independent high schools

Three Criteria Crucial To Marketing Independent High Schools

In our 35 year history, The Melior Group has worked with numerous independent high schools, including those with a faith-based mission.  Given the demographic forecasts which predict a dip in the number of high school students over the next several years, rising tuition costs, and overcapacity in many markets, it is not surprising that our recent projects all center on helping independent schools enhance their outreach and recruitment efforts.

In our work, we’ve talked with countless parents about how they make educational decisions.  We’ve heard them express their hopes and aspirations for their children, and their belief that the “right” school can enable those visions.  We thus have gained insight into what parents value when “shopping” for schools, and we know what schools need to communicate in order to attract the students they want.

First and foremost, our advice is this:  in this competitive environment, every school needs to be prepared with the answer to the following question:  ‘at the end of high school, how will my child be better as a result of attending YOUR SCHOOL (versus going somewhere else)?’ 

Parents, in making assessments about what is the best school for their child, compare schools on three overarching criteria.  We believe that in each of these areas, schools need to articulate their unique approach/philosophy, strengths and track record:

  1. Strong academics are a baseline expectation of independent schools. Parents assess excellence in this area by examining college admissions statistics (parents want to see that nearly all graduates attend college, and that some are accepted to highly competitive colleges); breadth and depth of classes offered; word-of-mouth about teaching quality; availability of advanced courses; presence of academic enrichment opportunities (e.g., STEM club, trips, lab facilities, etc.); and availability of academic support from teachers and learning specialists.
  2. Parents want to see evidence of measurable outcomes on the “investment” in tuition. They want to know how their investment will impact admissions to competitive colleges; ability to earn college scholarship money; and career prospects and earning potential.  It is important to note that parents love seeing evidence of strong alumni networks, which they perceive can contribute to graduates’ career success.
  3. Potential for personal growth is also critically important, and as such parents look closely at extracurricular opportunities, and the extent to which their child could identify and pursue their individual interests and passions. They also assess intangible culture factors including values, spirituality/religion, character development, love of learning, and where their child will “fit”.  While these factors can be difficult to articulate, they are what parents point to as distinguishing public schools from independent schools, and independent schools from each other.

In sum, the schools that are able to meet their enrollment goals are those that can make the case that their graduates are better off for having gone there. 

Do you have questions about marketing an independent high school?  Give us a call or shoot us an email and let us know how we can help.


For more information please contact Elizabeth Cohen at lcohen@meliorgroup.com/215-545-0054 ext. 103

Liz Cohen

The Melior Group Team Profile: Liz Cohen

A few years ago our President, Linda McAleer, was selected to be featured in the Philadelphia Business Journal as part of their ongoing CEO File series – and we created a throwback blog post to share some highlights about her leadership and personality.

Inspired, we decided to create a Melior Team Profile for everyone on our staff. By asking and answering these questions, we hope you’ll get to know us a bit more, both personally and professionally.  Last month we featured Vice President Susan Levine.

This month, we’re taking the time to get to know Vice President Liz Cohen, who shares some fun facts about herself:

  • Essential business philosophy:  There is no substitute for excellence
  • Best decision: Marrying my husband and having our kids
  • Word that best describes you: Curious
  • First choice for a new career: Sociologist
  • The most important lesson you’ve learned: First impressions can be very misleading

To learn more about Liz, check out her full bio here.

jewish community studies

What does “being Jewish” mean… not just now, but for the future?

The Melior Group works with Jewish organizations, including Federations and Day Schools, to help them better meet the current and emerging needs of the communities in which they operate.  Our approach includes developing community surveys, which usually contain attitudinal questions about Jewish identity.  Agreement with one such statement, “It is important that future generations of my family consider themselves Jewish,” is always high; generally, over 95% “agree,” and over two-thirds “agree strongly.”

Until recently, I have interpreted the nearly unanimous response this way:  in saying that they want their progeny to be Jewish, community members demonstrate their commitment to Jewish sustainability, and therefore – at least in some way – to the institutions and organizations which are essential to Jewish communal life.    A very smart colleague, however, has challenged me to look at this a little bit differently.

If I were to travel back in time to talk to my great-grandparents in Eastern Europe, I have no doubt that they, too, would strongly agree that “It is important that future generations of my family consider themselves Jewish.”  But, if they were to meet me today, would they feel that their hopes had been met?  In some ways, I have followed in their footsteps: for one thing, I would answer that attitudinal question the same way they would have.  I am a member of a synagogue, I’ve been to Israel and my family lights candles on Shabbat.  And yet…my daughters play soccer on Saturday, attend secular schools and love our annual lobster dinner.

Would my fore-fathers and -mothers claim victory, or even connect our Jewish practice to theirs?  I am not very confident that they would.

I’ve come to realize that while agreement with the statement “It is important that future generations of my family consider themselves Jewish” is high across the board, the expectations contained in that statement vary widely. This has implications for Jewish communal institutions, which both serve, and are sustained by, their communities. 

And this is why Melior’s work is so valuable; we can help individual communities learn about what it means to “be Jewish” there.  Our research asks questions and seeks answers that can help shape what “being Jewish” means in relation to Jewish communal organizations, such as:  What are the common denominators, the essential kernels of being Jewish?  How can Jewish communal institutions support and encourage participation among everyone who identifies as Jewish, in the spirit of inclusion and no judgement?  What can be done to nurture Jewish identity, while acknowledging and accepting that moving the needle toward greater involvement may or may not happen?

Through an exploration of how Jews within a given community define “being Jewish”, and their hopes for what future generations will believe and carry forward, Jewish community leaders can better serve their communities now and in the future, and leverage the widespread hope that Judaism – in its evolving shapes and forms – will live on.  


Interested in discussing a Jewish community studies project?  Contact Elizabeth Cohen at lcohen@meliorgroup.com/215-545-0054 ext. 103 or Sue Levine at slevine@meliorgroup.com or 215-545-0054 x107.

jewish community studies

If You Ask, We Answer: Part 2 – Healthcare

Continuing our series about the common questions that our clients ask us:  our first post focused on the higher education sector.  We now turn our focus to healthcare.

When my kids ask me what I do all day, I respond with, “We answer questions.”  I give pretty much the same response to adults, because while it sounds simple, it captures the essence of my work.  That’s why The Melior Group is in business.

So when it comes to our healthcare provider clients like hospitals and health systems, what kinds of questions is Melior answering, and how are they using the information?

If we build it, will they come?

Investment in facilities, programs and services is costly, and our healthcare clients need data about consumers to support their decisions.  Hospital planning departments and their consultants provide the market information (how many people live in the area, insurance status, etc.); Melior’s work focuses on gathering insights into consumer attitudes and behavior. We ask questions of the market such as:

  • Is there a need in your community for said initiatives?
  • When making decisions for this type of program/service, what are your criteria for selection?
  • If the program/service offers these menu items, how likely would you be to consider using it?
  • What would make you more likely to use it?

With the answers given, Melior is able to guide clients to make “go/no go” decisions, and, if the decision is “go”, to develop a product that is responsive to consumers’ needs and preferences.

Is our consumer-directed marketing and outreach accomplishing what we want it to accomplish, and if not, what can we do to make it better?

We often work with clients when they are developing their consumer marketing strategy.  They may need to evaluate their current brand status, as well as elicit input for future marketing campaigns.  We ask questions of consumers such as:

  • What is important to you when you are making decisions about healthcare?
  • What are your impressions of the different providers in the market?
  • How do you gather information about healthcare providers?
  • What is your reaction to current advertising and other messaging from healthcare providers?

The answers help our clients to develop marketing communications which are believable, distinctive and have the potential to resonate with desired audience segments.

How can we better serve our surrounding community? 

This is an important question for our nonprofit healthcare clients, which are usually mission-driven.  They take their missions seriously, and want to hear, from the audiences they are committed to serving, how they are doing.  As such, we ask questions of those audiences such as:

  • Do you perceive this provider as the “go to” resource for your family’s health needs?
  • Does this provider treat all patients with the compassion and respect that they deserve?
  • Is this provider doing all that it can to improve the overall health of the community?

Though sometimes the findings can surprise, and even hurt, they can provide a starting point for improvement and rededication to meeting mission goals.

In addition to the questions we ask, our rigorous approach to figuring out who we need to reach in order to gather the information we need, and determining the best methodology for gathering information, is central to our work.

Our research can help healthcare providers explore all of these issues and more.  Give us a call or shoot us an email and let us know how we can help.


For more information please contact Elizabeth Cohen at lcohen@meliorgroup.com/215-545-0054 ext. 103

data

True or False: Without Data You’re Just Another Person With An Opinion

“Without data you’re just another person with an opinion.” 
– W. Edwards Deming

At The Melior Group, we live and die by that quote.  It is how we sell our services:  we believe, deep in our bones, that information/data can help move an organization toward where it wants to go.

The longer I work in marketing research, the more that quote has taken on another meaning.  I have learned that our clients’ opinions, which are usually based in anecdotal evidence and intuition, are also often correct and borne out in data.  Upon delivery of our findings, we usually hear some version of the following:  “this information doesn’t surprise me.” 

When I first started out in this business, my face would fall when a client would say that.  I thought a statement like that was a criticism,  a veiled message that the client did not value what we had done and felt they hadn’t gotten their money’s worth.  Today, however, I have a different perspective.  Head nods and lack of surprise at our findings are comforting signs that we did our job right.  I feel unsettled when a client says, “this is news to me…I am completely surprised by what you have found.”

My change of heart starts with confidence in my clients.  If they are doing their jobs right, then they have a sense of what is going on with their customers, their employees, their brand, etc.  They work there, after all.

So have I just talked The Melior Group out of business with my assertion that our clients already know what will be revealed in the data that we gather?  Absolutely not.  If data collection is done well (and this, we know, is critical), data provides validation and proof… it is defendable.  It is the bulwark of evidence that organizations need to move forward.

Just because “without data you’re just another person with an opinion,” doesn’t mean that your opinion isn’t right.


For more information please contact Elizabeth Cohen at lcohen@meliorgroup.com/215-545-0054 ext. 103

emr

Impact of EMR on Patient Experience: Qualitative Review and Impressions

There is general agreement in the healthcare field that Electronic Medical Records (EMR) will eventually enhance quality of care, achieve cost savings, and improve the patient experience.  But, so far as consumers are concerned, the general feeling is… “are we there yet?”  Have the benefits of EMR trickled down to the point where patients understand what all the fuss is about?

In my role as a qualitative researcher hired by hospitals, healthcare systems, and insurance providers for the past 20+ years, I have had a front row seat for discussions about healthcare.  While so much in the sector has changed, consumers’ expectations for how they will be treated, and their satisfactions and disappointments, have remained constant.

Undoubtedly, most consumers are aware of EMR adoption; haven’t we all had the experience within the last few years of being asked to be patient (no pun intended) while our providers transition?  Of filling out lengthy healthcare forms which will be attached to our medical records? Of periodically updating acknowledgement of HIPAA policies?  Many of us even use hospital portals to communicate with our physicians, make appointments, request prescription refills, and see test results.

So overall, what has been the impact of EMR on the patient experience?

In the positive column, many consumers are aware of, and have come to appreciate, the benefits of having a centralized healthcare record that all providers within a system can refer to.  It is efficient (fewer questions when seeing a new provider within the same system), and makes people feel safe (“they know my medical history”) and cared for.  Having experienced these benefits, patients are more likely to request and accept referrals to providers within the same system.  In the words of one focus group participant…

“No matter what location you go within (health system), they can see your records…and then I can go into the portal and see all of my records from every location (within the health system) that I have been to.”

Have any other benefits of EMR trickled down to patients?  In our experience, not so much.  In focus groups, interviews and surveys, consumers continue to tell us about the delays and glitches in healthcare communication and service that providers blame on their EMR conversion processes.  Additionally, lots of emergency rooms – even those connected to providers that consumers often use for their healthcare – still don’t have access to full patient records.  The need to gather health information in the ER from patients and families reduces efficiency and exacerbates stress –  definitely not consistent with a better healthcare experience.  And finally, we hear a lot of complaints from people who say, “my doctor spends most of the appointment on the computer, and doesn’t even look at me while talking.”

In sum, while EMR is no doubt here to stay, at this point in time, many of its advantages remain elusive to those who it is supposed to help the most: patients. Hopefully the next time I write about this topic, when consumers ask “are we there yet?”, the answer will be, “we’re getting closer.”


For more information please contact Elizabeth Cohen at lcohen@meliorgroup.com/215-545-0054 ext. 103

community college - boxing gloves

Community College & Parent University: What’s the Optimal Relationship?

Just a few weeks ago, Philly.com reported that Rowan College at Burlington County (RCBC), a community college, would no longer permit on its campus any advertising, display of logos, or collateral materials from colleges/universities other than Rowan-branded institutions.  This angered and disappointed 4-year college presidents and administrators across the region.  [See link below at bottom of our post]

The article, and this issue, piqued an interest in The Melior Group’s research consultants, as Melior often works with colleges and universities on initiatives including strategic directions, recruitment efforts, and marketing and communications.

Members of the Melior team had a difference of opinion after reading this article. Vice Presidents Elizabeth Foley and Liz Cohen, both of whom provide strategic vision, branding, and development in the education sector, decided to square off in a point/counterpoint in response to this issue. It’s time for a battle of Elizabethan proportion!

Point: It’s about time colleges started to address the issue of competition in order to survive (Elizabeth Foley)

Community colleges are traditionally a pipeline to move students into a 4-year school.  So, it baffles me that anyone is surprised that a Rowan-branded community college would want to encourage its students to go to Rowan to complete a 4-year degree.  From a business perspective this makes a lot of sense.  If you can offer your customers (i.e., students) what they want, why send them elsewhere or promote other institutions when first and foremost you want them to consider your university?  That would be tantamount to walking into the New Balance store on Walnut Street for sneakers and the sales clerk offering directions to a Nike or Adidas store as additional shopping options.

While it was nice that RCBC allowed many different 4-year colleges to present information to its students via advertising and college fairs in the past, it’s the times they are a changin’ (thank you Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan).  Higher ed is facing a number of long term challenges, which we’ve discussed in other blog posts [see links below].

The population estimates for the coming decades are not pretty:  there will be fewer students entering 4-year institutions as the next decade progresses.  Most colleges are competing for students these days; Rowan is no different.  What better way to matriculate students than to cultivate them right from Rowan-branded community colleges?

Community colleges serve a great purpose.  And the innovations that have come from Rowan University (such as its 3+1 program, which enables students to spend 3 years at one of the two Rowan University-affiliated community colleges and just 1 year at the University as they complete coursework for their bachelor’s degree) in order to attract students to pursue a 4-year degree, in all likelihood were developed knowing that the competition for students will only increase because the prospective college student pool will continue to decrease.

The President of RCBC, Mr. Paul Drayton, censures 4-year colleges in the article for their inability to adapt:

“Drayton accused four-year schools of wanting to maintain a status quo despite a shifting higher education landscape. ‘It’s changed because those same colleges are too expensive. They brought this upon themselves, right? So they, during the worst economic recession in modern history, increased tuition … and so parents and students and others are talking about this.’”

The rising costs of attending college are putting that goal out of reach for many prospective students.  The changing economy is altering the face of higher education as we know it.  Mr. Drayton brings up valid points about the costs to attend some of their former “partner” institutions.  The RCBC-to-Rowan University pipeline makes smart economic sense for students looking to get a 4-year degree at an affordable price.

In the article, some administrators from some of the (former) partner institutions said that the options available to students about transferring to a 4-year school would be limited, implying that students wouldn’t be aware of the other institutions at all.

However, based on Melior’s area research studies, we’ve learned the institutions referred to in this article have some of the highest top of mind awareness ratings in the region.  The idea that students won’t know about those institutions because they’re not allowed to advertise at RCBC is condescending to students – who are savvier and smarter than we’ve seen in decades.  And, I would argue that students who don’t know how to use a search engine in order to research area degree programs shouldn’t yet be attending college.

Ultimately, the concern from the 4-year colleges is misplaced.  Instead of being angered about RCBC’s new policy, perhaps they should be using their own resources and devising innovative programs and creating strategies that will help attract their desired target students to their institutions.

Counterpoint: What was RCBC Thinking? (Liz Cohen)

The barriers that Rowan University has erected to limit other 4-year colleges’ on-campus outreach to RCBC students are unfair, short-sighted, and completely contrary to the spirit and values of public education.

The RCBC mission is as follows:

Rowan College at Burlington County transforms lives by delivering innovative, high-quality and affordable educational experiences in an accessible and diverse environment.

As stated above, RCBC aims to “transform lives.”  For many students, that transformation can happen with a 2-year degree, but some students may aspire to a transformation that requires a 4-year degree or beyond.  In keeping with its mission, RCBC’s first priority should be to support the dreams of its students, and as such, it is obligated to open as many doors, and provide as many opportunities, as it can.

Rowan University counters any criticism of its new restrictions by saying that of course RCBC students are free to explore, and eventually attend, any and all 4-year institutions.  But by not giving other 4-year colleges and universities the opportunity to visit and recruit on the RCBC campus, Rowan is ignoring the reality of many RCBC students, whose lives are filled with classes, part- or full-time employment, and family obligations.  On-campus visits from 4-year colleges and universities can make it just a little more convenient for RCBC’s striving, hard-working students to learn about their options.

Frederick Keating, the President of Rowan College at Gloucester County (RCGC) – a “sister” community college that is also part of Rowan – disagrees with RCBC’s approach.  He states:

“We don’t see any jeopardy, we don’t see any risk, we don’t see any kind of reason to be more restrictive in promoting opportunity…We’re here for [students], so you put everything out, we give them everything we can give them.  They will make the choice.”

Mr. Keating understands that Rowan University needs to take a positive approach to attracting students by offering them the best quality education for the cost – and not by making it more difficult for them to research alternatives.

Who is right?  Comment and let us know your thoughts!


To learn more about our work with higher ed, please contact
Elizabeth Foley at efoley@meliorgroup.com / 215-545-0054 x111 or
Liz Cohen at lcohen@meliorgroup.com/ 215-545-0054 x103.

Philly.com article:

http://www.philly.com/philly/education/20160923_Why_four-year_colleges_are_fuming_at_NJ_community_college.html

Education-related Melior blog posts:

http://www.meliorgroup.com/trends-challenges-higher-education/

http://www.meliorgroup.com/eight-characteristics-of-future-focused-community-colleges/

I Don’t Care What You Think Until I Think That You Care

“I don’t care what you think until I think that you care.”

I heard that quote and I can’t stop thinking about how perfectly this applies to health care, specifically to consumers’ thoughts and attitudes about the kind of health care they are seeking.

Over the years, The Melior Group has conducted thousands of focus groups with consumers about their decision-making and preferences for providers. The word “quality” gets used a lot. We hear some version of the statement “I want to go to a hospital/doctor/other provider that is known for delivering high quality care”  in every single focus group.

So what does “high quality healthcare” mean?

I’ve asked this question in more ways than I can count, searching, searching for clarity.

Because every time I would ask that question, I would get what I believed was a naïve answer – something like:  “A quality doctor is someone who listens to me,” or, “ I want to go someplace where I can really talk to my doctor.”

After hearing some version of this for the umpteenth time, I told myself that if I could only ask the question right, then I would get a “better” answer, like “quality healthcare means there are good outcomes”  or “quality means practicing evidence-based medicine.” 

I told myself that the consumers who were focused on doctors’ communication skills and “bedside manner” were missing the point:  to my mind, healthcare “quality” had nothing to do with interpersonal skills.

And then I heard that quote.

It was really an “ah ha” moment.  Of course!  As a patient, why would I value what a doctor was recommending to me – even if he/she was amazingly credentialed, the leading doctor in that field, educated at Harvard, yada yada – unless that doctor seemed to care enough about me to attempt to really get to the bottom of my particular problem, and my goals for treatment?

So what does caring in the medical setting mean? Does it mean…

Wearing a button that says “Ask me”?
Making small talk in the examining room?
Claiming, in advertising, that each patient is more than a number? 

I don’t think so.  Rather, I think that my focus group participants have got it right:  by listening — really listening,  restating the information to make clear that they have heard what their patient is saying, and asking the right questions — medical providers convey caring.  In so doing physicians are  better able to diagnose the real problem, and to suggest a treatment approach that a patient will be more likely to comply with.

Now that sounds like high quality healthcare.


Elizabeth Cohen is Vice President of The Melior Group, and our lead consultant in our work in the health care sector.

For more information please visit our Healthcare page or contact Elizabeth Cohen at lcohen@meliorgroup.com / 215-545-0054 x103.

Polling v Research

Polling v. Marketing Research

As the presidential election cycle heats up, pre-election polling – which is used to gauge candidates’ support and predict election outcomes – is under increased scrutiny.  Publications such as the New York Times, Washington Post, US News and World Report  have written about recent “disasters”, that is, election outcomes which were not aligned with pre-election polling results.

If Polling is Flawed, How Accurate is Marketing Research?

All of this publicity about flawed polling has generated a degree of panic among some of our clients (and us!).  The Melior Group works with all kinds of organizations that are interested in developing quantitative evidence – which some equate with a “poll” — to support decisions including introduction of a new product or service, development of a new marketing strategy, and myriad other information needs.   While unexpected election results and the pursuant head-scratching about flawed polling generate headlines, it is the marketing researchers in the trenches who bear the brunt of our clients’ angst.   They wonder about the accuracy of quantitative research, and question its role in their decision-making.

Cost-effective, Thoughtful, and Accurate Assessments

So what are marketing researchers to do when their client wants, say, to assess the impact of a marketing campaign through pre- and post-campaign research?  In the old days, the knee-jerk approach might be a telephone survey to collect a statistically rigorous sample with a low margin of error – the better to see real “movement” in the data.

But in this new world of ours, we say to our client, “that statistically rigorous sample with the low margin of error is increasingly difficult — and expensive! — to collect.”  Just showing them the costs is often enough to change the conversation to, “how can we assess the impact of the new marketing campaign in the most cost-effective, thoughtful, and accurate way possible?”

Meet People Where They Live

One approach is to focus on specific market segments, that is, to truly conduct Marketing Research.  Instead of trying to get a representative sample of the whole universe via one polling method, i.e., telephone or online, we recognize that more success can be had by meeting people where they live. For millennials, creative uses of social media can be surprisingly fruitful for marketing research purposes. And for middle-class boomers, online surveys can be just the right approach.

Focusing on specific market segments, and tailoring data collection appropriately, has other benefits too.  Just the very process of reconsidering the approach can propel us to be more thoughtful in our determination of what we truly want to learn.  Is it more important to see small movements in percentage of awareness and advertising recall, or might our client gain additional benefit from a deeper understanding of  attitudes, impressions and brand, within and in comparison to key segments?  We would argue that the latter can often be of greater use.

So does that mean we think that pre-election polling is for dinosaurs?  Not at all.  For a presidential race, say, margins of error can mean the difference between giving up on a state, and doing a full court campaign press.   But for marketing research purposes, reflecting on the true usefulness of measures that rely on statistically perfect samples may have unintended, and very positive, consequences.

 


For more information please contact  Elizabeth Cohen at lcohen@meliorgroup.com or 215-545-0054 x103 or please contact us.

Referring Physicians

How Much Influence Do Referring Physicians Really Have?

A patient goes to their primary care physician (PCP) for a new medical problem. The PCP believes that the patient should go to see a specialist. What happens next?

The Results Can Be Confusing

The Melior Group conducts numerous studies for hospital clients who have a vested interest in understanding how referrals are made. The results these studies generate, however, can be confusing. On the one hand, the majority of PCPs tell us that they always make specialist recommendations, and that their patients “almost always go where I recommend.” Yet on the other hand, patients tell us that their physicians are only one source among many (friends and family, internet research, etc.) of information about which specialists to use for a given problem.

What’s Really Going On?

After years of conducting qualitative and quantitative research for healthcare clients who want to insure that their institutions, and the physicians affiliated with them, receive their fair share of recommendations, we think we have an answer. Despite the apparent contradiction of what consumers and physicians say about selecting specialists, they are both right.

Defining the Decision-Set

Our work for several specialty hospitals and academic medical centers reveals that in the vast majority of situations, referring physicians provide one or several names of specialists for their patients to consider. In so doing, they provide the “decision-set.” Patients, in turn, use that list as a starting point: they might ask their friends and family (sometimes using social media) to learn what others think of the specialist(s), and they also might conduct some internet research to… learn about the specialist’s education, length of time in practice, etc.; see a picture (does he/she look friendly?); and/or read online reviews. Information gleaned during this process informs the ultimate action: the call to make an appointment, which is entirely in the consumer’s hands.

Using Information Developed from Research to Inform Physician Referral Strategies

There are a number of steps that specialty providers can take to insure that…

1) their physicians are included on the referring physician’s list of recommended providers; and

2) consumers ultimately select one of these recommended providers.

Such strategies can be informed by market research. For example, an evaluation of the referral mechanics of referring physicians can guide development of documentation, work flow, and referral forms: How – in writing or verbally, with pre-printed or handwritten information – do referring physicians prefer to give names of specialists? How, and how frequently, do they want to receive communications about individual patients that they have referred? On the consumer side, knowing what they expect can provide guidance for website development (what kind of information should be available about individual specialists), search engine optimization, social media presence, and overall positioning and messaging strategy about specialty physicians and services. In sum, understanding more about existing referral dynamics can inform both marketing strategy and tactical solutions for building referrals.


For over 30 years, Melior has specialized in conducting market research on behalf of hospitals and health care systems.  Please visit our Healthcare page to learn more.

For more information please contact Elizabeth Cohen at lcohen@meliorgroup.com/215-545-0054 ext. 103 or Linda McAleer at lmcaleer@meliorgroup.com/215-545-0054 ext.104.

1 2