Posts Tagged ‘healthcare marketing

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

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.

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.

21
Jun
11

5 Ways to Get the Media to Pick Up Your Story – Part 1 of 3

Please welcome guest blogger, healthcare communications professional Rachel Brand who will bring The Side Note a series of three blogs for the next three weeks on health care public relations.

Do you want to write more compelling press releases and earn more coverage?

You should. Health care is ripe with dramatic medical rescues, fascinating technology, unsung heroes and stirring ethical debates. But these stories often don’t get told. That’s because pr pros are writing leads like this:

IMPORTANT RESOURCES FOR INSURANCE AGENTS, BROKERS, HEALTH-RELATED ORGANIZATIONS AND COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANIZATIONS

The new health insurance plan, authorized by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, is designed to provide coverage to uninsured individuals who have been denied health insurance or been offered only unaffordable options.

Sure, it’s important. But is it interesting? And – will it drive coverage?

1. Lead with the impact

For your next lede, ask yourself out loud, “what does it mean to the man in the green pick-up truck?” You can see him, across the park under the tree, sitting in his rusty forest green truck.

In other words, how does your news benefit, effect or change the lives of real people?

How about:

Thousands of uninsured Americans, desperate for healthcare coverage because they are chronically ill, can now see a doctor thanks to a new federally funded health insurance plan.

But what if your program doesn’t have any direct impact on people, at least not yet? Then…

2. Lead with people

Whether you are promoting a walk to fight cancer, a rally for homelessness, or the appointment of new CEO of your hospital, find a person and tell his or her story. Better, yet, tell the story of an important person in an unusual way.

Typical CEO appointment releases have headlines/first paragraphs like this:

LARRY LEADER APPOINTED CEO OF ST. ELIZABETH’S REGIONAL HOSPITAL

(Anytown, USA) Lawrence Leader, currently the COO of St. Elizabeth’s Regional Hospital, has been appointed CEO of the hospital. He takes over as current CEO Marcy Mercy retires after a long and distinguished career.

But what if you took a half hour to find out Larry’s story?

The results might be:

MEDIC, HOSPITAL PORTER, NOW CEO – ST. ELIZABETH’S NEW CEO HAS SEEN HEALTHCARE FROM THE BOTTOM UP

(Anytown, USA) Larry Leader’s mother, a first-grade schoolteacher in Moline, IL, used to count out coins from her wallet each Saturday morning before grocery shopping. Rarely was there extra to buy candy.

Poor but strong-willed Florence Leader pushed her children to go to college. Larry, the youngest of five, enrolled as an Army medic to pay for it. …

The moral of the story? Writing a compelling press release that leads with the impact or leads with people is a better way to get the media to notice your press release.

(Continued next week)

Rachel Brand is a healthcare communications professional who can teach writing over brown bag lunches at your company. Contact her at rachel (at) brandcommunicationsllc.com.


16
Jun
11

Health Care Marketing: Taking the Social Media Hippocratic Oath

Three key tips for physician-based social media

All physicians have a stake in their public perception; overlooking or minimizing the impact of social media in maintaining that presence is a recipe for disaster. With HIPAA regulations to consider, physicians are in a unique situation regarding their online persona. Here are a few tips designed to help physicians maintain a professional online presence and preserve the integrity of their relationship with patients. These tips are consistent with the American Medical Association social media policy released in November that highlight some of the things physicians should consider when focusing on their online presence.

Regularly monitor privacy settingsFacebook recently came under extreme scrutiny for unleashing face recognition software that provides identity suggestions for tagging people in photographs. A Los Angeles Times story describes the concerns which are part privacy and part the decision of Facebook to release the facial-recognition feature as an ‘opt-out’ feature. Massachusetts Rep. Edward J. Markey, co-chairman of the Congressional Privacy Caucus expressed his frustration, “Requiring users to disable this feature after they’ve already been included by Facebook is no substitute for an opt-in process.”  The only way to disable the feature is to update privacy settings.

Positioning information from a qualified source – The public needs information from the health care community. Providing information from a trusted, qualified health care professional will balance the misinformation gathered from outside sources including the Internet. The best way to do that is to be informative about medical conditions, research, and treatment options in general terms. It is much better to say ‘Adults with the ____ syndrome typically display ____ symptoms, ’ than it is to say, ‘I saw a patient today with _____ syndrome and he/she displayed ____symptoms.’ Even inadvertent disclosure of patient’s health information can be a violation of HIPAA.

Maintain separate personal and professional social media accounts – This tactic has the benefit of allowing for more candor in a personal account and information sharing that is more relevant to that specific account. The professional account will have more work-related messages, inquiries and information. One of the challenges is managing multiple accounts. The solution is to use a social media tool like TweetDeck or HootSuite. Just be sure you know which account you are using to send information at all times.

Most importantly, recognize that online actions and posted content can negatively affect physicians’ reputations and may have career consequences.

Tell us if you’ve implemented policies to guide physicians in their online reputation. Share your thoughts with us on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow us on Twitter at @Weise_Ideas.

14
Mar
11

Groupon Role in Health Care Marketing

Social media is a growing resource for health care information, in a story from Seattle’s NBC affiliate KING, the National Research Corporation claims 20 percent of Americans use social media as a health resource and 25 percent say the information obtained through social media will likely influence health care decisions.

It should come as no surprise that health care organizations are leveraging this trend by turning to Groupon. Organizations are intrigued by the opportunity to attract new patients with no or little insurance for specialty services. However, providing services at such a deep discount means that high levels of customer service and booking return visits are critical.

“Groupon has offered a growing number of deals for eye exams, teeth-cleaning and whitening, electrolysis and chiropractic services. Approximately 15 percent of Groupon deals nationwide are for health care services,” says Julie Anne Mossler, a company spokeswoman. A question that health care marketers must answer: If you attract new business, but end up reaching many uninsured people who appreciate affordable services, how many will end up being loyal full-paying customers?

Below is a selection of recent Groupon deals:

  • Washington, DC Deal: $59 for an Eyeglass Exam and $225 Worth of Prescription Eyeglasses with Lenses at MyEyeDr. ($310 Value)
  • Jacksonville, FL Deal: $99 for a Chemical Peel at Posh Plastic Surgery ($300 Value)
  • San Antonio, TX Deal: $150 for a Consultation, 20 Units of Botox, and a Follow-Up at San Antonio Plastic Surgery Center ($350 Value)
  • Vancouver, WA Deal: $2,100 for Lasik surgery provided by Clearly Lasik ($4,200 Value)

For health care marketers, it appears that elective services are the most popular Groupons. We have not seen Groupons for internal medicine, invasive procedures or more consultative medical issues. A possible gateway could be a Groupon for an array of health care screenings. In the current economic environment, people are looking for a deal and they are looking for that deal online.

Tell us if you think Groupons will become a successful health care marketing tactic or if it’s just for a small group of elective services. Share your ideas with us on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow @Weise_Ideas on Twitter.

 




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