Posted on August 4, 2011
By: Barbara Vo, Account Executive, Legato Marketing
Do you really know what attracts a job candidate-or keeps an
employee happy? Salary and benefits.
Right? Not necessarily. Of course they matter. But
recruiting and retaining good employees is more complex-and perhaps
As a Gen X/Millennial, I know what's most important to me in my
job-and why I recently joined Legato. I want to be engaged, knowing
I'm being heard and that I'm contributing to the success of the
company. The environment here is open and encouraging to new ideas
and fresh approaches.
This is the kind of message potential employees want to hear-and
how current employees want to feel. Marketing can help deliver that
message. After all, its role is to unify a company's brand message
and deliver it to the targeted audience so they will be motivated
to "buy" your brand. Historically, your marketing department has
been successful doing this for external customers; why not allow
them to do it for your internal customers (employees), too?
As a marketing professional, my job is to find out what
motivates people so I can deliver a relevant message. Understanding
the motivators for different generations and backgrounds is the
first step in successful recruitment and retention. The second, is
delivering an attention-getting story about the advantages of
working for your company-above and beyond compensation.
After all, your employees are your brand. Their actions and
behaviors directly reflect the characteristics and personality of
your company. Give them an environment that will make them
flourish, and they will want to talk about the great place they
work. The underlying message to external audiences? A great place
to work, must be a great place to buy service.
We no longer work in silos where departments work independently
of each other. It's a more deliberate and integrated culture
involving everyone in the company from the CEO to the facilities
manager to the mail room clerk to the IT director. How to unify and
present that integrated process is the challenge. Your marketing
team members are the creatives who can help you achieve your
retention and recruitment goals by delivering your compelling
Posted on August 9, 2011
By: Barbara Vo, Account Executive, Legato Marketing
Because everyone's doing it. They are. But, why? And are they
using it as effectively as the medium allows for marketing? The
greatest advantage of social media is that it facilitates a
conversation between you and your current and potential customers.
This doesn't mean you should forego traditional media. Use it to
start the conversation, and let social media help you continue
For instance, let's say you create a print ad and a radio spot
to promote a particular product or service. You develop these based
on what you already know about your target audience. However, no
matter how recent it is, the knowledge you have is the past. That
information still is valuable, and you should have it; because it
gives you a place to start talking. It's like starting any
conversation. If you know someone likes to fish, you begin talking
about fishing. That person responds and you learn he doesn't like
all fishing; he likes to fly fish. You just got instant knowledge.
That's what social media can give you.
Through social media, you can learn more about your audience
daily. With this information, you can quickly respond with
marketing messages that are more specific to your audience's likes,
dislikes, and reasons why. And you do need to respond-quickly; show
that you are listening to what they have to say. If your audience
knows you're listening, they'll keep talking.
But make sure you're speaking their language. Some like
facebook, some like to tweet, others like to blog. Become fluent in
all areas of social media. If you don't understand it, don't use it
until you do. Social-ites can quickly smell the scent of ignorance.
Once they do, you'll have a difficult time getting them back into
the conversation. That's knowledge gone.
In addition to instant research, here's a real-life example of
another way social media can be valuable:
A construction company created a Twitter account for a project
site to inform people about what was being built, when there would
be road closures, and if there would be disruptive construction.
One windy Saturday, a neighbor tweeted that something had fallen
off of the building and was all over the street in front of the
site. In fact, several people tweeted about the incident. The
company saw these posts and immediately sent someone to the site to
clean it up. Had the company not been informed via Twitter, the
debris might have stayed in the street until the following Monday,
causing unsafe driving conditions, and a possible public relations
It's also a way to monitor your public persona. Social media can
be a contagious "word-of-mouth advertising," spreading information
about your company that is incorrect, inflammable, or damaging to
your credibility. If you don't respond, someone else will.
Go to Twitter and type in your company's name. What comes up
could give you good reason to care about social media.
Interested in following us on Twitter? @legatotweet or
Posted on August 18, 2011
By: Kris Whitton, Account Executive, Legato Marketing
After spending 15 minutes in line at a coffee shop, I was
greeted with a smile and a quick apology for the wait. Even though
it seems like a simple thing, it had big impact on how I regarded
the organization-thoughtful, caring about customers. The woman
behind the counter probably wasn't making a lot of money; yet
she still made the effort to ensure her customers were well taken
care of. I'll return to that coffee shop.
I've worked for companies in several different industries, and
I've noticed one commonality: the simplest of gestures can result
in customer loyalty. This realization (I hope) makes me better at
my job as an account executive, a role that depends entirely on
client satisfaction. In the healthcare industry this is especially
important. After all, caring is their job.
There are few things more important than patient satisfaction to
increase repeat patient visits. Sure, promoting sophisticated
technology, physician expertise, and hospital capabilities are
important. And patients do want to know their hospital has them.
But if asked, patients will not talk about the new technology;
they'll tell others about well they were treated. Word of mouth has
always been powerful, but in today's world of social networking,
news travels much quicker and more broadly, and has the power to
make or break any relationship - whether it's an ad agency/client
relationship or a healthcare/patient relationship.
I have created the following guidelines for myself to ensure I'm
keeping my clients happy. Perhaps you can use them or be inspired
to create your own.
Make sure your customer realizes your value.
You need to know if your patients understand the extent to which
your hospital performs and exceeds their needs for each visit. If
your ER has an average wait time of less than 30 minutes - tell
your patients. Then be sure to make good on this promise. Nothing
ruins credibility like offering something you can't fulfill.
Think about how you can provide additional value
and benefit to your customers. Talk to hospital
staff who have daily contact with patients. Being on the front
lines, they have the best perspective of how patients feel about
your organization. You might discover there is a healthcare need in
the community you've not seen. Maybe there is a lack of nutritious
meals in the community. You can make your hospital's cafeteria the
go-to destination for healthy meals in town, not just a snack
during hospital visits. Find out what patients most often ask for,
then be sure to have it available.
Reward loyalty. Often companies offer rewards
to draw in first-time customers. But what about current, loyal
customers? Reward them for their loyalty and they'll spread the
word about your organization's thoughtfulness. For example, create
preventive health campaigns and send out direct mail pieces
specifically targeted to your current patient base. You can
demonstrate your attention to your patients' personal healthcare by
sending reminders when it's time for annual screenings or exams
letting them know it's time for their annual screening or exam,
such as mammogram or cardiovascular test.
In the end, it doesn't take much to show your patients you're
genuinely interested in their health and wellbeing. And it can go a
long way in building loyal relationships.
Posted on August 24, 2011
By: Mike Milligan, President, Legato Marketing
As summer starts to wind down, the cool winds blow in and
the leaves change color, thousands of insured employees will face
their annual Open Enrollment period.
Many healthcare marketers choose to ignore this opportunity to
communicate with existing and potential new patients, relying on
the human resources personnel at each company to accurately explain
the benefit changes. The truth is, only something positive can come
out of being proactive with both employers and employees. Here are
a few things you can do to prepare for the upcoming Open Enrollment
1) Know the insurance plans. In some organizations, this might
be the marketing department's responsibility; in others, there is a
separate development department that does so. Regardless, someone
in your organization needs to know exactly which plans are in your
marketplace and whether your physicians and services are included.
Make sure the data is updated annually - it'll serve as your
2) Evaluate the changes. Remember that
data from the previous item? Use it to uncover opportunities. The
most obvious will be any that move from an exclusive panel to an
3) Work cooperatively. If a major employer suddenly includes
your providers after years of being out-of-network, start by
connecting with the benefits specialist and see if you can provide
any brochures or attend their benefits fair. Ask to provide health
columns for the company newsletter. See if you can hold a lunch 'n'
learn health education program on site.
4) Get creative. Did you find out there are political reasons
your providers were out-of-network for all those years? Remember
that some of those employees are probably waiting for this news so
make sure they get it. Consider newspaper or radio advertising.
Maybe it's time to rent the billboard that every employee drives
past to get to work. See if you can sponsor the placemats at
nearby restaurants or the gas station toppers at the gas station
across the street. Major changes will impact your company's bottom
line regardless of what you do - but consider the return on
investment from acquiring new patients who will stay with you as
long as their insurance allows them to. You might not see immediate
results, but remember this is about building long-term
Open Enrollment can open the door to new opportunities for your
organization. Opportunities to strengthen existing relationships.
Create new ones. And build brand awareness. It happens every fall,
so be prepared to make the most of it-every year.