Differentiate and position your brand message by knowing your customer, their pain points, their anxieties, how they buy surgery services, whom they trust and why. Write content that resonates with them as if you were casually chatting to one specific person over a cup of coffee.
When you write content about your hospital or ASC, whom do you expect to be reading what you posted? What are they looking for? Are you casually explaining what differentiates you among some 15,000 options they can choose in the USA?
According to Maria Todd, our go-to expert on healthcare marketing and branding for bundled-price, transparent, cash pay surgery services, “Differentiation is best presented in an easy-to-understand concept that is meaningful to a listener or website visitor. Something that sets you apart from any competitor.” You can do this in one of two ways: Discover what sets you apart through research (as in the practicum exercise below) or decide to focus on something, a trait or unique approach or service you want to “own” that your competitors don’t offer or don’t have or can’t easily copy.
Practical exercise. Stop right here and write down some differentiators that you know will resonate with your last 25 surgery patients. It will be more difficult than you initially realize to complete this assignment.
Start by researching their age, gender, zip code, and how they paid for their procedure. Next, estimate their education level, the car they drive, marital status, the brand of watch they wear, what they do in their leisure time, where they shop for food and household items, if they hire housekeepers or gardeners, their jobs if they work or what they did before they retired. With your sample of 25 people you’ve already treated and have certain demographics in hand, what set you apart causing them to choose your facility and your surgeon over all others. What mattered to them the most? After all, they did consent to allow you to cut them open and put them back together again. With such intimacy, don’t you think you owe them this understanding? But can you articulate what was the differentiator that led them to choose you from your competitors across all 25?
And keep this little tidbit in the back of your mind: What initially drove them to select you before they got to know you may not be the same thing that they eventually learn to appreciate about you over time, after their procedure. So in this exercise we are seeking to articulate the differentiator that originally drew them to you and to consent to your service; not the hindsight. Todd says that if you don’t believe you have the time to do this before preparing content for your website, brochures, videos, podcasts, and social media outlets, you should hire a professional branding expert who will take the time to analyze your existing customers and frame up future campaigns and content production or you’ll simply waste time, money and opportunity. That’s what branding experts do. Logo, colors, fonts, and other graphics are only a minuscule component of what branding experts deliver to your project. The difference between a highly-differentiated surgical provider and one that hasn’t done this exercise properly and benefited from and utilized the outputs of the exercise is 3x growth, by comparison. So if it is growth you are targeting, identifying and positioning your differentiation is the first step towards success.
You or your branding expert must supply the talking points so that when we determine which audience segment is calling, the concierge speaking with them can explain your story, your way. It’s like volleyball. We assist the ball over the net from the first call. Then once over the net onto your side of the court, your job is to convince them to trust you enough to seal the deal. Once they decide to buy from you, we then coordinate all the movement, records transfer, travel, on the front end, and measure outcomes on the back end. We aren’t your “free marketing” service. We aren’t your paid referral broker, either, because that’s not legal in the USA. We facilitate the introductions. You win the business.
- What we are not
- Who we are today
- Who we want to be in 2,3, and 5 years.
Start digging into nuances and preferences.
Next break up the cards into the following themes:
- Words that describe our service and our bundled-priced, transparent, surgical case rate program
- How our community sees us
- How our customers see us
- Who we are at our core
Next mark your priorities. Once you’ve established a message architecture upon which your hospital or ASC can agree, fully incorporate it into your content marketing strategy. After that, do this:
- Make sure to document the message architecture.
- Update your content marketing strategy with the message architecture and ensure that all marketing team members and extended team members such as SurgeryShopper.com concierge team members are aligned.
- Ensure all content meets at least one stated communication goal
- Prioritize scheduling or quantity of content in a certain focus area through distinct campaigns
- Take a look at your website and view it as a content hub. Is the user experience (UX) supportive of your message hierarchy? Your behavior analytics in Google Analytics will tell you how visitors experience your website.
- Use the message architecture to consider how navigation, taxonomy, and overall layout can be improved to underscore your goals.
- Share the message architecture with new team members and our concierge team at SurgeryShopper.com to maintain consistency.