Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hospital advertising

I have wondered why hospitals seem to spend more and more on advertising. Radio, tv, bill boards - they seem to be increasing more and more. I haven't figured this out until light dawned on me - some marketing person or advertising executive convinced them they needed to advertise.

Let's take a poll here - who chooses their medical care based on a billboard or tv ad? One vote here for no. I put a little bit more research into it than that. I might ask my doctor, ask friends and family, consider how long the drive would be (because of my inherent laziness), and maybe even go look at their websites.

This morning while watching the news, an ad came on for some hospital explaining breast tomography and how good it was at detecting tumors. So therefore you should go there for breast tomography. But they forgot the important point of why tomography - is it instead of mammograms? Or if you have a 'bad' mammogram? It didn't entice me to go there at all.

The news was just interrupted by a commercial advertising another hospital's cancer center. Every hospital seems to be advertising their cancer center more and more. Why, do they expect us all to be diagnosed and come running to them for treatment because we saw them on TV or on a billboard? Cancer center's seem to be the latest fad in hospital advertising. Everyone is getting one.  So it becomes an unending game of one-upmanship.

I am  a marketing person so I understand there can be many purposes to advertising - image enhancement or promotion for a sale or event. If they are focusing on enhancing their image, I'm not sure that tv ads are a good way to spend the money. TV ads are expensive to start - you need a budget that is a upper five figures to start. Maybe they could spend some of that money on patient care instead of advertising.

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