The following post is from Robert Polzoni.
If your hospital hasn’t won some kind of an award yet, what’s up with that? There are more awards out there for hospitals than reruns of “I Love Lucy.” In addition to the old standbys like HealthGrades, U.S. News & World Report and Thomson 100 Top Hospitals, many others are hitting the market including HCAHPS, Angie’s List, Zagat, and J.D. Power. We recently compiled a database of hospital awards and it totaled more than 300.
So, I’m going to assume your hospital has won some kind of an award. And, I’m going to assume that you’ve used that award to enhance your hospital’s brand in the market place.
In some cases, an advertising campaign featuring a new award makes sense, but sometimes it doesn’t. Awards are evidence of strong work in your organization whether it’s clinical, service-driven or other. When it is used as a supporting point in a marketing effort, awards lend legitimacy to claims of excellence. But when awards are the focus of the marketing effort, the promotion can become an exercise in self-aggrandizement.
When marketing an award to build a brand, hospitals must look at the marketing effort from the patient’s perspective – “What’s in it for me?”
It’s nice that your hospital won the Malcolm Bridge National Quality Award but how does that benefit your patients? And, I’d be willing to bet that none of your patients have even heard of the award and what it means for them.
So, it’s important for us, as marketers, to be judicious in determining what awards to market and how to build a bridge from the award to the patient. Some awards allow us to do that, others don’t.
In the end, the use of awards and rankings is often driven by hospital leadership – administration, the board, and top physicians. They are proud of their organization’s accomplishments and want to share them with the world. It’s our responsibility as marketers to make sure sharing these accomplishments is done in an effective and balanced way.