The Insighter is a monthly column from the minds who bring you The SPM American Health & Life Study, the first study of its kind that profiles how various life choices and behaviors influence healthcare decisions. From a nationally representative sample of 4,000 adults, the study includes over 1,000 items that enable our insights team to dive deep into the specifics of who your consumer is and why they make their decisions.

As healthcare becomes increasingly competitive, more and more hospitals and health networks are seeking to obtain, and then capitalize on, their awards, rankings or designations. These recognitions are a tremendous source or pride to an organization’s employees and can act as motivators for continual operation and improvement.

Awards, rankings, and designations have also been marketed heavily as a way to win over prospective patients and to keep current patients loyal. And those marketing efforts are gaining traction.

Since 2010, awareness of 11 major awards, rankings and designations investigated in the SPMSM American Health & Life Study are up by an average of 7.5 percentage points.

Of particular importance, the likelihood to use an award, ranking or designation a person has heard of has jumped an average of 10-20 percentage points over the last eight years.

However, amidst the rise of awards, rankings and designations in marketing, a sobering truth remains: nearly half the respondents in both 2010 and in information-rich 2018 feel “there is no easy way to find a good hospital” and “there is no easy way to find a good doctor.”

So, when marketing your award, ranking or designation, making things easier—and ultimately more useful—for consumers requires specificity. It is not sufficient to simply inform consumers that you are a recipient of an award, ranking or designation. You need to convey to consumers why you have earned that recognition and make sure the consumer knows “what’s in it for me.” Otherwise, your eyes may be the only ones on that prize you worked so hard for.


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