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The article below was featured in The River View Observer on September 10, 2009. You can view it by clicking here or reading it below.

New Jersey Company Doing Their Part to Help Bring  Down Health Care Costs…

CAMBRIDGE MEDCOM ANNOUNCES EFFICIENT REMEDY FOR HEALTHCARE MARKETING

New Plan by Cambridge MedCom Will Save Marketing Costs and Create Effective Strategies for Medical, Dental Practices, Hospitals

Healthcare Marketing Communications firm Cambridge MedCom has the prescription for healthcare providers looking to cut marketing costs and improve the bottom line.  According to Cambridge MedCom, using truly effective marketing tools can increase profits, cut costs, and allow healthcare providers to improve the quality of their services by reinvested otherwise wasted dollars into patient care.

Abe Kasbo, CEO of Verasoni Worldwide, the parent company of Cambridge MedCom estimates that the average medical or dental practice spends approximately $50,000  per year in marketing costs, and hospital marketing budgets can range from $500,000 to several million. “We’re in new world of engagement, not advertising.  Our clients know that they are no longer in control of their brand; their patients are now in control.

So how do you engage these folks?” Physicians, and dentists hire highly specialized marketing like designers for brochures or programmers for the web, who are good at what they do, but do not necessarily understand how to attract new patients,” says Kasbo. “In addition, we find medical, dental and hospital professionals usually expend their budget on tactics, rather than campaigns that are directly to business plan, leaving them with little to no return on investment. Cambridge MedCom helps healthcare professionals increase their business footprint, and save precious dollars by developing and executing integrated marketing plans, utilizing the internet as the center of their clients’ business universe.”

Physicians, dentists, and hospitals as well as other healthcare professionals continue to rely heavily on advertising, and are slow to adapt to the rapidly changing new media realities that can be leveraged to attract new patients, keep patient engaged with their brand. The Internet has changed the economics of healthcare marketing and radically impacted pricing on media buys, the ways people shop for healthcare services, and the way they interact with a healthcare brand.

Unfortunately too many medical providers are unaware of how this affects their bottom line, or they may not understand how to take advantage of the new opportunities. “All too often healthcare providers market without strategic plan, physicians and dentists are busy doing what they do best, which is providing patient care. They often “drop marketing bombs” by using singular tactics, which are very difficult to measure, and imprudent because you only have one data point to work with. For example you can’t just jump on Facebook and expect it to be effective by itself, because it’s about developing and sustaining a relevant network on Facebook.  In addition, Patient behavior tells us that people will join relevant social networks, but will go to the group’s main website, and if that’s not up to par with their expectation, then they will do two things, leave your group, and not do business with you because of your website. So because your website does not speak appropriately to your market, you’ve rendered your social networking efforts useless,” Kasbo states. Kasbo maintains that although online communications are now making a greater impact, the right media mix also encompasses vital offline communications and strategies, including a move towards patient engagement, and away from stale advertising techniques.

“The benefits of engagement are two-fold,” says Kasbo. “While clients save money by spending it more wisely on business-driven, effective campaigns which allows healthcare providers to invest the savings towards patient care. This way you not only save the healthcare provider money, but perhaps improve the quality of healthcare for their patients as well.”

Cambridge MedCom develops personalized plans for each practice that integrate all aspects of online and offline communications. The vital media mix will lead towards strong, strategic campaigns in which each marketing tactic complements works within an integrated plan.

The company believes that their plans will help redirect the future of healthcare marketing to be more beneficial for the patient, and not just the business. Cambridge MedCom’s practice has proven effective in the case of a plastic surgeon that previously overspent on advertising. Using Cambridge MedCom’s plan, the company was able to cut costs by about 25%, increase his exposure through a tailored integrated plan of Web, social media, advertising, public relations and events. Cambridge MedCom was able to increase the doctor’s business by 12% while saving him approximately 25%.

Another individually tailored case involved a pain management practice whose campaign costs were cut by 1/3 and incorporated physician networking events to meet referring physicians. Kasbo points out that while the events required more effort than simply advertising, the return on investment was greater, thus driving the cost per effective impression down, and the return on investment up.

Plans developed by Cambridge MedCom begin with strategy as a foundation, and are supported by strong tactics. Cambridge MedCom firmly believes in this strategy-based model due to the truth that tactics are dispensable, while strategy is not.



NJBiz, a leading business publication serving New Jersey featured Verasoni’s Cambridge MedCom in an article Tited “Marketing Exec: Health care industry must get social to save money.


A couple of weeks ago, I read an article about social networking in a leading New Jersey business magazine. The story quoted several New Jersey based marketing firm execs who weighed in on social networking. The article found a consensus among these folks who opined correctly that social networking is still in its infancy, but wondered about the direct relationship between social networking and the bottom line. The article went on to say the following [editor's note - I have removed the names to protect the innocent]:

  • “I think most people are probably savvy enough to know you can’t draw a line directly from a Facebook page to the impact on the bottom line,” but     building relationships with constituents through social sites will ultimately contribute to a company’s success, he said, in ways that may not be quantifiable.
  • [Name Removed] compares the push to participate in social media to the early days of companies seeking higher ranking on Web search engines. With social media still in its early stages, [Name Removed] said there are no proven methods of how best to reach customers.  [Name Removed] said while many companies want to engage in social media-based marketing, she warns that few know what to expect. Taking time to understand how the new playground functions can save businesses from a few headaches. “Corporate America isn’t quite ready for this interactive marketing highway that we are going on,” she said. “With this two-way street, they can’t control [the interaction] anymore.”

While the article suggested, correctly, that social marketing efforts ought to be tied into integrated marketing efforts, it completely ignored certain business driven realities of the medium and went on to substantiate the experience of those quoted in the article.  I called the reporter to let him know that, indeed, you can quantify the contributions of social networking to the bottom line. I provided the reporter with several cases from our firm showing him the direct correlation between successful social networking efforts and the bottom line. Other firms who work within, and understand the nature of the medium have done the same for their clients.  The reporter rationalized that the purpose of the column was simply to point out that social networking is no panacea, that there are still miles to go before we perfect the medium for business.  Agreed and if you read my previous posts on this blog, you’ll see how much I agree. But as much as I agree, I cannot accept the fact that the other side was not told.

The truth is that social networking takes work. It takes time, it takes strategy, and moves in real time.  This is not easy, and not easily explainable. And yet, we have the other extreme where the corporate business media make it sound like you can sign up for Twitter and make a million dollars.  The blinding speed in which people adopt, and are attracted to social networking, certainly does not help.  Which means, that as marketing/advertising/PR/communications professionals, we have to stay not only on top of what is happening, but provide meaningful interpretation for our clients in order to best leverage the medium to advance their business goals.

But there are certain realities that marketing and PR folks will not speak about in public. Frankly many traditional marketing firms are very, very afraid of social networking, because social networking, if done right, is a game changer, an eminent threat to their bottom line.  Much like the Internet decimated newspapers because of their their head in the sand rigidity about protecting their revenue stream, newspapers were like the proverbial frog who hangs out in a slowly boiling pot until it’s too late. Traditional marketing and PR firms will soon suffer the same fate, unless they begin to change their business model, and delve deeper into social networking to uncover real value and meaning for their clients.

Take a look at the last quote above from the article. With all due respect to the depth and breadth of the experience of the marketing executives who were quoted, but, have these people been on the Internet? Have they looked around to see how “corporate America” is utilizing social networking and the web? Have they seen major international / national brands direct people from TV commercials straight to their Facebook, rather than their own websites?  Do they realize that “marketing and advertising” or a very good portion of it, is so 20th century, and engagement is about today and tomorrow. Have they heard of the iPhone and it’s billion dollar earning apps?  I am sure that these folks have heard the calls of major brands like Procter and Gamble, American Express, Verizon, who understand that their businesses indeed do not have control of their brands, but they’ve adapted by developing strategies to engage their customers to proselytize for them and advance their business.  Have they attended the many leading conferences, where the Global marketers have called on Madison Avenue to stop wasting their money and their time?

Head in the sand strategy seemed to have worked fine for our banking system, right? I make the same analogy here, marketing and advertising firms have a responsibility to their clients rethink and reshape the way they do business. Because like newspapers, if they keep the old model close to their vest because they don’t understand the realities of the day…well, need I say more…

I’ll post about the imperfection of social networking in my next blog…more to come.


Fairfield, New Jersey.  March 10, 2009.  The Dental Studies Institute, a leading provider of continuing dental education, announced today the selection of Cambridge MedCom, Verasoni Worldwide’s Healthcare Division, as agency of record. Cambridge MedCom will be responsible for developing comprehensive marketing strategies, including the Institute’s online brand launch.  “We’re excited to be working with the people at Cambridge MedCom. It’s their depth of understanding and experience in both healthcare and the marketing worlds that made them an ideal marketing partner for us,” said Lois D’Apuzzo, Director of the Dental Studies Institute.

“The Dental Studies Institute has helped thousands of dental professionals over the years, and we’re excited about the opportunity to help build their brand on and off line.” said Abe Kasbo, CEO of Verasoni Worldwide.

The mission of Dental Studies Institute is to provide high quality continuing education programs using the highest educational standards. The educational activities are designed to review existing concepts and techniques, to convey information beyond the basic education and to update knowledge on advances in the chosen profession. The objective is to improve the practitioner’s knowledge, skills and ability to serve the public.

Verasoni Worldwide is a fiercely independent, diversified strategic marketing and public relations firm with clients in healthcare, financial services, media, hospitality, and government services. Verasoni delivers innovative, integrated marketing and public relations strategies across traditional and new media platforms.

Cambridge MedCom’s web portal will launch at the end of March 2009.

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