Tag Archives: great hospice marketing ideas

Permalink to Can Hospice Messaging Drive Immediate Response?

Can Hospice Messaging Drive Immediate Response?

We all know that building brand equity is hard work and takes time. When branding a hospice agency, it can be even harder to build that so desired equity. After all, most hospices are truly great organizations. In fact, everyone we’ve ever partnered with has told us that they delivery the best care, most compassionate care and have the best team. And you know what? When we survey their patients, patients’ families, physicians, case managers, SNF partners, they agreed, ‘that’ hospice has the best care and most compassionate caregivers.

I recently watched a 30-minute YouTube presentation on a hospice that paid a large agency to rebrand them. The agency decided their brand was ‘caring’ because when they interviewed those same groups ‘caring’ was the word they heard over and over. But I bet if they interviewed those who used the services of other hospice providers in their service area they would hear that same word over and over. It’s hard to build a brand around a word that others can also authentically claim. Does saying your hospice cares open the door to earlier end of life care?

So since this is truly a field of great providers who provide great compassionate care, how do you stand apart? How can you help improve access to care? It’s all about being in the minds of the consumer, being a category of one, and breaking out of the pack.

We got a call from a client last week. One who indeed provides incredible compassionate and quality care. They called to share reaction to an ad campaign we had just launched. One born from intensive research and authentic rebranding.  They had a couple of stories for us. That day an elderly gentleman walked into their office, in his hands was a fold, crinkled newspaper. On the outer side of the fold was our ad. He asked if he could sign himself up for hospice care. He said he saw their ad and he never felt so understood, that they seemed to really ‘get’ him. Earlier that week a woman called their marketing director and told her she was at Kinko’s making copies of their ad. “I have never seen such a great message. I work at a large PR firm and rarely respond to advertising. But you really understand what I want, who I am. I am copying this for friends who are going through what I am, they need to talk about hospice.” This is just a small sampling of the huge reaction to this brand and campaign, and to what a hospice brand can do – lead individuals to great care. Like Bill Bernbach said, “Forget words like ‘hard sell’ and ‘soft sell.’ That will only confuse you. Just be sure your advertising is saying something with substance, something that will inform and serve the consumer, and be sure you’re saying it like it’s never been said before.”

Lesson learned? Discover how your hospice can truly connect to those who need your care. Understand exactly how to have a conversation about something people rarely want to talk about in a way that truly helps them understand what your hospice can provide; what is important from their perspective.

Icing on the cake – these individuals are getting the end of life care they deserve. And at the end of every campaign, that’s what it’s really all about.





Permalink to Who Is Your Hospice Speaking To?

Who Is Your Hospice Speaking To?

From two decades of research we have a pretty clear view of who is the hospice decision maker and what stands between them and choosing your hospice. People connect to healthcare providers for specific reasons. Often those reasons are very different than the hospice believes them to be. If you are hoping to increase access to care, bring more families the profound benefit that is hospice, maybe it’s time to re-think how you are communicating.

When we perform communications audits (analysis of current marketing efforts, value, weaknesses and missteps) many hospices begin the conversation by saying, “We already do what you are suggesting.” But most times we discover that they are not communicating in a way that truly engages the gatekeeper and motivates a decision. In creating a relationship with the primary hospice decision maker it’s not about what you are doing but what perception they will have from your communications efforts. For the hospice decision to take place, for them to choose you, your communications must do very specific things.

The danger of not evolving the way you communicate or refreshing your brand is perhaps best explained by the Chinese proverb: “If you do not plan for the future, you will get the one that shows up.”

Brands and communication with consumers needs to keep up with the times, changing market and consumer dynamics. Failure to recognize this and move with the times can lead to brand stagnation and brand latency.  For hospices it is more complex.

Add the difficult, emotional and overwhelming place your consumer is when they are making the hospice decision.  Add the fact that 65% of women feel health care advertisers do not understand her or her needs. Add the fact that today’s healthcare consumer has a completely different decision making process than they did even a couple of years a go. Add the fact that this decision maker WILL ask for a hospice referral to a specific hospice. Add the fact that too many families go without the benefit of hospice care. Then ask: “Are you saying the right things to the right people? Are you communicating in a way that makes them feel like you ‘get them’? Are you using your communication to ‘sell’ your hospice vs making them feel that they will have something with you they can’t find with any other provider? Are you helping them over the psychology purchase price of hospice care?

Taking an honest look at your brand and how it speaks to the hospice gatekeeper is step one in positioning for the results you want.  Like Leo Platt, CEO Hewlett Packard says,  “Whatever made you successful in the past, won’t in the future.”

Anoroc can help you review your communications platform and ensure your messaging resonates with the hospice gatekeeper to communicate from a targeted valued perspective. Visit www.redefininghospice.com to learn more.

Permalink to 6 Social Media Hospice Trends

6 Social Media Hospice Trends

Patients, caregivers and prospective members want to know that their health care providers are current and engaging. Once labeled a “flash in the pan”, social media is proving to be much more crucial to brand success than previously thought. Consider these benchmarks of renowned health care providers and see how they measure up to your brand.

1. The majority of nationally renowned brands have a dedicated social media strategist.

2. World class companies are two times more likely to engage outside support to enhance or measure their brand’s social performance.

3. Nearly twice as many renowned national brands have changed a service or product due to recommendations made on social media platforms.

4. Renowned Health Care providers are more likely to apply their tools in more social ways such as participating in “check-in” apps and their own branded YouTube channel.

5. Creating original content specifically for social media purposes. Providers have recognized that original content helps consumers to identify these companies as a resource and therefore experts in the industry.

6. Nationally known brands consider market reach as highly important as a catalyst for increasing brand reputation, where as less recognized brands consider it the least effective.

There’s a reason that some health care providers are more successful than others. While many companies grasp the concept of social media and new channels of marketing, few have the insight to understand how to fully engage with consumers on a consistent basis. Neglected blogs, unresponsive twitter accounts and a dated Facebook page are tell-tale signs of an unengaged brand. Nationally recognized brands understand the direction that new trends are taking and quickly adapt to and expand upon them.

Permalink to What Is A Hospice Brand Ambassador?

What Is A Hospice Brand Ambassador?

A Hospice brand ambassador can be anyone from a board member to a part time volunteer. Ambassadors of hospice brands are also patients, their families or anyone else who may know about or have used hospice in the past. Though these hospice ambassadors may come in all different shapes and sizes, they all have a key component that makes them a crucial piece of the brand itself. Ambassadors are vital because they have an impact on a customer’s decisions and the most influential of all ambassadors are customers themselves.

Every hospice would probably say that they have the best hospice, providing the best care in the nicest facility with the most satisfied customers. But when a customer hears this from each and every care facility, their suspicions on the validity of these claims grows. Now imagine hearing similar claims, but instead of hearing it from the company itself, you hear it from your neighbor who is not affiliated with a particular company.

How much more likely would you be to consider the recommendation from a neighbor rather than the recommendation on an advertisement and why? The reason that you’d most likely go with a neighbor’s recommendation is because you trust them. You realize that there is little to no incentive for their recommendation and therefore it must be an honest claim.

Now that you understand why they are important, you may be wondering how to build brand advocates from your existing patients and their families.

It’s unreasonable to expect that someone in every neighborhood will act as your brand ambassador, telling other neighbors the praises of your hospice, but through social media you can spark discussions and connections between your brand advocates and potential customers.

How to build your brand advocates.

Engage your audience on a regular basis. Posting a few messages on your facebook page and a tweet or two a month is a great start and will likely get more interaction than others who don’t post at all, but in order to create powerful ambassadors you need to engage your customers. Begin an ongoing discussion. You can start by asking questions. Ask what they think of your hospice. Find out if there is anything you can do to improve service or if anything is missing. In an industry where everyone is shouting louder than the last guy, asking a question can be a powerful way to show that you are truly interested in the customer.

Asking questions is the first part, but listening to and valuing responses are the key to building strong hospice brand ambassadors. Give your most faithful supporters recognition. Retweet their comments, share their insights whenever possible and let them know you value their input.

Finally, be authentic. Don’t just ask questions for the sake of asking questions. Ask thoughtful questions about topics that matter to your hospices goals. Respond to their comments with genuine interest and concern, instead of a canned “thank you for responding”. Part of that authenticity also involves using these discussions to your advantage. Actually making improvements based on the comments and concerns of your ambassadors will show your customers that they are an integral part of your

By understanding who the brand ambassador is and how to engage them in a way that will build strong hospice brand ambassadors you will be able to give life to one of the most effective and limitless mediums of advertising in today’s market.

Permalink to Marketing Hospice, Are You Building Brand Advocates?

Marketing Hospice, Are You Building Brand Advocates?

No brand will have the power of a real connection if it is solely based on internal values, desires, and points of view. In fact, it is critical to have the ability to see your hospice brand outside of your own view. Building a brand that will move the target must begin with focusing on the consumer not the service or your company’s objectives. This is what we call an ‘outside in’ perspective.

And it comes from in depth research, target analysis and an understanding of human nature. And when it comes to hospice, it means understanding the psychological purchase price of hospice care – a phrase Anoroc’s penned after our years of studying the hospice decision cycle. But there is a flip side. Beyond building a brand that moves targets you must build a branding program that turns employees into brand advocates. They are a powerful representation of your brand; they are your brand in living technicolor.

Through the past two decades we’ve worked with numerous companies to refresh, reinvent and revitalize their hospice brands. During the rebranding process a large part of our consideration is focused on internal audiences. From leadership teams drilled down to admission nurses, secretaries and CNAs, they have been a part of empowering the brand refresh by understanding its meaning, being vested in its promise and believing in their role to affect its power. To us, they are a critical audience as critical as the in home gate keeper, the case manager and the physician.

Recently back from a brand rollout in San Diego, where we had the opportunity to present a brand refresh to an audience of close to 500+ employees, never before had the power of internal brand force ever seemed more powerful. Firstly, our client is an agency dream, incredible to work with, a true partner in creating something remarkable. So imagine the brand rollout complete with a theater size screen, swag bags, balloons and a leadership team vested in empowering their employees.

Cue the applause, cue the cheers, cue the employees testifying that the brand reflects who they are, what is in their hearts and their own life story. Cue a company with a vested team of brand advocates talking about their company at the coffee shop, in line at the grocery store, and on the church pew.

Imagine their accountant walking up to me after the presentation and saying. “I always thought I was only the accountant, but now I know I’m much more and even what I do really matters. I’m the brand too!” So as you consider taking a look at your brand and moving to a direction that will speak to a new generation of consumers, consumers more defined in making choice, in researching options, in dictating their own end of life care, don’t forget who is setting next to them at Starbucks.

Anoroc creates hospice communication strategies that engage consumers and referring publics turning them into active hospice advocates and positioning hospice providers as the provider of choice. Learn more at www.redefininghospice.com