The Reading Room

Is your marketing effective? Not according to you.

Ben Lauing, Imaging Performance Partnership

Three weeks ago, we asked Imaging Performance Partnership members to take our 2013 Quality Quick Poll. 

While we asked you about everything from radiologist consultations to technologist review, the most interesting results to me were probably the ones from our questions about marketing. Apparently, most of you aren’t doing what you think would be most effective.

Results indicate variation in marketing tactics and beliefs

First, we asked you to indicate which attributes you promote on your program's website, in marketing collateral, or through other advertising media. Here’s how you responded:

Second, we asked you to rate how effective you believe certain program attributes to be when it comes to marketing to referring physicians (1=not at all effective, 5=extremely effective). Here’s what you thought:

Last, we asked you to rate how effective you believe certain attributes to be when it comes to marketing to patients (1=not at all effective, 5=extremely effective). Here are those results:

Outlier analysis reveals opportunity gap

Looking at the three attributes rated the highest and the three attributes used the least, a problematic pattern emerges. For example, access and ease of scheduling is the top rated attribute for both physician and patient marketing, yet it is the third least used in advertising collateral. 

Efficiency and patient satisfaction scores, rated the second most effective marketing tactics for physicians and patients respectively, are the two least-commonly advertised program attributes.

In other words, some of the attributes you rated the most effective for marketing your imaging program are actually those that you use the least.

Focusing on department access may inflect patient volumes

There are many factors that may contribute to this gap, but the good news is that it is relatively easy to narrow.

According to the poll, members believe that access/ease of scheduling is the most effective program attribute to use for marketing, yet less than half of you promote it as a competitive advantage. 

Whether this is because your access is sub-par or because you simply hadn’t thought to mention it in marketing collateral, our poll suggests that department access is an important target for both improvement and marketing efforts.

Learn More

If you haven't filled out our quick poll, it is still open—please let us know how your department addresses quality.

Looking to improve scheduling and access? See our study Enhancing Outpatient Access for strategies and metrics you can implement. You can also browse all Imaging Performance Partnership resources on access and scheduling here.

Finally, don’t forget to register for our 2013 national meeting to learn more about our research on quality in radiology.

Want more from this author? See all of Ben's blog posts.