An integrated marketing strategy delivers returns greater than the sum of its parts.
Covid-19 has changed our world and relying too much on one tool for your rural hospital marketing strategy means missing out on big opportunities. Likewise, inconsistent, or even contradictory messaging in different mediums can badly impact your brand’s image. When planning and implementing a marketing campaign, an integrated strategy is key to engaging your audience and building the reputation of your brand.
What is an integrated marketing strategy?
Integrated marketing means planning your marketing strategy across multiple platforms. It means ensuring you are speaking with a unified voice, both online and offline. In addition, integrated marketing requires thinking critically about your branding and coordinating how you communicate information about your hospital’s values, services, and providers.
It also means consistent messaging over time while still connecting to the changing concerns of the local community. While that may seem contradictory, if you think of your brand as the lead character in an ever-changing story it will make more sense.
With Covid-19 on everyone’s mind, it’s critical that you include it in your marketing messaging. Think about how it fits into the central narrative of your hospitals effort to protect the community’s health. What role are you playing in the global fight against the pandemic? Make sure your community understands it in terms that help them feel protected.
The whole is more than the sum of its parts
With an integrated solution, each component strengthens and reinforces the other. Work on the “whole package” to plan a more complete marketing strategy that doesn’t lean too heavily on any one medium. Each message and platform should feed into the others.
Leverage your website, social media, advertising, and other marketing materials. The ultimate goal is to ensure your audience connects with your message and that every time they encounter it, the positive associations are reinforced. While each type of media plays a slightly different role, they are all telling the same essential story.
Integrated strategies save money
For starters, by having an integrated strategy you will naturally be re-using copy, media, and images to consistently reinforce the core message you are sending. This doesn’t must mean copy and paste, but the hard work put into crafting the overall narrative gets used over and over providing consistency in message and saving you time as well.
Even more importantly, the integrated approach is simply more powerful. Each message builds on the story you have been developing and you need less impressions each time you build on the earlier messaging to make it stick. Instead of trying to push a new idea, you are bringing up ideas that were built up in the past. As time goes on, each message can have a more and more powerful impact.
More than your marketing materials
An integrated strategy goes beyond simply modifying your marketing materials. You want to ensure that every member of the team is on the same page and able to communicate the right information at every point of contact.
What kind of impression is your staff making over the phone? How do you and your staff present yourselves when representing your hospital in the community? Is the person who updates your social media profile able to communicate with your brand’s voice?
You should be able speak with the same voice and communicate the same values through every aspect of your marketing strategy, including your personal interactions.
Focusing your strategy on sales
When it comes down to it, hospitals and clinics need to work on selling their services and providers. Consumers have access to a lot of information these days making it a challenge for your message to cut through the noise.
Often, people simply don’t know what is available in the local community. Use your integrated marketing materials and strategy to speak to them and draw them toward your healthcare services.
An integrated strategy that speaks with a unified voice will help your hospital or clinic build trust with the local community and ensure a consistent message. By employing multiple channels, your marketing strategy will reinforce itself and become more effective.
SRJ Marketing Communications has been helping rural healthcare facilities develop integrated marketing solutions for over three decades. From strategic marketing and PR and web development to social media management, copywriting, and graphic design, SRJ helps rural healthcare facilities improve their position in their local communities and increase their bottom line. To learn more, visit www.srj.net or call 1-800-441-7401 for a free consultation.