Determine the Right KPIs for Your Hospital Brand Campaign
You convinced the health system’s leadership that it’s time for a rebrand. Now, they want a detailed plan. How will you measure brand health and determine if your tactics were successful? What’s the expected ROI? What metrics will show market share increase or improved reputation? Oh, and make sure everything aligns with and supports the health system’s strategic goals.
Before you pull every available data source to make the dashboard to end all dashboards, decide what information you really need. No one wants to look at 50 different iterations of a metric. They just want to know if it worked and why.
Based on our 35+ years of experience in the healthcare branding field, we’ve found the following three categories of measurement generate the most meaningful data related to a health system or hospital rebranding campaign:
- Brand Awareness
- Brand Experience
Successful brand managers identify the most relevant Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) within each category and build strategies and reports around them. Our favorites appear below.
Brand awareness is the O.G. metric of healthcare marketing. It measures the degree to which people recognize the hospital or health system and associate it with medical care. This category comes first on our list because campaign strategy depends on who knows you and how well.
Pro Tip: Assume nothing! Invest in attitude/perception research so you have a reliable baseline. How can you demonstrate growth in brand awareness without some hard data? Put your money here.
Specific KPIs to track:
- Awareness/Recognition – When presented with a logo, tagline, etc. from your brand, how easily can people identify your health system?
- Top of mind awareness – If they hear hospital, joint replacement, or cancer services, how many people think of your organization first?
- Advertising recall – Do they remember any recent ads or posts from your hospital? How accurately can they describe what they saw or heard?
If your brand awareness metrics are consistently poor, it might be time for a rebrand. Here are our thoughts on how to approach a health system rebrand.
Once you quantify how well people know you, find out if they like you. Their opinion on everything from how easy it was to schedule an appointment to the quality of food in the hospital cafeteria matters because it represents their experience. Each interaction with your health system generates positive or negative feelings and influences survey results, physician reviews, social media posts, and the willingness to recommend your providers and services to others.
Specific KPIs to track:
- Patient satisfaction scores – When asked, how did they rank communication, outcomes, and quality of care? (Most hospitals use an outside vendor to gather these scores.)
- Employee engagement scores – How many staff members just show up for a paycheck and how many feel invested in the larger strategy and goals of the organization?
- Sentiment – What is the prevailing attitude (Good? Mediocre? Bad?) about your hospital on social media, Google, review sites, professional forums, etc.?
- Net promoter score – How many patients/consumers are satisfied with their experience, and would recommend your brand?
When compared to awareness and experience indicators, utilization metrics like patient volume, use of services, and revenue are much more straightforward. You had surgery or you didn’t. There’s no room for interpretation. We recommend the following healthcare-specific metrics to illustrate your rebranding story and prove to the finance team that investing in your project paid dividends.
Specific KPIs to track:
- Growth in market share or market preference
- Leakage/outmigration from [identified service line] to a competitor
- Change in elective surgery volume
- Distribution of payor mix (government-funded vs. private insurance)
- Health system net revenue
Pro Tip: The service line director or hospital administrator holds a lot of utilization data. Meet with them at the beginning of your rebrand project and ask which metrics hold the most value. What is worth tracking? Can you access reports that already exist? If it's helpful, use our list of 20 questions to ask your service line leaders.
Determining the right KPIs for your hospital or health system brand campaign prevents a lot of unnecessary data mining and spreadsheet creation. It also allows your team to focus on meaningful metrics that prove your business case and inform future strategy.
Healthcare branding is the cornerstone of Ten Adams’ work. If a brand refresh or overhaul is in your future, we’re here to help.