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Guest article: The promise of branding in healthcare

24-April-2012
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Guest article: The promise of branding in healthcare

Usually when people talk of advertising, the discussion revolves around premier FMCG brands. However, one can hardly think of a healthcare brand that has been advertised extensively. These days India is the place to be for medical treatments and the rapid growth of the healthcare sector has attracted lot of investments.

With healthcare organisations mushrooming across the country, the need for a marketing strategy is palpable. About a decade ago, a marketing department was unheard of in a hospital. But now every major hospital wants to build its brand. This is being fuelled by demands of the Indian consumer who is becoming more brand conscious while demanding services from an institution.

Despite the predictions of growth, the industry has still not developed in terms of marketing and has a long way to go.

Branding can positively affect the bottomline and act as a catalyst for the growth trajectory of the hospital. Let us look at some of the best practices that should be followed while charting a marketing strategy for a healthcare provider.

Find your brand position: Identify your target profile so that the campaign is in sync with the positioning of your brand.
Internal branding: As much as external branding is important, it is also important that the ambassadors of the organisation carry a good image wherever they go.
Physicians and branding: They can be an asset for the hospital. Build brand around the quality of physicians in your hospital.
Use of various media: The hospital should use various media that are relevant to its positioning and target profile. Social media is fast catching up and should be used wisely.
The new-age hospital: Everybody wants to be futuristic. We all look forward to newer technology innovations. So it is important to showcase itself as a new-age hospital.
Create a customer service centric hospital: Customer service is the key driver for growth of any organisation. Hospitals are no different. Highlight how your hospital gives importance to service because that’s the only thing a patient remembers when he leaves.
Get more mileage from an established brand: You could be part of larger conglomerate. Make use of this and create your local awareness by riding on the established brand.
Create a brand for the future: When you create a brand, do it keeping in mind the changing trends and how it can impact your business in the future while catering to the present.

Today, the marketing department has become one of the most important departments in the hospital. The management works very closely with the marketing team as they have realised that it is imperative to build the brand to succeed and grow in today’s environment.

We are seeing momentum build in the healthcare industry but it is still far from seeing a cola war or is it?

The author is Director Business Development, Hosmac India

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