The Coffey Blog

Hospital print marketing strategy: It all starts with goals

Posted on: Monday, June 4, 2018

Emily Anderson, Copy Editor

"How often should I send out a print publication?" It's a relatively simple question, with a surprisingly thorny answer. And the answer that fits one hospital marketing team might be entirely wrong for another team.

Rather than looking for one shining answer that works for all clients, all the time, we tend to view hospital print publications as tools that work best when they're used to solve one specific goal.

In other words: In order to determine how often you should send your print publication, start thinking about what you want your publication to do.

Here are a few common goals we've seen hospital marketing teams target with their print publications.

1. Provide value that can be tracked.

Your marketing budget has been allocated with care, and every dollar that can't be tied to return on investment (ROI) may be called into question next quarter. Sound familiar?

If you're in this group, you'll want to ensure that your message isn't missed. Frequent mailings, as well as the use of large-format print products that won't get buried under a pile of bills, can ensure that it isn't. And you'll want to set up a digital/print component for each mailing, so you'll be able to measure the impact of your print publications online.

You might print quarterly, or even more frequently, to reach this goal.

2. Building brand awareness.

You may be a leader in your field. But that doesn't mean you can rest forever on your laurels. Printing to generate brand awareness can be a smart tactic.

Building brand awareness is just as sublimely simple as it sounds: Remind people you exist with high-quality mailings and messaging that reinforce your place in your industry or community. Quality and consistency are key. And you may choose to emphasize quality over quantity. Opting for luxurious, eye-catching print products and intentional messaging could help you make a splash and demonstrate your value to your target audience.

You might print twice per year to reach this goal, and you might choose to send this publication to a very large audience, so all potential consumers know who you are.

3. Altering perception of the brand.

When you're faced with the truly challenging task of changing the conversation, shifting perceptions or repositioning your organization in the community, print can be helpful. Print can also be an effective tool to use when you're in damage control mode, digging out from under a scandal or snafu that is sure to be fresh on people's minds.

In these situations, a rebranding might be in order, and it may not be the time to skimp on quality or quantity. You'll need to make sure your print piece is flashy enough to stand out, and you'll need to send these pieces frequently, so people begin to associate your new image with your brand.

Sending a publication at least quarterly, and perhaps supplementing it with targeted postcard campaigns and digital campaigns, might be a great tactic.

How to make a smart decision

There is no one-size-fits-all solution. And the print strategy you use might shift from year to year, depending on your market, your stakeholders and your needs. That's why it pays to have a periodic review of your goals and strategies. And adding an outsider to the conversation can really help.

The right consultant can come into a conversation like this armed with competitor research, an analysis of your current performance and benchmarks based on others in your industry. We can help. Contact us and we'll get started.

Related reading

Use active voice to bring your healthcare content to life
6 reasons to outsource healthcare marketing projects
Providing value: Does your healthcare content pass the test?