NCP Guidelines: Domain 1 - Structure and Processes of Care
December 8, 2018
Top Five Marketing Mistakes
February 4, 2014
I’m working on a longer post regarding logos (see #4 below). In the meantime, here’s a short post outlining a few mistakes hospices, and organizations serving hospices, make regard to their marketing.
#1 Listing the services you offer: Please don’t tell me what you do; tell me how you will help me. The purpose of your marketing is to give people a reason to choose your organization, purchase your services, and/or partner with you. Period. The specific services you will provide to me are secondary to the value you will bring to me. Spend time thinking about the value you bring to people (patients, caregivers, physicians, hospitals, payers, donors) and let the value you provide guide your marketing.
#2 Using your tax status to market your organization: Would you decide which hospital to use based on their ability to provide high-quality care or their tax status? If I’m sick, I want the hospital with the best care outcomes and reputation. Please take your tax status out of your logo, out of your ads and off the top of your website. Please.
#3 Featuring your longevity in your branding: This is very similar to the first point regarding tax status. How long you’ve been around doesn’t tell me anything about the value you can bring to me – as a patient, family caregiver, physician, payer or health system. The fact that you've been serving your community since 19__ is important when you are celebrating anniversaries and can leverage that to garner publicity or raise funds. Definitely reference it in the About Us section of your website and then pull it out when you are celebrating milestone anniversaries.
#4 Using doves, butterflies, sunsets, flowers, hearts and other dated images in logos: I’m working on an entire blog post about this, so stay tuned. But seriously, unless your hospice is the only game in town OR you don’t want to generate new referrals or partnerships, lose the dated, cutesy logo. The 70s are calling and they want their hospice logo back.
#5 Updating your website once every month or so (if that often). Most people use the Internet to learn about and make decisions about products and services. You are offering a service. Someone in your organization, a staff person or volunteer, needs to be tasked with updating web content at least weekly. Post information about events, trainings, support groups, health fairs and other activities you host or attend. Post links to articles that promote the value of hospice. Feature a brief story about a donor or volunteer or someone on staff. At least 4 weeks before the next month, create a calendar highlighting opportunities to add content to the website AND (this is important) identifying content that needs to be removed. You won’t inspire confidence if you still have content up talking about grief and the holidays in February.
Do you need help rectifying any of these mistakes? I’d love to help your organization improve your marketing and branding. Give me a call (571-259-3862) or drop me an email.