In our last post, we talked about word clouds and their practical uses beyond the blog. This week, we’ll continue that discussion in lieu of our recent discoveries at SHSMD Connections 2011, an annual conference hosted by the Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development. The event was a meeting of the minds from all levels of hospital communications, and the word cloud was our way of learning more about what’s on their minds.
SHSMD attendees participated by entering today’s hot topics into our word cloud app. You can view the results here. But what do the results tell us about the directions and challenges hospital marketers face as we head into 2012?
The most commonly used phrase was “physician strategies,” with “social media” coming in close behind. Many hospital strategists are looking for effective ways to engage with physicians and patients. While social media continues to grow as a cost-effective way to expand reach and frequency, strategists are struggling with how to reconcile professional relationships with online social platforms—and even how to get people to “Like” or “Follow” their hospitals in the first place, let alone leverage that affinity. It’s a challenge many of today’s healthcare marketers must untangle, and clearly engagement is the name of the game.
Other issues taking center stage for healthcare marketers include:
• Direct marketing – promoting what works to grow market share.
• Brand building – on-target messaging in the midst of health reform and ACO debates.
• Market-driven plans (and plans that drives markets) – thinking strategically and delivering creatively.
• Better returns – demonstrating improved ROI and ROE as direct results of marketing efforts.
If your marketing initiatives don’t include solid strategic planning in the areas described above, you’re missing opportunities to enhance relationships, grow in volume, improve your brand and more.
What about you—what’s on your mind in healthcare marketing today? If you didn’t share with us at SHSMD, feel free to do so in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you.