Herbs? Essential Oils? Reiki? Acupuncture? I'm a believer, which is why I'm always thrilled to learn about the growing acceptance of alternative medicine. The University Hospital's Connor Integrative Medical Network, Cleveland, Ohio, is the latest I've read about. What got my attention is that as an academic medical center, University Hospital is touting their alternative medicine as "evidence-based" therapy. In this world of value-based reimbursement, results matter. And they are getting them.
More and more patients, tired of the pain meds, side effects and continued pain, are opting for natural remedies. Thankfully, half of all medical schools are now offering courses in alternative medicine. And while it's still not at all mainstream, coverage is growing. New Hampshire naturopathic docs just celebrated a big win in June with legislation providing insurance coverage for their services. Most of us still have to cough up the dough ourselves, but find it very worthwhile.
That's because naturopathic medicine is based on the belief that the human body has an innate healing ability. NDs find the underlying cause, helping to create a healing internal and external environment. Recommendations often involve dietary modification including "clean eating" (maybe why 2011 gluten-free sales were $2.7 billion, estimated to grow to $3.4 billion by 2015, according to a Euromonitor International estimate), herbal supplements, nutrients, exercise, massage, etc. When combined with traditional medicine, you get the best of both worlds. The problem for the patient has been it's so hard to know how to blend it all, when to listen to your MD or your ND, when to stop the meds and start the meditation.
Aside from the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, I haven't seen many hospitals or health systems leading the way in claiming an "alternative", "integrative", or "naturopathic" brand. But I predict as the evidence grows (and I'm confident it will), this brand position will grow. What do you think?
Viral videos are an amazing phenomenon. Often, they’re purely about simple entertainment/procrastination. (How many times have my kids exclaimed, “Charlie, you bit my finger?” A lot.)
But videos with real messages have legs, too. You’ll find no better example, in my opinion, than the Pink Glove Dance.
Each time I watch this sweet and silly video of healthcare workers dancing around in their scrubs and surgical caps, it brings a smile to my face. The video stars staffers at Portland, Oregon’s Providence St. Vincent Medical Center. Everybody featured is wearing pink vinyl gloves and dancing for breast cancer awareness.
Well, the video was such a hit that its sponsor, Medline (the manufacturer of those pink gloves), had to make another one.
“If one video and one hospital could bring this much attention to breast cancer awareness and prevention,” reads a caption on the website, “think about the impact of a video that featured 20 times the people and facilities participating in it.”
The result is this sequel video. The video features 4,000 dancers from 14 different medical facilities and this time, they include healthcare workers and breast cancer survivors.
The sequel is just as fabulous as the first video, if not more. The song, “You Won’t Dance Alone” by the Best Day Ever, is perfect. The choreography is really impressive. (Well, impressive for a bunch of people who spent their twenties in med school.)
But it’s the vast number of participants that makes me cry every time I watch the sequel. There are dancers from hospitals in Newark, NJ to La Jolla, CA to Plano, TX and they are all working it. Their joy is infectious and incredibly moving. These healthcare workers (and janitors and administrators and lab techs etc.) are all helping women with breast cancer. They fight the disease every day. As a breast cancer survivor, I can attest—these videos really do matter.
That’s clearly why Medline is keeping the magic going. Today, July 2nd, they’ll announce the details for another Pink Glove Dance competition. You know I’m going to campaign for my amazing treatment team to submit a video. I’d also love to be part of one of those survivor dances.
Whether or not we Detroiters make the cut, I’ll just be glad to see the Pink Glove Dances continue. Do a little procrastinating and check them out. I promise you won’t regret the eight minutes (ten if you stick around to make a donation to the National Breast Cancer Foundation) you'll spend watching these advocates shake their booties for breast cancer.
What do you want to do when you're 100? If you're like me, you don't think much about it. Too busy with today's priorities - like getting to work on time, packing lunches and making the next track meet. But Florida Hospital's Healthy 100 campaign, especially the beautiful Healthcare Advertising Award winning spot below, will stop you in your tracks and make you ponder.
A successful marketing program emotionally connects and can make you think about things you really don't want to think about. We've done it with healthcare issues like organ donation, drunk driving and AIDS prevention. This hospital has me convinced of their vision of a world where people live to be a healthy 100 years old. They offer a wealth of positive body, mind and spirit tools to motivate longevity. Like healthy recipes, inspirational videos with adorable centenarians, healthful events, newsletters, deals on healthy products and services, even a mobile app to track your daily water intake. But it doesn't stop there. The hospital has forged ahead with community extensions into Healthy 100 Kids, Healthy 100 Church and an executive program. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube successfully echo each component of the vision, rounding out a wonderfully convergent campaign.
If you're not convinced you need to think about what you want to do when you're 100, use the Life Expectancy Calculator to see if all of this is worth your time. This innovative campaign makes me want to live to be a healthy 100, how about you?
We are always trying to think of ways that our healthcare clients can successfully tap into social media in order to help them reach their marketing goals. And with an industry that is slow to adapt to leveraging social, it’s hard to convince them that it’s imperative to participate (especially when there isn’t much research or good samples to reference that support the fact that it is worth the investment of time and money).
So, when The Health Research Institute released an analysis of health care and social media, I was extremely interested to see what the data said and how it could be applied to our current and future healthcare clients.
With that, I have honed in on some of the research that I found most relevant to our hospital clients, and have included 9 insights that should be considered when developing your social strategy.
- Those with poor health are more likely to engage about health.
This is really interesting – as the ultimate goal on social platforms is getting people to truly engage with your brand. With this, hospitals could think about developing campaigns and social programs specifically around a disease state. For example, we have seen many children’s hospitals doing a good job at breaking into social, as their audience seems more engaged than those on the hospital’s brand page. So, it would be interesting to see if service line pages specific to a disease state would do better, such as a page for your breast cancer center, to serve as a health resource.
- 18-24 year olds are the most likely to trust/share/engage via social media regarding healthcare.
This brings me to the fact that one of the greatest times to build a relationship with the female healthcare decision maker is during the time she has her baby, as it’s one of the most positive experiences she will have with your brand. Perhaps you could offer an application that allows her to easily share photos and updates on her baby’s development or an application that allows her to find a local playgroup. A unique application available for expectant mothers that is a nice reference for inspiration is available via babygaga on Facebook
- 28% of consumers have supported a health related cause.
I can truly appreciate this piece of data, as it proves that fans are passionate about health causes. An idea to put this to work could quickly increase your fan base/followers. Have your organization select a health cause to partner with and develop ideas and tactics to boost followers.
- 40% of consumers will post about negative care received at a hospital.
While maintaining a social presence is important to help build relationships with your brand, it is equally important to monitor social channels to find out what people are saying and what they’re unhappy with, allowing you to improve the perception of the hospital. Be sure that this component is included in your strategy, as you may be surprised at how harmful not knowing what others are saying could be to your reputation. Supporting this is the fact that 41% of consumers said that the info they found via social media would affect their choice in selecting a hospital/medical facility.
- 42% of consumers are likely to post about a doctor/nurse/provider if they had a positive experience.
This data supports the thought that people may look to social for referrals or second opinions. Create an idea that with help foster sharing of positive experiences with your hospital, and make it something that people will really want to share. Be sure to ask yourself, what about this makes it interesting enough to share with others.
- Most consumers expect to receive a response from a healthcare company via social media within 24 hours.
Be sure to build this into your plan and have a highly thought-out process in place to ensure that this can happen. Perhaps a simple “we are looking into this and will get back to you asap,” just letting them know that you are responsive, concerned and timely.
- Consumers want ways to make their healthcare easier to manage (doc apts., apt. reminders, discounts/coupons, continued support post-treatment).
Think of clever applications or tactics that can be incorporated within social outlets that will make people’s lives easier – an app allowing consumers to schedule an appointment, an app that sends patients reminders about their appointments, exclusive coupons for health screenings (i.e. $20 off a heart screening). These serve as the content that is going to keep your fanbase engaged.
- 63% of consumers are concerned about sharing their health info, as they worry about public sharing.
We know that for hospitals, HIPPA regulations have many worried about what they can and can’t do. A great idea for remaining compliant,yet able to engage is to have a social policy in place guaranteeing that information will not be shared. A good starting point on information in regards to the rules for establishing a HIPPA compliant social media strategy can be found on a blog from HIVE strategies.
- Organizations are most concerned about integrating social media data/analytics and measuring the effectiveness/linking to ROI.
When developing a strategy and a social plan, it’s important to set sound goals to measure the effectiveness of a campaign. Determine what is important and feasible to the campaign per the strategy. Is it increasing brand awareness? Be sure to measure your fan increase and retention. Is it spreading your brand message? Look closely and analyze how often something was shared. Or perhaps it is building an engaged fanbase. With this you can monitor comments, shares and feedback rates. Just be sure your goals are realistic. A blog post by Avinash Kaushik gives a breakdown of the best social media metrics to use as a starting point.
Have you seen any good examples of hospitals using social well, with this data in mind? I would love to hear your thoughts.
Memorial Hermann will be doing more than putting pins in patients today. They will be pinning a live brain tumor resection. Brain surgery on Pinterest? Yep. I'm not sure if it's the right social platform - it's not where I'd go to get up to speed on leading brain surgery centers - but it's certainly innovative. As is the hospital's social media machine.
This Texas hospital performed the world's first live-tweeted open heart surgery a few weeks back. When this reaped 125 million views via Twitter, Storify and media coverage, they decided to go for it again. Adding in Pinterest.
Today's brain surgery will be performed by Dr. Dong Kim, the surgeon who operated on former congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords. While surgeries have been tweeted in the past, this will be the first to share the feed from the surgeon's fiber optic microscope. Real time pics and videos will be posted on Twitter, YouTube and Storify.
According to Nielson @Plan, homemakers index 204 on Pinterest, meaning they are 104 times more likely to be on this site. So Pinterest definitely reaches the female healthcare decisionmaker. But will she want to look at photos of brain surgery while hunting for recipes and fashion tips?
(Image from IdeaStream.com)
Time will tell. I think one thing's for sure. Memorial Hermann is living up to its themeline of "100 Years of Patient-Centered Care and Innovation." Not only with its team of expert docs, but its team of social media experts.
What do you think of surgeries on Pinterest? Is it over the top? Or is this hospital ahead of the curve?
One man. In a box. For one month. No, he's not homeless. Just kinda unhealthy. Until Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota put "Scott the Human Doing" in a glass apartment at the Mall of America. There he learned in the public eye, and with their help, how to be healthier. Sit-ups. Tai chi. Pilates. Cooking and eating fruits and vegies. Whatever his audience desired. Scott did exercises directed by Facebook and Twitter polls. He also spent a lot of time connecting with folks via posts, tweets and videoblogs. And marveling over the support they gave him, which he says made all the difference.
The brilliance in this disruptive campaign is the two way communication. We've all heard that we should exercise and eat better. But this campaign showed and engaged people. In a real and memorable way, with live results. As for the results? National buzz. Over 2 million social media impressions. Over 4300 Facebook fans. Over 500 Twitter followers. Thousands of on-site impressions from people at Minnesota's most popular tourist attraction. Not to mention Scott dropping 29 pounds and 110 cholesterol points in just 30 days.
The Human Doing is part of BCBS of Minnesota's "do campaign". Getting people to move and groove at home, work, school, their community, etc. to fight obesity. Testimonial TV ads spotlight people explaining the excuses they used of why they couldn't lose weight ("I told myself it was hereditary"). Each ends with the thinner, healthier person "do dancing" with the funny "do dance" guy who makes you smile.
I think BCBS of Minnesota is doing a good job of getting people to do. What do you think?
Never underestimate the power of a good idea. It will stick in your head for years. It will push itself to the forefront among other ideas. And when the right people see it and believe in its potential, they will jump on your bandwagon. I came up with the idea for “Secondhand Smoke, Secondhand Rose”, 17 years ago working on the Michigan Department of Community Health account at Brogan.
At the time, we were doing some TV spots, so radio wasn’t in the budget and YouTube did not exist. But the tune, “Secondhand Rose,” (which is in public domain) and my rewrite of the words had a sticking factor. And the tune stuck in my head for years. So recently when I heard MDCH needed a radio spot about secondhand smoke for parents of young children, I remembered that idea from long ago. Of course, the original script was gone, considering it was written on one of the first Macs! But I recreated it. And I couldn’t have scripted what happened next better. Our wonderful clients at MDCH, Kelly Niebel and Jason Holben, let us produce it as both a radio spot and a YouTube video (the latter has over 4,000 hits just after a couple weeks). Serendipitously, we found the perfect talent shooting another spot for STEM awareness. We called in favors to make it amazing and stay in budget. But the icing on the cake: powerful results. The calls to the Michigan Tobacco Quit Line were so dramatic, one of our clients exclaimed she “almost fell out of my chair.” So that great idea you have, it can happen. It just may need a little longer incubation period. What do you think of our “Secondhand Smoke, Secondhand Rose” spot for the Michigan Department of Community Health? I'm glad it stuck in my head all those years!
How often do you get to do really cool healthcare transit advertising? I have to give our client, Covenant HealthCare, a big pat on the back for being great partners in letting us create 6 really cool buswraps for them. And for wrapping up a Silver Addy at the Great Lakes Bay Addy Awards last week for their transit campaign. Here are photos of 2 of the winning buses. The big idea? Use the entire bus to break through and create a wow factor for Covenant's messages.
Caution tape wraps the Emergency & Trauma bus. The Pediatric bus uses the actual wheels of the bus for the baby stroller wheels. Kudos to Covenant for taking their brand to the streets.
Let us know what you think. And please share your really cool transit advertising with us.
Did you catch the Ozzy Osbourne "Colonoscopy Sweepstakes" spot on the Grammy's Sunday night? Grand prize winner gets flown to New York for 3 nights in a luxury hotel overlooking Central Park, cash, and the main event - a free ride to New York-Presbyterian Hospital for a free colonoscopy! The hokey approach kind of threw me for a loop and I thought maybe it was a hoax. But it sparked my interest enough to check it out on the CBS Cares website.
Sure enough, it's for real. CBS Cares has been doing PSAs for a host of health care causes for many years. Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne's participation is inspired by Sharon's successful battle against colon cancer.
Personally, I'd rather experience the discomforts of this procedure close to home, but for the uninsured and/or adventurous, perhaps this is just what the doctor ordered! There's something for everyone and if it gets people to get their colonoscopy or garners interest in the topic, it's a winner in my book.
Take a look and tell me what you think of this innovative healthcare marketing example.
Madonna revived her 90's hit VOGUE at the SuperBowl half-time show last night. Prompting Bogan & Partners to revive BOGUE, our award-winning anti-smoking commercial for the Michigan Department of Public Health. Our client debuted it shortly after the release of VOGUE and we think it has held up as well as Madonna.