Author Archives: Kathy Selker

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I’m Kathy Selker. My work as managing director of Stratos and previously as CEO of Northlich, has taught me a great deal about how hospitals and health systems can best connect with women to make the most positive impact in their lives.

Why Marketing Hospitals to Women Means More Than Pink

Why Marketing Hospitals to Women Means More Than Pink

Following a few key do’s and don’ts can make the difference in driving preference among women for your hospital brand.

In 2012, Bic infamously introduced pink and purple “For Her” pens, packaged in pastel and adorned with a dainty font. The internet took notice and snarky Amazon reviews ensued: “It’s good,” one reviewer wrote, “that Bic [is] finally doing something to aid the plight of women.” Undoubtedly, executives at Bic had hoped to cash in by targeting a female demographic — but without a true understanding of what their female consumers wanted, the effort fell flat.

Since women make the majority of healthcare-related decisions, it’s important to gain a deep understanding of what drives their decisions. Doing so in a way that adds real value, shows commitment to understanding the whole person and fosters dialogue will demonstrate to women why your brand stands apart from the pack — in a good way. 

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How Checklists Can Help Hospital Marketers Reach Women

Checklists can break down complexity, reduce risk and improve connections with female consumers.

I recently listened to a “Hidden Brain” episode about the power checklists have to save lives in hospital settings. By implementing a surgical checklist process, mortality rates can be reduced by as much as 47 percent. They’ve also been shown to reduce gender bias in hospitals, leading to better outcomes for women.

These staggering and fascinating statistics got me thinking about the value of transforming complexity into simplicity to eliminate failure points. There’s a plethora of evidence about how checklists can help reduce human errors in complex fields like medicine and aviation. Could they help hospital marketers do a better job at the complex task of connecting with women? Just as healthcare has become more complex over time and medical professionals have experienced increasing pressure to have ever-greater levels of expertise, a similar shift has happened in marketing healthcare — especially to women.

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The Millennial Woman’s Influence on Hospital Marketing

The Millennial Woman's Influence on Hospital Marketing

5 ways the largest generation is shifting how hospitals market to women

As millennials take over as the largest generation, hospital marketing must shift accordingly. Female millennials are a key audience segment that will continue to gain influence as they make healthcare decisions for themselves and their families. Hospitals need to ensure they are staying relevant and meeting female millennials where they are.

The world of healthcare has shifted drastically since the baby boomer generation was the largest living generation. For millennials, costs are extremely high and often out of pocket, even with health insurance. For this reason, decisions regarding what care to get, when to get it and where to go are increasingly important to millennials as they weigh their options. Here are five ways this demographic is impacting the way hospitals must market their services.

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Money Matters in Hospital Marketing

Money Matters in Hospital Marketing

Why ignoring cost might be shortsighted

With my background in finance, I never forget how much money matters. My point of view on decisions about marketing and beyond is typically oriented in terms of cost and return on investment. However, there’s a perception that most consumers, particularly in the healthcare space, don’t view medical care that way. In messaging, our focus is usually on convenience, technology or compassionate care.

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The Power of Positive for Hospital Marketers

Encouraging positive dialog about your brand on social media

Social media usage by gender is just about neck and neck. Men slightly over-index on LinkedIn, but the opposite is true on Facebook and Instagram. The stats are just about even on Twitter. But there are distinct differences in social media use by gender, and these represent a big opportunity for hospital marketers.

Research published by Facebook noted that women are more likely to share personal topics, while men tend to focus on current events. Another study analyzed vocabulary across millions of Facebook posts and concluded that women’s posts tend to center around friends and family and to use friendlier, more compassionate language.

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Hospital Marketing: Is There a Difference Between “Patient” and “Customer”?

Raising the bar on customer service in hospitals

Customer or patient? Some hospital marketers consider the words synonymous. Others prefer “patient” as a more precise description of their target. Make no mistake; there is nuance between the two. Take a look at the definitions:

Patient: (noun) A person receiving or registered to receive medical treatment. Synonyms: sick person. (adjective) Able to accept or tolerate delays, problems or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious. Synonyms: Uncomplaining, resigned.

Customer: (noun) A person or organization that consumes products (goods or services) and has the ability to choose between suppliers. Synonyms: consumer, client, purchaser, buyer, patron, shopper.

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A New Perspective on Marketing Hospitals From a Patient POV

Compassion is key to building trust for your hospital’s female patients.

I recently had a bicycle accident that left me with a broken elbow and a referral for surgery. While it wasn’t fun, it was a good opportunity to experience the patient journey from a different perspective than my usual view as a hospital marketer. What I learned along the way led to some surprising conclusions.

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What Women Want From Hospital Marketing

An understanding of how women choose hospitals can help shape your marketing messages.

Consumers are shopping for healthcare in ways they previously haven’t. Thanks to the proliferation of sites like www.Healthgrades.com, www.ClearHealthCosts.com, www.PatientsLikeMe.com and more, patients are finally getting windows into cost, quality of care and patient experience, metrics that greatly influence their choice of hospitals and healthcare providers.

Before we look at what women want in marketing from hospitals, it’s important to examine how they choose them.

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Why Internal Hospital Marketing Campaigns Matter

How marketing to employees trickles down to make patients feel more valued and cared for.

Much has been written about the importance of internal branding and communications. A strong internal hospital branding campaign can maximize engagement and inform employees on how best to interact with patients. Nurses are the frontline staff in the hospital patient experience, and since they tend to be overwhelmingly female, it makes sense to cater to women internally as well as externally when introducing new marketing campaigns, reworked branding initiatives or consolidated branding after a merger.

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Strengthening Your Hospital’s Brand Position to Market to Women

How to position your hospital’s brand with your female market

Whether they’re patients or caregivers, women make the majority of healthcare decisions, and they are busy consumers. When they research products and services, they expect to get the information they need quickly so they can make a decision and move on.

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