This is a marketing sin that is primarily committed by healthcare organizations, but any company can be dumb enough to do it.
With an infant in the house, we have quite a few medical bills in the mailbox. Here’s a typical situation: We take the boy for something medical in January. In March, we get the first bill from the healthcare provider. On the bill, the amount we owe is in the “60 days overdue” box, and there’s a memo stating that our “account is overdue. Please pay the full amount soon.”…(which is invoice code for “you’re a deadbeat who won’t pay the bill”.)
Frankly, it ticks me off everytime. How can the first bill I get from someone already be 60 days overdue?
Of course, I work with marketing in the healthcare industry all the time…so I know what’s happening. The billing people have waited to send me a bill while waiting to see what our health insurance will pay. After insurance does what it’s going to do, they send me a bill for my part. Insurance companies aren’t known for their speed…so it could be a couple of months before it’s “my turn’ to pay.
I’m sure on the top floors of the hospital that the healthcare marketing people can’t figure out why people aren’t latching onto the brand. Here’s why: It’s because while the marketing department is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on feel-good-generic-ads that tell me why they’re my hometown/personal/friendly/etc healthcare choice….the billing department is spending 39 cents to call me a deadbeat loser who won’t pay his bills.
Guess which message gets through to me the best?…The one with my personalized name and address.
Here’s the thing. Stuff like this happens all the time. The marketing folks are sending out one message while another part of the organization is sending out another. It could be billing. It could be the person at the reception desk. It could be on the Internet. It could be ANYWHERE that your customer has contact with your organization.
Like this billing problem, it’s probably easily fixed, but it keeps happening everyday. The bigger the organization, the more times it’s happening….and it’s slowly killing your brand.
Marketing is not just a department. It should be built into every touchpoint you have with the consumer.