The Pink Coats of Health Care Marketing


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The new paradigm of Health Care Marketing for small practices.

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The Pink Coats of Health Care Marketing

  1. 1. The Pink Coats ofHealth Care Marketing
  2. 2. Change• The HealthCare marketing landscape has changed dramatically over the past decade – Each market will differ, but overall change has happened and will continue to happen – The difference is how sharply the competitive forces in HealthCare marketing and advertising have shifted and intensified
  3. 3. Change• In today’s rough economic times, a HealthCare provider will either stand out from the competition or will be invisible to the decision makers
  4. 4. The Competition Has Shifted• Recently Physicians Have: – Gone from private practice to being employed by a Hospital – Retired or scaled back – Joined or formed a medical group practice – Taken on an aggressive marketing position in the market place – Done nothing and have lost market share
  5. 5. The Competition Has Shifted• Health Care Providers (Home Health, Hospice, Rehab, etc.) Have: – Seen their reimbursement decrease – Been saddled with increase in regulations, requirements and paperwork – Been bought by Payers (Hospital, Managed Care, Insurance Companies) – Seen decrease in self pay patients
  6. 6. The Competition Has Shifted• In the past a solo or small group practice competed mainly against other solo or small group practices• Now they compete against major health systems, large group practices, and specialty providers• Hospital employed physicians might find themselves competing for a slice of the hospital advertising budget
  7. 7. The Competition Has Intensified• What was once a stable marketplace is changing almost daily• Those healthcare providers and medical facilities that remain are more aggressive in their efforts to capture and retain new patients and market share
  8. 8. The Competition Has Intensified• Reimbursements are down• Patients are more selective or scarce• Even the “terms and definitions” have changed – Accountable Care Organization – Bundled Payment Initiative – Health Care Reform
  9. 9. Pink Coats• In these tough economic times, only a few HealthCare providers, Hospitals and other Medical entities will make positive headway• The successful ones are the “Pink Coats” – They distinguish themselves from all the “White Coats”
  10. 10. Pink Coats• Seth Godin’s book, Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable, uses an illustration about marketing that fits today’s HealthCare marketing – If you substitute “service” or “healthcare” where he writes about a “company” his core ideas hold true with HealthCare Marketing and Advertising today
  11. 11. Pink Coats"Cows, after youve seen them for a while, are boring," Godin writes. "They may be well-bred cows, Six Sigma cows, cows lit by a beautiful light, but they are still boring.”“A Purple Cow, though: Now, that would really stand out. The essence of the Purple Cow-the reason it would shine among a crowd of perfectly competent, even undeniably excellent cows-is that it would be remarkable.”“Something remarkable is worth talking about, worth paying attention to. Boring stuff quickly becomes invisible."
  12. 12. Pink Coats• Godin defines a Purple Cow (Pink Coat) as anything; – Phenomenal – Counterintuitive – Exciting – Remarkable• Every day Patients and prospective patients ignore a lot of brown cows (White Coats), but a Purple Cow (Pink Coat) would be something to catch their attention
  13. 13. Pink Coats• In contrast with the sea of “White Coats”, “Pink Coats” makes the point that creating and marketing a consistently remarkable product, service and brand inspires notice and wins new businessYou can be remarkable, or you can be invisible
  14. 14. Reasons Patients Choose Specific Providers• People prefer to buy brands because they want to reduce perceived risk• People buy brands for status• People refer more often and passionately to a brand they like and trust
  15. 15. How to Use Branding• Providers can build and accelerate reputation through branding• Providers can attract more of the cases they want through branding• Branding will give the Provider a competitive advantage• A branded Provider will be worth more than a non-branded Provider
  16. 16. Messaging of Differentiation• In the increasingly competitive and constantly changing healthcare environment, a strong message (Brand) of differentiation in HealthCare advertising attracts positive notice, inspires name recognition and recall, and enhances professional reputation – It also provides a stronger footing for making any business or personal changes that might be appropriate in the future
  17. 17. Message of Differentiation• In fact, fitting in and being just like every other “white coat” may be the most risky course in a dynamic period – In a crowded marketplace being the same may seem like the safe course • In fact not standing out-in a positive and remarkable way-is the same as being invisible • If you are seen as a commodity and interchangeable with everyone/anyone else, you are not seen at all
  18. 18. How to be a Pink Coat• Differentiate your customers – Find the group thats most profitable – Find the group thats most likely to influence other customers – Figure out how to develop for, advertise to, or reward either group – Ignore the rest – Cater to the customers you would choose if you could choose your customers.
  19. 19. How to be a Pink Coat• If you could pick one underserved niche to target (and to dominate), what would it be? – Retail Examples of products and services already sold or provided in larger locations but are successful in a niche environment: • Toys R Us (Toys) • Barnes and Noble (Books) • Hobby Lobby (Crafts) • Northwest Surgery Center (Surgery) • Doc in a Box (Simple Health Care) • DSW (Shoes)
  20. 20. How to be a Pink Coat• Create two teams: the inventors and the providers• The two teams should be recruited by every level of your organization – Let them work independently – Let the inventors develop the next program or service – Let the providers develop the implementation – Rotate people around
  21. 21. How to be a Pink Coat• Start with your best customers (patients)• Do you have the email addresses of the 25% of your customer base that loves what you do? – If not, start getting them – If you do, what could you make for them that would be “super special”?
  22. 22. How to be a Pink Coat• Remarkable isnt always about changing the biggest machine in your factory, service in your practice, procedures performed, etc. – It can be the way you answer the phone, launch a new brand, decorate your office, or price a revision to your service (bundling) – Getting in the habit of doing the “Pink Coat" thing every time you have the opportunity is the best way to see whats working and whats not
  23. 23. How to be a Pink Coat• Explore the limits – What if youre the cheapest, the fastest, the slowest, the hottest, the coldest, the easiest, the most efficient, the loudest, the most hated, the copycat, the outsider, the hardest, the oldest, the newest, or just the most! – If theres a limit, you should (must) test it
  24. 24. How to be a Pink Coat• Think small – One vestige of the TV-industrial complex is a need to think of mass markets – If it doesnt appeal to everyone, the thinking goes, its not worth it – No longer – Think of the smallest conceivable market and describe a product that over-whelms it with its “remarkability” – Go from there
  25. 25. How to be a Pink Coat• Find things that are "just not done" in your industry, and then go ahead and do them – For example, JetBlue Airways almost instituted a dress code -- for its passengers! • The company is still playing with the idea of giving a free airline ticket to the best-dressed person on the plane – A plastic surgeon could offer gift certificates – Packaging services into one service (Executive Physicals)
  26. 26. How to be a Pink Coat• Ask, "Why not?" – Almost everything you “dont do” has no good reason for it – Almost everything you “dont do” is the result of fear or inertia or a historical lack of someone asking, "Why not?"
  27. 27. Fred J. Tyson PhD 239-822-3769 The Pink Coats ofHealth Care Marketing