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Hospital Marketing - Messaging Trends- new era of branding and marketing activities from hospitals

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Hospital Marketing

“In India, the hospital services industry is
expected to be worth US$ 81.2 billion by
2015. The Indian...
Hospital Marketing
Medical marketing is a broad term and encompasses a lot of
themes. It could refer to the marketing of

...
Hospital Marketing
A number of factors are contributing to the growth of
hospitals per se.

Increase in life
expectancy

I...
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Hospital Marketing - Messaging Trends- new era of branding and marketing activities from hospitals

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Emergence of medical marketing consultants, MBA courses in hospital management, the beginning of regular advertising campaigns are all heralding a new era of branding and marketing activities from the hospitals themselves.

In this article we aim to explore some of the ‘claims, RTBs (reasons to believe) that hospitals are using in their adverts to market themselves.

Emergence of medical marketing consultants, MBA courses in hospital management, the beginning of regular advertising campaigns are all heralding a new era of branding and marketing activities from the hospitals themselves.

In this article we aim to explore some of the ‘claims, RTBs (reasons to believe) that hospitals are using in their adverts to market themselves.

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Hospital Marketing - Messaging Trends- new era of branding and marketing activities from hospitals

  1. 1. Hospital Marketing “In India, the hospital services industry is expected to be worth US$ 81.2 billion by 2015. The Indian hospital services sector generated revenue of over US$ 45 billion in 2012. This revenue is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20 per cent during 2012-2017, according to a RNCOS report titled, „Indian Medical Device Market Outlook to 2017‟.” www.ibef.org Page 1 of 17
  2. 2. Hospital Marketing Medical marketing is a broad term and encompasses a lot of themes. It could refer to the marketing of Drugs Hospitals Allied patient care services Equipment Diagnostic services A closer look at the medical market in India shows that hospitals are the fastest growing vertical of this industry. Page 2 of 17
  3. 3. Hospital Marketing A number of factors are contributing to the growth of hospitals per se. Increase in life expectancy Increasing affordability - more so in urban areas Advent of medical tourism Rise in health insurance penetration numbers especially among the urban denizens and increased patient awareness and demand for better services Page 3 of 17
  4. 4. Hospital Marketing One can expect a lot more players in the hospital space within the medical market. Emergence of medical marketing consultants, MBA courses in hospital management, the beginning of regular advertising campaigns are all heralding a new era of branding and marketing activities from the hospitals themselves. In this article we aim to explore some of the ‘claims, RTBs (reasons to believe) that hospitals are using in their adverts to market themselves. Page 4 of 17
  5. 5. Hospital Marketing 1. We have the STAR DOCTOR Hospitals are aggressively marketing either individual Doctors or a team of Doctors they have to service their patients. The ads within this theme focus on the achievements of the doctor and his team and we find words like pioneer, leading, best etc. used to cue a sense of better than the rest. Page 5 of 17
  6. 6. Hospital Marketing 2. We have the STAR TEAM We find that in such advertising not only is the doctor's lab coat leveraged but also specific cues that tell us these are surgeons are shown. So typically you will find the team wearing blue, green colour surgical attires along with the appropriate head gear. Showcasing a team of doctors dedicated to particular illness lends a feeling of professionalism to the hospital. The team dressed in a uniform and with smiles in an ad gives a feeling of ‘working towards a goal’. It helps create a sense of credibility for the hospital. In the medical field nothing works more than the name of the doctor! Page 6 of 17
  7. 7. Hospital Marketing 3. Consistent Excellence Over Time Another claim that we find in this sector is one that focuses on consistent excellence over time. It helps separate the men from the boys. It cues that everybody can be good but only some great brands stay at the top and offer the best in class services consistently In the ad below we see Apollo Hospitals focusing on ‘11 years of excellence’ to drive home the above point. Page 7 of 17
  8. 8. Hospital Marketing At times we also see a more in your face version of the consistence excellence over time claim as shown in the advertisement below. Here a specialist facility from Fortis highlights their track record of successful deliveries and procedures and also shows the efficiencies of the NICU via a numeric cue. Page 8 of 17
  9. 9. Hospital Marketing 3A. Best in class service everywhere A variant of the consistent excellence over time is the claim consistent best service everywhere as shown in the above advertisement for Apollo Emergency Services Page 9 of 17
  10. 10. Hospital Marketing 4. Acrredited by the best/most relevant body Any accreditation means delivery of a certain value for the patients. Moreover these accreditations increase the credibility of the hospital. It is believed that in this sector accreditation over time leads to four types of impacts. They are 1. Change of practice 2. Impact on health care outcomes 3. Organisational and managerial change 4. Impact on patient satisfaction Here are two examples of brands leveraging accreditation in their communication material. Page 10 of 17
  11. 11. Hospital Marketing 5. Packages and Gifts Till recently the term “packages & gifts” was something we equated with the hospitality industry and not with hospital services. However off late things are changing. A lot of super speciality hospitals now offer a 2 day – 3 night stay at the hospital at a fixed rate for regular surgeries such as gall bladder removal, hernia etc. Hinduja Hospital for example mentions 1 day packages for diagnostic services. Page 11 of 17
  12. 12. Hospital Marketing La Femme talks about special ante natal and birthing packages in their communication. Page 12 of 17
  13. 13. Hospital Marketing These packages are further classified according to the affordability of the patient. This strategy has also helped hospitals increase their business through the rural belts in India and to cash in on international patients and has led to the explosion of the medical tourism phenomenon Page 13 of 17
  14. 14. Hospital Marketing 6. Pioneers The pioneer - ship claim ensures that the hospital brand is seen as innovative and leading edge in terms of latest of technical knowhow. Over time it ensure greater credibility, trust and market value for the brand Page 14 of 17
  15. 15. Hospital Marketing Though we find many instances of using some RTB, claim in hospital advertisements what is still missing is clear cut brand positioning cues. Thus communications cues are still very product/ service centric and not yet brand centric. Thus we can say that we are in the stage 2 of the evolution of brand model where the brand acts as a reference: According to the http://www.onlineresearchjournals.com/ajbe/art/59.pdf- “In this stage the goal of marketers and brand managers is to position the brand as having unique functional benefits distinctive name so as to differentiate it from other brands. In doing so the brand can be protected through trade mark registration, giving it a legal protection against imitators and denoting the source of ownership. In the early stages of the product life Page 15 of 17
  16. 16. Hospital Marketing cycle, the brand is differentiated on various attributes in order to get the competitive advantage so as to have the brand preference by the consumers over the competitors. Differentiation is achieved by emphasizing on the product attributes continuously as in the initial stages consumers are still in the process of learning about the Brand. Identification requires only that the consumer be aware of the brand name; differentiation requires more of the consumer, i.e. they require some knowledge about the product. The first type of knowledge that consumers might want is product-related information such as superiority of product attributes or quality. These networks are mostly categorical in nature in that they differentiate brands primarily on physical attributes. This process is described by Keller (1993) who conceptualizes brand knowledge as having two components: brand awareness and brand image. Awareness consists of brand recall and recognition. The first component of brand knowledge is types of brand associations which consist of attributes, benefits and attitudes. In this stage, the consumer Page 16 of 17
  17. 17. Hospital Marketing learns about the attributes, some of the benefits and begins to form attitudes. The consumer may also form a few favourable and some unique associations with the brand. In summary, in stage 2, most marketing effort concentrates on developing and enhancing functional characteristics of the brand and communicating these to consumers. This, in turn, enables consumers to identify and distinguish the brand from the competition and also acts as a guarantee of consistent quality. Thus, marketers are engaging in a brand positioning process which builds perception of the brand vis-àvis competitive Brands” Typically it is in the next stage that we see the emotional and imagery cues coming in and thus dialling up the role of intangibles. So in the coming days we can expect to see the branding wars in the hospital sector heating up.! Copyright @ Connecting Dots 2013. info@connectingdots.in Page 17 of 17

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