Strategic Marketing Plan | Logo Refresh | Marketing
When Robot Creative first partnered with Metropolitan Methodist Hospital, the goal was very simple – help their newest free-standing ER in the group, Metropolitan Methodist Emergency Center at the Quarry, increase patient count. The facility, nestled in a prime location in an affluent neighborhood, with the backing of the Methodist Healthcare System brand affinity, seemingly had everything it needed to be a top producing healthcare facility. However, in less than three years since opening, the ER was underperforming against expectations for patient visits and saw a shift in payer mix that no longer matched the anticipated demographics of the surrounding area.
These two factors, along with a known perception issue among the general public about the differences between care levels and bill rates from urgent care to ER facilities prompted leadership to seek out a strategic solution for this problem through hospital marketing.
As a crucial first step toward developing a plan of attack, ROBOT began a process of historical data and current market analysis to better understand the key metrics of the ER’s business. Looking at reasons for visit, patient frequency and payer class volumes, it became clear that the key to increasing both patient count and reestablishing the payer class mix was to focus on two target audience groups: Alamo Heights area moms who are the key decision maker in health solutions for themselves and their families, and healthcare professionals responsible for referring above-average frequency geriatric patients. For each target group, ROBOT developed specific tactics and relevant messaging to encourage top of mind awareness, as well as improved education on the benefits and best uses of the ER facility.
After a review of the logo, signage and branding collateral, ROBOT found opportunities to make some improvements to the branding standards to help with visibility and consistency. Recommendations were made on ways the emergency room could add branded elements to the building, both inside and out. Direction was also provided to refresh the logo, and a style guide was created to help solidify the color scheme and graphic treatments intended for use on advertising and marketing collateral.
To increase daily patient count and showcase the ER as the first choice for families in the areas around the Quarry, ROBOT launched a targeted direct mail marketing series, a magazine for new residents in the area and an ongoing social media marketing strategy. These campaigns focused on education about the brand and the facility’s services. The goal was to saturate the target audience to keep the facility top of mind in an emergency situation.
A series of direct mail postcard campaigns was targeted to homeowners that fit our demographic profile and lived in the neighborhoods close to the facility. These postcards featured recognizable neighborhood families, athletes, and local figures to build a special connection with the audience. They also included informative details about specific ER offerings that are not available at other competing clinics and urgent care facilities. A map was included to show how accessible the Quarry ER is to the target neighborhoods. The direct mail postcards served to educate and keep the facility top of mind.
Upon the heels of the first direct mail campaign, ROBOT identified a new sub-target audience within the neighborhood families; that of new home owners. In conjunction with the Metropolitan Methodist Hospital market geographies, this publication served to educate new arrivals to the area about the combined resources of the quick and convenient Quarry ER and full hospital capabilities of the Metropolitan Methodist Hospital. The magazines included content which directly addresses the ER’s differentiators, the easily accessible location and guidance about when patients should consider the Quarry ER versus urgent care facilities. There were also articles on seasonal safety and wellness tips which were specific to the area (dealing with the Texas heat in the summer, mountain cedar allergies, etc.)
ROBOT used social media posting and targeting strategies to connect with both target audiences. Facebook was selected to reach women falling into a health-conscious category and mothers of all aged children. LinkedIn ads were used to focus on physicians and other healthcare professionals who treat elderly patients and could refer or influence a referral to the Quarry ER. For both groups, the main goal was to increase top of mind awareness and propensity to choose Methodist in an emergency situation.
“Robot worked very closely with us to understand our business and our organization. Their listening, understanding and expertise helped us develop a clear, consistent message to our target audience. The result was success in bringing a greater awareness of our services to our community and more growth in patient visits than we were expecting.”
In the first year, the execution of the plan led to an increase of patient count by more than 18%, exceeding the hospital leadership team’s projected goals and led to a renewal of programs through ROBOT’s outsourced marketing program. The digital advertising campaign on Facebook increased target audience impressions by 108% and frequency by 40%.