By: John Lavey | Hammock President/COO

Countless healthcare events are held every year, from high-level thought leadership seminars to more intimate symposiums. But when it comes to organizing these conferences, marketers often have the same complaint: The amazing content created for the event—typically one of the organization’s largest investments—usually doesn’t outlive the conference itself.

 

“Us Tareyton smokers would rather fight than switch” was a classic advertising slogan of the Don Draper era. Featuring a smiling model with a black eye, the grammatically incorrect Tareyton print ads ran from 1963 until the early 1980s. (Cigarette advertising on TV ended in 1971.) On its surface, the slogan was a clever way to encourage loyalty to the Tareyton brand. Yet beneath the surface, it was an insidious and not-so-subtle rallying cry for smokers to ignore the evidence linking smoking to cancer that started mounting in earnest with the 1964 Surgeon General’s report.

In the 55 years since the report was issued, the percentage of Americans who smoke has fallen from 42% in 1964 to 14% today. But nearly 34 million Americans still smoke, apparently willing to fight to the death than switch.

By: John Lavey | Hammock President/COO

A common complaint about websites is they don’t clearly and explicitly convey a company’s mission and goals. In fact, one of the worst things to hear about your own site is,  “I looked through it, but I still don’t know what you do.”

By: John Lavey | Hammock President/COO

Measuring the impact of marketing investments, including content, on a company’s bottom line is a struggle for marketers—at least for those who are being honest.

By Steve Sullivan, National Sales Director

I spent an eternity last week with U-Haul trying to solve a simple moving problem. I may as well have been looking for the Coke recipe or Google’s current search algorithm.

We were looking for a certain sized trailer for a family member’s move to a new city. But searching for the trailer online, getting help from customer service, and then seeing the difference between what exists at the local U-Haul center and what appears online—each person we talked to seemed to have been speaking a different language. And this is not complicated stuff.

By: John Lavey | Hammock President/COO

We’ve observed an interesting nuance in the language used in marketing materials for behavioral health specialists—they refer to their customers as clients, not patients.

It’s a subtle difference, but it implies that the individual being served is involved in ongoing care. The language has evolved to encompass continuing care, not just one-off transactions.

By: John Lavey | Hammock President/COO

Trust has always been a cornerstone of the patient-physician relationship, and high levels of trust in medical institutions have remained steady in large opinion polls.

But as the forces of consumerism continue to transform the healthcare industry, the rules are changing—and content needs to keep pace.

By: John Lavey | Hammock President/COO

According to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, the average lifetime value of a healthcare consumer is $1.4 million. That’s an amazing number. Most people will probably spend more money on healthcare than anything else, including housing, schooling and even investments.

Despite that value, we are in the Dark Ages when it comes to providers’ ability to nurture that customer on a journey toward something that looks like loyalty.

By: John Lavey | Hammock President/COO

When it comes to improving customer service, healthcare providers are looking outside the industry for role models. Whether seeking out the lessons of legendary service providers such as The Ritz-Carlton or Disney, healthcare leaders are looking to learn from the best.

I recently had a conversation with someone in a high-level operations role for one of the leading cancer centers in the United States. The hospital had recently consulted with the famous New York City restaurateur Danny Meyer, who wrote a book about the transformational power of hospitality in business.

By: John Lavey | Hammock President/COO

A colleague recently decided to replace a rotting windowsill. He didn’t want to hire someone, so he researched what he needed to do, talked to friends who had experience, then did it himself.

As soon as he finished the windowsill, he noticed he needed to paint the window frame. As soon as he painted the window, he noticed the other windows in the house also needed to be painted. And so on and so on. Success became about making the entire house look as good as possible.