June 21, 2018

Brand Experience: How to Stay Consistent and Compelling

Name a brand you interact with regularly. For many, it’s their car manufacturer; and for me, it’s Subaru. My old Outback is neither flashy nor fancy, but it has meandered up winding mountain passes and down backcountry roads with ease. It may take few extra seconds to get from 0 to 60 mph, but it’s all-wheel drive system has saved me from spinning out on black ice.

My car is a dependable workhorse. And that’s why I bought it. Based on the brand’s marketing efforts and reputation, I had certain expectations from my Subaru—and my car has delivered on these promises for nearly 175,000 miles.

That’s why Dear Subaru works so well. In this digital campaign, the brand isn’t proclaiming to be a luxury company like Lexus or Audi. They aren’t promoting speed, status, or prestige. They aren’t bragging at all. Instead, they’re relying on real customers to evangelize more pragmatic benefits such as safety, longevity, and performance. By leveraging testimonials, Subaru is showing how they deliver on their promises. That’s compelling marketing.

Is your hospital delivering on its promises?

In this context, consider how your health care organization is portrayed across advertising and marketing efforts. Maybe you’ve invested in TV spots that depict smiling nurses and physicians. Perhaps you have an ongoing social media series that touts your technology. Or maybe you’ve run full-page print ads that highlight the specialization of your services.

Now, take a walk through the halls of your hospital. Take a seat in the waiting room. Are your facilities clean? Call your 1-800 number to schedule an appointment. Do receptionists answer the phones the first time they ring? Talk to a family about their loved one’s in-person experience. Do doctors explain things in a way they could understand?

Ultimately, these individual interactions add up to create the greater summation of your patients’ overall experience. And they become the proof points of whether or not you’re delivering on your promises.

Bridging marketing and operations to deliver your brand experience.

You know modern marketing is about precision and timing. You know the quality of your ads can impact your reach and increase patient visits. But far too often, there’s a gap in a hospital’s marketing and in-person experiences. This disconnect often boils down to one word: operations.

Perhaps your hospital doesn’t have the resources to replace outdated systems and technologies. Or maybe it’s impacted by organizational silos and departmental disconnect. Sound familiar? You aren’t alone.

Rather than act as burdens, it’s possible for marketing and operations to empower each other to deliver on a brand’s promises. Eliminating the “us vs. them” mentality enables both sides to focus on the patients.

This keeps the patient journey top of mind for everyone.

In an overwhelmingly complex industry, it’s essential to consistently create comprehensive, compelling experiences—from in-person patient experiences to social media campaigns. This means staying cognizant of the experiences you deliver. And it means understanding the patient journey.

To create life-long patients, it’s important to appeal to your audience and authentically communicate your value. This may include exceptional care, advanced technologies, and personalized services. Regardless of your health care brand’s differentiators, however, staying ahead means paying attention to how your patients experience your hospital.

Your success as a marketer is contingent on your entire organization’s ability to understand this journey and proactively address any potential gaps. So, consider the experiences you advertise and the interactions you create. And ask yourself whether you’re delivering on your promises.