At first blush, marketing health care services might seem like a pointless exercise. When people are sick or injured, they need health care. Period. It isn’t something people stumble on by window shopping, browse for in catalogs or bookmark on Amazon.
But not all health care is the same, and letting people know they have a choice is often part of the message your marketing should convey. Perhaps your services won’t be right for every patient, but every patient you are right for should be coming to you. For them to do that, you need to tell them who you are and why you’re the right fit for them. Is your marketing doing that?
Maybe it’s time for a second opinion.
Just as no two patients are alike, neither are any two health care organizations. What makes you different or better or unique? People will rely on you, often at times when they’re at their most vulnerable. What would you like to tell them about how they’ll be treated? What would you like them to know about the place they or their loved ones will be? What should their opinion be of you?
We’ve been most successful for our health care clients when the marketing efforts we’ve created together do this—speaking in plain language to patients about what’s important to them, while expressing the choices available. In fact, it’s not that different from how you’d like your physician to speak to you about your own health.
Banik Communications works with health care organizations to answer the questions their current and potential patients may have. We help you speak directly and honestly so that your patients will be fully informed, and make the right choice.
North Dakota Department of Transportation
When you hear the phrase “health care marketing,” it’s logical to assume we’re talking about promoting hospitals, clinics, or doctors’ groups. But one of our most extensive areas of expertise is in working to increase the public’s health and safety through public initiatives. In 2013, we began helping the state of North Dakota in its efforts to reduce death and injury on the road. Our work encompasses media and public relations efforts aimed at combating the biggest threats to safety on state highways, including drunk driving, failure to wear seat belts and distracted driving.
Our overall campaign is called Code for the Road, so named because its approach is to remind drivers to embrace a code of their own which includes safe driving habits. We’ve invited teens to express elements of their own individual code, and spoken to the many varieties of motorcycle riders about ways to make their rides safer. The campaign has evolved to talk about the freedom of choice inherent in driving and riding safely, as well as the responsibility to do so for both the driver’s safety and the safety of others.
Our most recent TV campaign takes on drunk and impaired driving, and focuses on drivers’ responsibilities by illustrating the consequences to those around them. It isn’t always just the person who gets behind the wheel impaired who suffers, and this series of ads illustrates the point in some unusual ways.
“Makeup” 30-second TV and online spot.
“Wardrobe” 30-second TV and online spot.
“Long Distance” 30-second TV and online spot.
North Valley Hospital
Banik Communications started working with North Valley Hospital (NVH) in Whitefish, Montana in September of 2005. We’ve helped NVH build its brand and image brick by brick, with the Planetree philosophy as its cornerstone.
Although NVH adopted the Planetree model prior to our relationship, it hadn’t introduced this practice to the public or made it part of their brand. Since 2006, we’ve helped North Valley chart a new course, branding the hospital with a warm, organic character that mirrors the Planetree model; making “patient-centered care” the center of its brand. We’ve worked to link the Hospital’s high-quality health care services and new state-of-the-art facility to the benefits of Planetree.
Our marketing and projects have included television, radio, online, newspaper, social media, website development and outdoor executions geared towards informing the public about North Valley’s holistic approach. This has included working closely with North Valley Hospital Foundation to raise funds for the new hospital, resulting in its brand-new facility in 2007 and a new clinic in neighboring Eureka, MT in 2009. We’ve developed campaigns to promote NVH’s Women Services and Birth Center, technological advancements such as the daVinci Robot and the hospitals’s Emergency Services—all with an emphasis on patient-centered care and community involvement.
Click here to view North Valley Hospital’s page.
When North Valley was planning its new hospital, it did so on a foundation built on the Planetree philosophy of patient-centered care—that a comforting environment, excellent food, complementary therapies like music and visits from pets. The new building would look nothing like a traditional hospital, which meant our grand-opening invite couldn’t be traditional either. Our solution told the story of the new building and the thinking behind it by using a series of panels which gradually revealed the purpose and plan behind North Valley’s new home, and speaking in its language—environment, teamwork, and community.
North Valley’s plans for a new birth center meant building a campaign to explain the need, the plan, and the ways the Whitefish community could help. Our print collateral for the Birth Center outlined the project with meaningful statistics, detailed renderings and scope of the project, and presented the material in an appealing layout with beautiful images of healthy newborns, which gave the piece emotional as well as rational appeal.
As a small community hospital tucked into the corner of Montana, you’d be forgiven for assuming North Valley can’t compete with large metropolitan hospitals when it comes to outstanding physicians. But North Valley’s dedication to cultivating a culture of top-notch technology and facilities extends to its people as well, and patients will find care on par with hospitals many times its size.
Expanding on North Valley’s commitment to pairing world-class technology with world-class doctors, our personal touch campaign puts the message literally in the doctor’s hands.
Talking about surgery of any kind is a delicate subject, but by magnifying the benefits of robotic procedures rather than focusing on the details, we’ve helped North Valley express why the technology is a good thing for qualified patients.
One of North Valley’s technological strengths is its imaging department. To spread the word we commissioned a bus wrap for the community’s public transit system, which is frequently used by potential patients. Using custom photography and the bus’s actual blueprints, we described North Valley’s imaging prowess in the most transparent way possible.
The illusion of an x-ray image being taken through the side of the bus was made possible by obsessive attention to detail. The vehicle’s frame, wiring, seat interiors and other components were faithfully rendered with the x-ray effect, right down to forgotten eyeglasses and dicarded cell phones. Why just talk about detailed imaging, when you can demonstrate it?
Cascade Valley Hospital and Clinics
Our site for Cascade Valley is a great example of a cost effective, modernized website solution that’s exceeded the client’s expectations. Developed with the WordPress framework, the site allows the client to manage content by using WordPress’ built-in tools. The modular development process also allowed us to implement future updates efficiently to increase visitor engagement. As a smaller hospital serving a local population, this approach helps Cascade Valley keep web maintenance costs low while having the ability to update content quickly when needed. The responsive layout is also a great feature, allowing the full site to be viewed seamlessly on any mobile device or tablet.
Ashland Community Hospital
Ashland Community Hospital is a small, not-for-profit hospital located in a scenic corner of western Oregon. Although it’s an outstanding hospital, ACH is competing for patients with larger hospitals only a few miles away, and battling the prevailing perception that the larger hospitals offer technical superiority through sheer size. Our challenge was to position ACH in a way that highlighted its advantages and redirected community perception about the hospital’s capabilities.
Hospitals like Ashland Community can thrive when they focus on what they do best—deliver better, more personal care than a large hospital can, and do it closer to home. Ashland is a member of the Planetree network, a system that embraces patient-centered care in every aspect of its operation—treatment, environment, food, surroundings. Our solution refined their brand to reflect all of Ashland’s Planetree advantages—technically proficient, personally engaged and committed to community—while embodying the informal, friendly culture found within the Ashland community.
The initial rebrand was launched with online web banners, videos, newspaper ads and radio spots.
Centered around our tagline, “For Every Walk of Life” and visuals which represented the landscape around the community, the Ashland rebrand focused on aspects of the hospital that only it could claim—that it was local (literally within walking distance) and that its Planetree approach set it apart from the big-box hospitals up the valley.
As additional ad executions were done, they built upon the “every walk of life” theme as it applied to various aspects of health care in the region.
Banik completed a comprehensive redesign of the hospital’s print communications so that every element mimicked the overall branding strategy and embraced the “every walk of life” theme.
The brochure system used dynamic photography and inviting text written in plain English to communicate the hospital’s services and programs in an easy-to-understand manner.
Our launch of Ashland’s Facebook presence included an internal campaign designed to get the hospital’s staff on board. A series of small posters were distributed throughout the hospital to encourage employees to like Ashland’s Facebook page and encourage their friends to view it.
The posters also served as a reinforcement of the hospital’s core philosophies for patients and visitors as they encountered them in every corner of the building.
Ashland’s Facebook page design embraced the overall brand look and feel and used tabbed content to provide a “microsite” experience for the page’s friends.
Tabbed content within the Facebook page presented specific information in a formatted, branded way.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana
One problem facing the health care industry that refuses to go away is its inherent complexity. In providing coverage for Montanans, Blue Cross Blue Shield had to contend with the issue as well—research showed that average Montanans felt they had no control over their health care coverage, and wanted to be able to make their own choices. In response, BCBS introduced several new plans which gave people more options—and more control. Our TV and radio campaign expressed the new plans’ advantages by showing average people orchestrating their own health care choices, and approach which was music to the audience’s ears.
Newspaper ads supported the broadcast components of the campaign.
Newspaper ads supported the broadcast components of the campaign.