November 9th, 2018 BY Douglas Lober

9 Ways to Use Promotional Products for Hospital Marketing

Hospitals are a cornerstone of health here in America and around the world. We rely on them for everything from annual checkups to prenatal medicine to help in life-threatening emergencies. Because of this, many hospitals assume that they don’t “need” to do any marketing. After all, people are going to come no matter what, right?

That’s shortsighted thinking, though. While some institutions are not-for-profit or government-run institutions, many are for-profit. In fact, about three-fifths of all U.S. hospitals are run on a profit-based business model, meaning it’s important they have a marketing plan in place. Even if you are owned by the state or a nonprofit organization, however, good branding can help bring you the recognition you need to keep your doors open and keep providing great care on a reduced-income level.

The number of hospitals is decreasing, meaning they are concentrating their resources in fewer establishments over time. At face value, that might make it seem as though it’s easier to drive patients to your door, but in fact, it means those left are likelier to have good reputations and prove formidable opponents in getting precious referrals from specialists as well as qualifying for the right insurance coverage.

Bottom line: Hospital marketing is critical.

The Good News: Hospitals Are Set Up for Promotional Product Marketing

Promotional product marketing is one of the most effective forms out there. Studies show that for every dollar spent on reusable bags, for instance, you get 1,000 impressions. That’s much higher than for billboards or media spots. Add in the fact that reusable products get thousands of views throughout their natural lifetimes (bags get almost 6,000, for example), and you have a can’t-miss marketing tactic.

Many companies have to work hard to devise marketing plans that incorporate the lasting power of promotional products, but hospitals don’t. Because they so frequently send patients away with medications, instructions, health accessories and more, there exists a ready-made marketing palette just waiting for you to use it.

The question becomes, how do you use the most popular types of promotional products for amazing results in your business? Which products will bring you the biggest ROI, and how can you begin crafting a marketing plan today?

9 Ways Promotional Products Help with Marketing

In answer to the question about which return the greatest ROI, the simple answer is whichever products get used the longest. Sure, some have better returns than others, but your real goal is to buy promotional products that customers will hang onto for months or even years. It’s a numbers game, after all; each new impression increases the odds that your patient will return to you for new services and that new patients will see it and come visit. In other words, the longer they hold onto that product, the greater chance for your marketing efforts to take hold.

So what are the best ways to put promotional products into your marketing plan? Here are 10 of our favorites:

  1. Branded Bags: Bags are always useful, both in the hospital and after your patients leave. They’re especially helpful during an extended stay, in which a patient might want to move around the hospital with possessions in tow. Once they leave, your bag goes with them home, to the grocery store and out into the world to grab those 6,000 impressions.
  2. Pill Cases: Medications are an extremely part of hospital life and healthy living. Whether your patient receives their pill case during a hospital stay or as a complimentary product along with a medication fill, it will help your patient take their meds more effectively … and think about you while they do.
  3. Pill Cutters: Going hand in hand with the pill dispenser is the pill cutter, which means diving pills becomes so much easier. One of the biggest hassles, which you’ve likely discovered yourself, is making a preset dose smaller, especially if you have to quarter it. A pill cutter removes the irritation and as such is likely to get used long-term.
  4. Customized Badge Holders: Your hospital staff members need to wear badges, and they need a way to keep track of them. That’s where badge holders come in, branded items that offer a sense of community while making it easier for physicians, nurses and assistants to keep their ID on them at all times.
  5. Stress Balls: Stress is a major issue in healthcare today. Studies correlate it with cancer, death, infertility and mental illness. Whether you work in family medicine or on the psych unit, stress balls can prove a helpful tool – and one people will take with them when they go.
  6. Tissue Packs: Tissue is a go-to medical supply for every room in a hospital as well as people of all ages. Whether they’ve come to your hospital for a brief visit or need provisioning for a longer stay, branded Kleenex packs are always useful – and will remind patients of your great service.
  7. Thermometers: These are among the best products to give to parents. You can include them in newborn goodie bags, hand them out at pediatric visits or include them as part of a flu shot campaign.
  8. First Aid Kits: Many hospitals do more than serve patients. They also hold trainings and act as industry thought leaders. If that’s you, consider passing them out at the end of a training as a memento for each participant, and a reminder to come fulfill their training requirements with you next time as well.
  9. Journals: Studies show unequivocally that journaling is an excellent tool for mental health, so why not encourage it among your patients with quality notebooks? As a psychiatric care provider, this is one of the best ways to keep your patients healthy and happy.

Have some ideas now about how promo products can play a role in your hospital’s marketing from now on? Get in touch with us today to learn more about reusable branded items, speak to a representative and kick off your marketing plan stat.