In an era where consumers are empowered to choose their own healthcare providers, hospitals must be prepared to compete for new patients. Hospital advertising is one way to do that. It involves branding, promoting and marketing healthcare facilities to increase brand recognition in the community, build trust and gain a competitive edge over other medical centers in town. A well-executed healthcare marketing strategy can result in a steady stream of new customers and a healthy bottom line for the hospital.
However, despite the obvious advantages of hospital advertising, there are those who question its ethics. An article published earlier this year in the American Journal of Bioethics by a group of scholars from the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon argued that hospital advertising raises ethical concerns because it could mislead patients. This article generated a lively debate in both the business and medical worlds, with free-commerce advocates arguing that hospitals should be allowed to advertise just as any other commercial company does. Others argued that health care is a different kind of product than consumer goods and should therefore be subject to stricter regulations.
To be successful, hospital advertising must focus on the value-added services that set the facility apart from the competition. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, but the most effective method is through word of mouth. According to a recent study, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family members over any form of advertisement. In addition, the ad must be targeted to the correct audience and delivered in the right medium. A website ad for a geriatric care center won’t have much success, while an online campaign targeting young adults might.
The effectiveness of hospital advertising is also a matter of timing and placement. A well-crafted ad will catch the eye of consumers when they’re most likely to need the services offered by the hospital. This is why it’s important for hospitals to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in digital marketing. The best way to do this is to hire an experienced agency that can help them develop a comprehensive digital marketing strategy.
Another way that hospitals can make the most of their advertising budgets is by using Google Ads. These powerful tools offer a range of benefits that can maximize the performance of any healthcare campaign, including ad extensions, location targeting and responsive ads.