Steve Rivkin, founder of Rivkin & Associates, wrote an article entitled 5 tips for branding a Hospital in Becker’s Hospital Review. His tips focus on reaching an emerging hospital “consumer” interested in seeing transparency from healthcare facilities and identifying with a hospital “brand.” When branding a hospital or other healthcare facility, audio can be employed as a tool to present the facility’s image to patients, staff, and the public. Below are Rivkin’s 5 tips, and how audio can help healthcare facilities follow through on these ideas:
- Think of your brand as a promise. Rivkin suggests thinking about a brand “in the same way as a person’s reputation.” People identify with brands on a personal level, so treating a branded healthcare facility as a person instead of a thing can help develop a brand that reaches the public effectively. By incorporating a human voice into marketing and patient outreach strategies, personal connections between the facility and its visitors can be deepened, as a human voice is more relatable than other audio.
- Understand your strengths and weaknesses. How can you brand your facility if you don’t know what you’re great at, what you’re lacking, and how the community perceives your business? Rivkin suggests reaching out to the community to see what they use as a guide when choosing a healthcare facility and how your facility compares to others in the area. When reaching out to consumers, an audio message can help. Targeted consumers can be reached with an automated telephone survey that incorporates a human voice. Audio can also be used in online outreach efforts, through videos, podcasts, and email messages.
- Differentiate. What makes your facility stand out from your competition? Is it your range of services or high patient care standards? Have you received any awards or high physician ratings? Do you practice some of the latest procedures? You should highlight whatever factors are important to you through your website, social media channels, and through your Message On Hold. Any of the factors that Rivkin suggests for hospital “differentiation” can be included in on hold marketing.
- “Sell” the brand to employees first. Employees are the people who should be living your brand. According to Rivkin, hospitals generally test new marketing strategies internally first. Audio can help when introducing this new brand. Instead of a static PDF, an eLearning program with narration can introduce employees to new concepts. Administrators can be interviewed as part of a video that will explain and build buzz about upcoming changes.
- Market the brand and connect it to the bottom line. As you begin implementing some of the techniques mentioned above, it’s important to track their impact and your return on investment.
Audio is an affordable medium that can be implemented across multiple platforms, helping to instill new brand messages in staff, patients, and the community. Using audio in marketing campaigns can help to create a unified image and “voice.” Through Messages On Hold, website audio, videos, or eLearning plans, using audio can help create a successful, multimedia branding or marketing strategy in the healthcare industry.