How the Name-Recognition Effect Increases Census

October 7th, 2019

Name recognition refers to the extent to which a consumer will claim familiarity with a business or product after being exposed to the name. In our articles, Brazzell Marketing Agency often jumps right over name recognition to discuss Top-of-Mind Awareness, a crucial component of maximizing referrals from doctors and discharge planners. However, name recognition has long been important in non-medical home care marketing, and it is growing in importance for physical therapy and Medicare-certified home health. A company without name recognition will have more difficulty getting in to see referral sources, will experience more resistance when forming partnerships, and will be selected less often by patients.

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Consider this buying experience. A consumer Googles “online auto insurance quotes.” Decision number one comes in just deciding from whom to request a quote. Google has pages of relevant results. The consumer will largely choose to get quotes from those companies with which he or she has name recognition. Consumers give more trust to companies that have name recognition. The consumer then takes the time to get quotes from Esurance (because it’s inexpensive), Nationwide (because it’s established), and GEICO (because they’re funny). The consumer then decides to throw in a quote from Mercury (because the consumer has never heard of them and wants to see if a “no-name” company has lower rates). Let’s say in this instance, Mercury actually provides the lowest quote, but it is only somewhat less than Esurance. This consumer will still have a tendency to choose the higher-priced company with name recognition than “risk” the lower rates with the “no-name” company.

Your patients and clients may go through a similar process when choosing a healthcare provider. They are faced with lists of unfamiliar company names, sometimes with no meaningful recommendations, sometimes with no time to do any real research. Just like our insurance shopper, patients and clients lean toward companies with name recognition. As direct access to physical therapy becomes more meaningful across the country, name recognition becomes more important in the buying decision process of physical therapy. Similarly, as the number of Medicare-certified home health agencies grows, patients are more often choosing providers from lists of unfamiliar names. We are finding a growing trend of agencies and practices with strong community name recognition weathering the various storms of healthcare reforms and strident competition better.

On the limited marketing budgets of healthcare providers such as home health, physical therapy, and home care, advertising for the purpose of name recognition has to be done judiciously - with an eye toward cost-per-impression and effective repetition. Billboards, Facebook advertising, and good signage in high traffic areas with repeat traffic patterns often make good choices for name-recognition advertising. Name recognition advertising is the most difficult type of advertising to measure. As in the example above, it tends to not stimulate an immediate sales interaction. Rather, it influences the buying decision process when and if that process finally occurs. For this reason, when your marketing strategy includes components of name recognition advertising (or top-of-mind awareness advertising for that matter), the marketing strategy can usually only be evaluated as a whole. Marketing planners must accurately document marketing strategy components, track company rate of growth, calculate changes in rate of growth, and document periodic analysis of how changes to the marketing strategy correlate to changes in rate of growth.  

When implemented effectively, name-recognition advertising increases the cost-effectiveness of your other rmarketing efforts - from search advertising to proposing marketing partnerships with other local businesses. Brazzell Marketing Agency can help with the ad design and branding control to enhance your name recognition, and we can fully implement your Facebook Target Marketing designed to cost-effectively create both your name recognition and top-of-mind awareness with high-value audiences.