Who’s Your Mama?!

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More hospitals than ever are borrowing the best practices of retail and service industries to attract today’s savvier patients. Plush robes and flat screen TVs with Internet access are just a few. But there’s one retailer doing very smart things with its most influential target audience that I haven’t yet seen in healthcare settings.

Say what you will about Wal-Mart, but they’ve gone far beyond just listening to their female customers (the same ones that make most healthcare decisions) – they’ve created a very successful community of influential women bloggers, who in turn provide great money saving ideas to other moms. It’s called ElevenMoms.

For a hospital, that could mean an instant focus group or sounding board for everything from potential service line extensions and wayfinding to patient satisfaction and wellness offerings. What works? What can be improved? What would change their perceptions of your hospital versus a competitor? What tools can you provide to help them with health and wellness?

That alone can be invaluable input, but once you’ve engaged these women in an ongoing relationship with the hospital, there’s the enormous added opportunity of leveraging *their* relationships – making healthcare decisions for their families, in the community and on social media. That’s viral marketing at its best.

So, why don’t more hospitals have their own version of ElevenMoms?

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