When it comes to hospice marketing, most hospices focus almost exclusively on marketing to medical providers. Makes sense right? After all they have the power to refer. But doing so ignores a powerful demographic. One that has the need, the ability, the drive and the opportunity to refer to your hospice. She is the ‘in-home gatekeeper’ and she should be a key focus for your hospice.

We know the struggles with consumers thinking all hospices are the same; we know the struggles of ‘the list’ given to patients by case managers. But I can tell you from 20 years of ROI studies of our hospice gatekeeper direct strategies – consumers have power and they will motivate their physician to refer and they will demand the hospice partner of their choice. To the point of dramatic census growth, averaging 60 percent with our partners.

We have several case studies but here is one that is a great example of the power of targeting the in-home gatekeeper. We partnered with a hospice that had only three provider liaisons working out of three locations at the time. They decided to expand their service area throughout the entire state. Expansion came without the power of acquisition, meaning no relationships, no existing patients. And no additional provider liaisons. Since relationships with physicians and other medical providers take a while to build, we took our story directly to the in-home gatekeeper. We created an intense gatekeeper direct strategy involving social media, web, traditional marketing, advertising and recreating conversations we knew would resonate deeply with her. We used specific strategies to lower her psychological purchase price of hospice care and to build a connect between her and our hospice partner. Their census grew 300% taking them from three locations to 35 and positioning them as the largest hospice provider in their state.

We continue to see significantly more individuals benefiting from hospice when a sound gatekeeper direct focus works in tandem with building supportive and educational relationships with providers. So for most hospices what seems to be missing in their efforts to connect to this powerful referral source?

Though many hospices’ messaging begins to speak to the gatekeeper (Web, Facebook, brochures, advertising), they often are focused more on listing services, explaining what she doesn’t know about hospice, debunking hospice myths, or talking about their hospice and sharing testimonials. Rather than connecting to this powerful decision maker in real and profound ways that resonate with her. This takes understanding this gatekeeper better than they understand themselves. We’ve spent two decades gathering intensive data on what will drive her action to choose a certain hospice. If your hospice wants to care for more individuals and be able to provide the full benefit of hospice sooner, then look to the in-home gatekeeper; she can be your hospice’s best friend.

Consider re-inventing your conversations with her. Truly examine how you are communicating with her. Then build strategies and messages based on intensive research that tell your hospice’s story like it has never been told before, in a way she will find hard to ignore. Then give these messages the power to be heard.

Anoroc hospice marketing is the leading expert on the in-home hospice gatekeeper. Anoroc can review your hospice marketing communications strategies to help ensure your messaging is on target.