NEVER Use These Words When Marketing to Hospitals
Sam Stern

Sam is the Founder and Chief Marketing Technologist at Modallic. Modallic specializes in brand development and marketing for Mobile Healthcare Technology (mHealth) firms. As a life-long entrepreneur, Sam directs the mHealth storytelling and mHealth agile marketing process unique to the Modallic approach.

“When the ego is more prominent than the message, trust goes away.” – Michael Fishmen

Words make a difference in marketing and sales. But as Fishmen points out, not in the way you think.

Think about what hospital executives want from health IT.

They want easy. They want simple. They want cheap. 

But if you use these words in describing your health IT solution, you will lose.

What Obamacare Can Teach about Marketing IT to Hospitals

Up-Front Disclaimer: This post is a lesson in marketing and communications. It is NOT a commentary in the validity of the Affordable Care Act.

Ok… let’s look at the promises communicated about the Affordable Care act. In essence, how did Obama market ACA.

He appealed to Easy. Simple. Cheap. The three things nearly all buyers want. 

Easy- The President and the architects of the health care law claimed the experience of shopping for insurance would be “the same way you’d shop for a plane ticket on Kayak or a TV on Amazon,”

The reality is, shopping for health insurance isn’t easy. It’s a complex product that impacts many areas of people’s lives.  Likewise, when a hospital is looking at changing its IT systems, it’s an extremely complex process, impacting nearly all areas of the hospital’s operation.

What’s the marketing lesson here? Don’t come out and say how easy buying health IT services is. Show how the process can be made easier. Provide stories of how your clients implemented your health IT solutions to show how you make the process easy.

Simple- “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.”

Think about what this communicates. If you like what you have now, you don’t have to do anything. Simple, huh? 

Buyers resist change. They are comfortable with the product or service they are currently using. Change often presents the unknown. Making things simple happens up-front with clients. It takes close listening to the client’s concerns, fears, and frustrations and providing support to answer these issues.

Cheap- “The Affordable Care Act will cut the average family’s premium by about $2,500 per year.”

Maybe this will prove true. It’s really too early to tell. However, common sense says when you remove lifetime maximum policy limits, cover any and all pre-existing conditions without questions, and add 10 essential mandated overages, such as maternity and mental health, costs are bound to rise.

Promising a lower price, or positioning your product or service as the low-price solution almost always is the wrong marketing strategy. Clients want more than lower prices. They want value. They want products and services that work in solving their problems.

Hospitals want easy, simple, and inexpensive IT solutions. Rather making big promises about what they want, focus your marketing messages on the problems and frustrations they live. Customize the solutions to each of your clients, but never over-promise the value you can deliver. In the long-term, honest, transparent communication builds credibility and trust. Credibility and trust is required to move from prospect to profitable, paying client.

Learn how to create “Killer” Marketing Content when marketing to hospitals. Get the download today.

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photo credit: Barack Obama via photopin cc

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