A Rose by Any Other Name: What to do When Healthcare Marketing is a Thorny Label
rose by any name

What’s in a name?

Be honest…does your boss think that “marketing” is an evil word? Or maybe it’s just a “necessary evil” that has to be tolerated because they still need the business.

From time to time we discover a negative undercurrent about marketing in all sorts of healthcare organizations. We work with physician groups, hospitals and individual practices where politics or other factors make “marketing” an emotionally charged term.

Doctors, for example, view their work as healers, humanitarians or providers of health solutions, and any notion of “sales,” “advertising” or “marketing” isn’t part of that picture.

The solution may be as simple as not calling it “marketing.” Sometimes adopting new words or using a more palatable vocabulary can dissolve political barriers. Or as Juliet said: “ ‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy…that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

Find a euphemism. Use a different label. The right choice of words might be “physician relations,” “community outreach,” “patient connections” or “business development.”

We’d like to know what name, label, tag or term you use. Read more about redefining old-school ideas in our free library of healthcare marketing articles. And if you want us to help you with your marketing—uh, business development—call us.

Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer & Creative Director at Healthcare Success
Over the years Stewart has personally marketed and consulted for over 1,457 healthcare clients, ranging from private practices to multi-billion dollar corporations. Additionally, he has marketed a variety of America’s leading companies, including Citicorp, J. Walter Thompson, Grubb & Ellis, Bally Total Fitness, Wells Fargo and Chase Manhattan. Stewart co-founded our company, and today acts as Chief Executive Officer and Creative Director. He is also a frequent author and speaker on the topic of healthcare marketing. His personal accomplishments are supported by a loving wife and two beautiful daughters.

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“Despite practicing in a hyper-competitive market, our new-patient counts are double what they were for the same time period last year. Hiring Healthcare Success was one of the best business decisions I have ever made.”


– Jonathan Calure, MD