What is Healthcare Marketing?
Healthcare marketing is the process of not only promoting your firm’s services to the public, but also developing ongoing relationships with your patients and other user groups. As with so many facets of the healthcare industry, healthcare marketing has changed dramatically in recent years, and will likely continue to evolve in the future. The growth of digital media and the ubiquitous role it plays in people’s lives means that you need to make digital marketing a key component of your organization’s healthcare marketing plans.
People spend more time than ever before connected to the internet–whether on a desktop computer while at work, at home with their laptop or tablet, or via their smartphone pretty much anywhere. This makes incorporating digital into your marketing plans absolutely necessary. Your healthcare organization must promote its products and services online in a way that connects with people, informs and educates, and builds trust so that these users are likely to convert into patients and customers. To do this effectively, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, in today’s age, having a quality website is an absolute must. People go online to seek out information about everything, and healthcare is no exception. In most cases, patients and customers have already visited your website and taken time to vet your company’s credibility long before they make contact with you. So it is imperative that your website look and function at a high level. This begins by creating amazing content to live on your website. This content should be a combination of words, photos, infographics, videos, demonstrations and tutorials, and anything else that helps your company explain how you can help solve a patient or customer’s healthcare concerns. It is important to always keep in mind that consumers now have a tremendous amount of control over how they enter into relationships with brands. The internet gives them the ability to research medical information and compare competing healthcare brands so that they can make an informed choice. The days of companies using healthcare marketing to dictate the nature of these relationships are largely over.
Because consumers have so much input and control, your healthcare marketing should begin with your ideal patient or customer top of mind. What are their common questions and concerns? What are their likely objections? What are their desired outcomes? Thinking about, and truly understanding and embracing the answers to these questions will greatly enhance the effectiveness of your healthcare marketing efforts. How? Because, armed with this information, you will then embark on creating content that speaks directly to your target audience by answering these questions. Always remember that when it comes to their health and the health of their loved ones, people are often nervous, confused, even scared. They’re seeking answers and solutions to their problems. But they are also seeking solace and peace of mind. Creating compelling content that is laser-focused on helping users achieve this will set your business apart from the others, and will be an important piece of your overall healthcare marketing plan.
Why is Healthcare Marketing Important?
Healthcare marketing is important because, as mentioned earlier, digital continues to play an increasingly important role in people’s lives. Younger generations in particular not only want, but expect and demand that companies provide a positive brand experience online. Make sure that your website provides information about your healthcare products and services in a format that is easy to locate and understand. Consider incorporating features such as online chat to speak with patients in real time, the ability for people to schedule appointments online, and perhaps even a secure patient portal where users can log in to check prescription status, update their records, and schedule follow-ups. Too many healthcare companies fail to embrace technology when it comes to their marketing, and in doing so risk alienating and ultimately losing patients and customers to their competitors who do embrace digital healthcare marketing.
Another important reason to focus on your company’s marketing is that it allows you to demonstrate your firm’s expertise and thought leadership, and to simultaneously establish meaningful, personal connections with your customers so that they feel confident and secure that yours is their best option for healthcare service. Healthcare is often a very personal, sensitive subject for people so working diligently to establish these types of relationships with your customers and patients is paramount to success, and drastically reduces the likelihood that they will look elsewhere for healthcare advice and support in the future.
Digital marketing also makes measuring the success of any healthcare marketing program much easier and accurate than more traditional forms of marketing. Your healthcare company should plan to utilize marketing analytics to track and measure salient data points, and to interpret these data points and synthesize them into actionable marketing insights. Equipped with this information, your firm will be best positioned to make even better strategic marketing decisions in the future, allowing you to continually improve and enhance your healthcare marketing so that your business can not only improve people’s health and lives, but do so more efficiently and profitably.