Only 6.2% of the attendees tweeted using the hashtag ‘#SHSMD12

This begs the question, why are healthcare marketing experts reluctant to embrace an important ‘patient experience’ tool?

6. Web 2.0 and social media are working for patient acquisition: There were two case studies, Mayo Clinic and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital with tangible results and the programs were replicable.

7. It is massively important to incorporate a disciplined planning approach to service lines prior to budget season, otherwise you’ll budget before you plan and back into the programs you can afford. At the same time you must engage physicians in the planning process and they must see action otherwise you’ll never get buy-in in future years.

8. Nobody really knows what the ACO landscape will look like, if any so called expert tells you otherwise, they don’t know what they are talking about. They may fool you, but don’t let them make a fool out of you.

9. The quantitative data to effectively manage your medical facility is available, be sure to incorporate qualitative data from physicians to complete the story.  Be sure to deep dive into data analysis if the results are contrary to the generally held opinions of hospital leadership, otherwise you have an uphill battle trying to change minds.

10. Best Quotes from SHSMD2012 – if you said any of these, you know who you are:

    • Overheard at the end of concurrent sessions on day 1: “I am ready to nap dangerously.”
    • In a session when the presenter was making a transition from social media to anal reconstruction surgery, “Before we dive into bowel movements…”
    • In a session responding to a question about strategies, objectives and tactics: “People have a harder time with strategies because they are squishy.”
    • In the exhibit hall, “Hospitals are concerned about patient tracking after they leave the hospital, but why has the term out migration been replaced with leakage.”

Want to find out more about what we learned at SHSMD 2012? Give us a call. Want to add to this list, share your thoughts here or on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow us on Twitter at @Weise_Ideas.

06
Dec
11

Find Blood via Facebook

Most treatments depend on blood. And finding a matching donor can be a problem for many hospitals and clinics around the world.

Now in India, a project called SocialBlood.org is saving lives. The Facebook-powered campaign encourages blood donations and enables potential donors and recipients to make contact with one another through the online forum.

Social Blood connects people who has same blood type. Choose your blood type from the website and join the Facebook group. It’s that easy. After you become a  member of your blood type group, you can invite your friends, post a message in emergency or respond to requests for blood donations.

“A recent post from a man asking for blood for his daughter received 74 responses in 24 hours,” said 22-year-old Social Blood Founder Karthik Naralasetty.

This simple idea of connecting via Facebook is taking social media to the next level. Could your health organization benefit from a similar campaign?

Let us know what you think about Social Blood, we would love to hear your feedback and comments here on The Side Note, or via Twitter @Weise_Ideas or on Facebook.

30
Nov
11

Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit

There are many diets and many work out programs today. People are always trying to find the best way to be healthy. At times trying to whip yourself into shape can seem impossible. Drew Manning is a personal trainer from Utah and he is going the extra mile to show that you can lose those pesky pounds and eat right. In May he started an unprecedented journey that has gotten worldwide attention. He was tired of hearing that he didn’t know what it was like to be overweight or unhealthy. So, he decided to start the journey of fit to fat to fit. He quit exercising and quit following his strict diet. He started eating without restriction and even let people choose meals they wanted to see him eat. After six months of an unrestricted diet and gaining more than 70 pounds, he has started his journey back to fit. Manning appeared on The Jay Leno Show and Dr. Oz where he shared his experience of exercising and breaking his new addiction to Zingers and Mountain Dew.

Manning has taken the phrase “lead by example” to heart. Rather than sitting on the sidelines coaching people about fitness, he is on the front lines showing them by example that it can be done. He is demonstrating an excellent way to communicate. People can understand more when they are shown rather than told what to do. People of all professions can learn a thing or two about Manning’s message.

I for one am looking forward to seeing him accomplish this goal and see the many people he will inspire. You can follow his journey at http://www.fit2fat2fit.com/.

P.S. Thanks to our long distance intern Jeff Larsen for this post.

20
Sep
11

Top Ten Things We Learned at SHSMD2011

Attendees of SHSMD2011 are all dealing with re-entry work, attempting to sync their Poken and evaluating to-do lists based on the SHSMD conference. While everyone will have their personal take-aways, Jay Weise and I developed a top ten list of things we heard and learned in Phoenix.

1. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act includes provisions about IRS oversight of requirements that nonprofit healthcare providers must meet in order to maintain their tax-exempt status. Nonprofit organizations are seeking assistance to track community benefit programs and keep it in a format approved by the IRS. This is an opportunity for the right company.

2. HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) is a national survey that asks patients about their experiences during a recent hospital stay.  When will the general public adopt HCAHPS as criteria they use to select a hospital? Unfortunately, there is a lot of focus by hospital administration on these scores, but no evidence that a patient is using it in the hospital selection process.

3. The new buzzword, ‘Patient Experience’ Not patient-centered, not patient-centric, not patient-focused…Patient Experience.  This is intended to represent the totality of the interactions and perceptions of interactions between the patient and the health care facility. Patients with a more favorable experience are more likely to adhere to treatment protocol, have a positive outcome and provide favorable recommendations to others.

4. A big question from the conference: is government mandated health care constitutional? When will a ruling that provides certainty occur? How much legislative change will occur to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act prior to the large provisions taking effect in 2014?

5. From Michael Sachs’ keynote presentation on Friday, Constitutionality ruling on healthcare reform will not affect the macro trends in the healthcare industry.

6. Hospitals are waiting for someone to figure out a strategy for Accredited Care Organizations (ACO’s) before they adopt it. Right now there is too much uncertainty and confusion. ACO’s are too far away from current Key Performance Indicators.

7. From Jeff Bauer’s keynote presentation on Saturday, “By 2020, there will be more people living in the United States under 18 that were born outside the U.S. than were born inside the U.S.” The impact on medical treatments will be far-reaching. For example, men of Korean descent do not have the genetic enzyme to process the anti-depression drug, serotonin. How will this effect care, drug protocols, pharmaceutical company focus and online information?

8. Marketing strategist in healthcare organizations are the only people in the organization that can bring the customers point of view to strategy. Hospital Administrators are counting on the marketing strategist voice. Marketers need to speak up.

9. Healthcare marketers must consider the system of care is not inside the hospital walls, it is outside of it. Healthcare marketing strategists must take the leadership position and consider all entry points including: the website, community events, referral lines, physician offices, etc.

10. Integration across multiple platforms of data and across functional areas within a medical facility must occur to provide value to patients. The cost-efficiencies will be mandated in health care reform and are essential in a competitive environment.

Maybe we should have called this a top fourteen list because we have to include some of our favorite quotes:

“Patients fear rude doctors and nurses more than death.” – Colleen Sweeney, Director of Innovation, Ambassador, and Customer Services,
Memorial Health System, South Bend, IN

“HIPAA is the mullet of patient safety, your data is not as protected as you think.” – David McDonald, CEO, True North Custom Media, Chattanooga, TN

“Be realistic when setting Facebook goals for any hospital. Who really wants to LIKE a hospital?” – Dean Browell, Executive Vice President, Feedback, Richmond, VA

“The FDA has rejected many new cancer drugs because they were tested on the wrong kinds of cancer.” – Jeffrey C. (Jeff) Bauer, Ph.D. Health Futurist and Medical Economist, Chicago, IL

Want to find out more about what we learned at SHSMD 2011? Give us a call. Want to add to this list, share your thoughts here or on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow us on Twitter at @Weise_Ideas.

17
Aug
11

Can Mobile Technology Help Create a Better Health Care System?

Mobile technology could help reform health care and change the way illness is treated all over the world.

One of the most important things is how mobile applications could change the health care systems focus on reactive care and treatment to preventative strategies. If health care could focus on prevention, then less time would be spent on immediate treatment in hospitals and doctors’ offices, cutting costs of health care significantly. This is especially important for developing nations, given the ratio of doctors to patients is significantly lower than that of developed nations.

Along with a more preventative approach, mobile technology could help distribute the responsibilities. Allowing people to have help at there figure tips and not have to run the nearest hospital.

Four tips to begin mobile technology focused health care are:

  1. Getting Comfortable with Non-Clinical Sources
    Patients sharing with patients could be a huge untapped community. While doctors and nurses may not feel it is appropriate to share due to potential privacy violations, patients could share with each other.
  2. Build Tools to Support
    Create tools to remind patients of vaccinations dates, appointments, or preventative visits. Build this into your practice now
  3. Find Systems that are Working to Support People, then Build on Them
  4. Start Small and Learn Your Way to the Right Solutions Through a Deep Understanding of Patient and User Context

The biggest hurtle for mobile health care technology is existing regulatory and reimbursement structures in place, especially in the U.S. It may take a while for mobile health care to take off, but being ready for adopting is key since it may be one of the greatest outlets for improving patient care and costs.

How do you think mobile technology will impact health care? We’d love to hear from you.




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