Consumer newsletters continue to be very popular among hospitals in their campaigns to boost awareness of brand and service-line specialties. Like everybody else, hospital marketing directors have to justify the ROI of their campaigns. Fortunately, in this current environment when spending on all forms of advertising is down, newsletter marketing programs remain viable. How do we know that?
A recent study by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media suggests some of the answers. This study was conducted during February and March 2009, and represents an update of the group’s original survey conducted in 2005. Both studies looked at consumer recognition and opinion about custom magazines and newsletters from sponsors in several industries – healthcare and hospitals among them.
Some of the more interesting findings for hospitals include:
· 62% of recipients report looking at the hospital custom publication they receive often, with more than one quarter looking at it every time it arrives (27%) and one-third (35%) looking at it most of the time.
· 56% of respondents who receive hospital publications indicate they are very satisfied with hospital quality of care, while only 36% of respondents who don’t receive hospital publications indicate they are very satisfied.
· 58% of respondents who receive hospital publications indicate they are very likely to recommend hospital to others (an increase of 8% from 2005) while only 36% of those who do not receive hospital publications indicate they are very likely to recommend a hospital.
What does this mean? Publication marketing programs work. They deliver meaningful and useful information that consumers find valuable. And they influence consumers’ perception of the hospital in a very positive way. That’s why newsletters continue to be popular for hospitals.
Of course, the pressure to do more with less has never been higher. For hospital marketing directors who see the value in custom publishing programs but have to reduce overall budgets, the key is in carefully profiling and pinpointing the most receptive audience. Strategic targeting allows you to keep labor, manufacturing, and postage costs down. At the same time, focusing on service lines with the highest margin and driving traffic to those programs first is key. Custom publications can help you do that.