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Hospital marketing trends for 2015

Hospitals may provide necessary, life-saving care on a daily basis, but at the end of the day, like any organization, they still have to market themselves. Hospitals must remain competitive and current if they hope to attract customers — in this case patients — and stay in business. Experts suggest hospitals employ specialized marketing officers from consumer-driven industries to get a true understanding of how to draw in and engage patients.

Scott Sette, executive vice president of executive search at DHR International, told Houston BizBlog. "The large healthcare company has to build that brand recognition with the end consumer, and they have to strengthen their customer experience platform, so wherever [the patient] goes in the system, they make sure they're getting a constant experience across the board."

For hospitals looking for some direction the New-York-based firm Smith & Jones, which forecasts hospital marketing trends, recently released their 2015 guide containing a few handy tips:

Mobility: The report states that in 2015 over one billion people will access the internet only through mobile devices. For hospitals without mobile-optimized websites and blogs this could mean a real loss in viewership.

Simplicity: With the digital age came the age of instant gratification. Shortened attention spans mean people will no longer read lengthy articles regularly, or scroll down an endless infographic. Keep content short and easy to digest.

Subscriptions: Consumer engagement involves hooking viewers long term. One visit to a website won't cut it. Focus on building a conversation that individuals will want to continue.

Creativity: There are countless things to read and view on the internet. Without a creative approach to content patients will forget the message being delivered before they click out of the window.

Listen to your audience: The best marketing advice often comes straight from consumers. Understand what patients are looking for in a hospital and provide that service to them. Patient Approved is a wonderful way to get real-time feedback from patients regarding doctor and hospital performance.