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What Your Hospital Can Learn from Retailers

by Sara Foster | Jan 03, 2018

A retail consumer is the same person as a healthcare consumer. So, why not borrow some best practices from the retail industry — and apply it to your hospital?

During the concurrent session “Lessons from Retail: Applying Multi-Channel Consumer Strategies to Your Marketing” that was presented at the 21st Annual Healthcare Internet Conference in Austin, Brett Lauter, SVP of Femme Pharma and Brad Roberts, vice president of client services and strategy response from Mine Health, showed how some online retail principles could be transferred into healthcare. It comes down to this motto: measure, drive, convert.

Before launching a digital strategy, here are the five questions healthcare marketers should ask:

  1. What are the three to five key measures that most impact your hospital? And how can they be tracked in a way that improvements can be made?
  2. What is your average marketing cost per newly acquired lead, by service line?
  3. What is your lead to procedure conversion rate, by service line?
  4. What percentage of new marketing leads come through the web, phone or chat?
  5. What is your growth goal for the current year and how are you trending?

Lauter also warned marketers to stop wasting money marketing messaging to a broad audience. Instead, be specific with how your marketing dollars are being spent and tailor certain messages to specific patients.

In addition, Lauter also talked about how smaller, subtle tweaks to a campaign could make a big splash. He shared a quick example of how he was involved in tweaking Home Depot’s chatbot, on the appliance portion of their website. Before, it just popped up as a generic “chat initiated” message, but now it automatically asks the viewer a more detailed question about what they are searching for. By starting a conversation, the conversion rate increased by 20 percent.

Roberts closed the presentation by telling marketers to “be themselves.”

“Don’t fall in love with shiny objects,” Roberts says. “If it’s not measurable or doesn’t fit in your brand or service, you don’t have to do it. Just because your competitor is launching a new microsite — that doesn’t mean you have to. Be yourself. Know your brand. Market your best product.” 
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