Healthcare Marketing 

When managing a medical practice, one should remember that finances are as important as medicine. Label it a profession, deem it a job, but categorize it as a business, as your accountant will.

It is an unquestionable reality that patients are beneficial for profits, and medical practices behave like any other small businesses that are competing for a piece of the pie. They need to attract consumers. Why is it that many doctors seem to be reluctant to advertise their services?

Even if you’re a great doctor, people won’t be lining up outside your office if they don’t know you exist.

Gandolf, a co-founder of Healthcare Success and highly experienced practice marketer, says it is an issue with strong emotions involved.

“There’s a stigma attached. Doctors mistakenly believe there is a correlation between how good a doctor you are, and how busy you are,” he says. “So doctors who need to market are bad doctors, and look needy and sleazy. “It’s a mistake, because there are good doctors who market and there are bad doctors who market. It helps both get business.”

The situation has caused a split in opinions among the market, between physicians who are unable to make any changes due to sticking to their stances, and those that have an understanding of the importance of marketing their practice. Gandolf proclaimed that a chance is there for those who are astute, yet most doctors simply sit and ruminate about what has taken place.

If you feel that marketing has a negative connotation, perhaps a short saying could be beneficial. In other words, according to Rachael Sizeland, who is the founder of RAS Marketing, if you do not actively advertise your services, another person or business will do it instead.

She makes it clear that even if someone is a great doctor, they may not be successful if patients don’t know they are there.

If the idea of advertising your services causes you to start sweating, do not be alarmed. Marketing is not all about slick, big-budget advertising campaigns.

“It is not the same thing as selling,” says Gandolf. “It’s about building the product to match what the customer needs, not trying to get the consumer to fit the product.”

This can be interpreted as efficient, affordable ways to enhance your reputation without spending a lot of money. The key to running a successful company is making sure that the customer is satisfied.

Marketing to The Converted

When it comes to advertising your business, your present customers are an invaluable resource. According to Aileen Culligan, the account director at Asdaa, a Dubai-based public relations company, the healthcare sector tends to be one that follows traditional practices.

There is an emotional connection that forms between doctors and patients, and physicians should direct their attention towards fostering a strong allegiance from their clients. They can get patients by word of mouth.”

Gandolf claims that it is even more advantageous because there is no cost involved in growing them. “Patients already have a level of trust in you. The greatest payoff for your effort is to obtain referrals from them, respond promptly and make sure they have a positive experience.

“Patients may have had great healthcare, but give them a little extra, and it will open the door to recommendations.”

Although many physicians are hesitant to inquire about referrals, Gandolf insists that physicians who don’t inquire won’t achieve any effect. Many procedures are seen as hectic, so if you don’t request referrals, patient won’t remember to do it.

So how can you encourage word-of-mouth recommendations? In this case, a modern logo or a 10 foot tall advertisement will not be successful. Rather, it is about understanding how to consider individuals as more than just their medical diagnosis.

“The real issue is the product,” Gandolf stresses. “It’s the sum total of the experience the patient has. Do you find ways of making billing easy for them? Do you smile at them? Do you treat them as individuals?”

The success of your practice can be determined by how effective you are at ‘internal marketing’.

A Healthcare Branding Group survey of 3,000 higher-level management from the health industry revealed that more than 40 percent of those surveyed reported patient experience to be the essential element in how the public perceives medical establishments.

No matter what, every time a patient interacts with your practice, you are conveying a message to them, according to Sizeland.

Patients usually have straightforward and uncomplicated motives to decide on one medical service provider instead of another, according to Matthew Pearman, who is an account director at PR agency Memac Ogilvy. It’s crucial for customers to be provided with high-level care, but it can be difficult for them to evaluate whether or not they’re getting it.

Pearman believes that if a person was asked to differentiate between Welcare Hospital and The American Hospital, they would not be able to.

Gandolf states that instead of direct measurements, patients use indicators to measure value. For instance, when dining out, if the surfaces of the tables are messy, customers will instinctively think the kitchen is unclean. In diners’ opinions, when the tablecloths are dirty it means the kitchen isn’t taking proper care in maintaining cleanliness.

If the atmosphere of your waiting area is unappealing or the manner in which you interact with patients is not hospitable, it will reduce their confidence in your competency. He states that people evaluate what is hidden from them based on what they are able to observe. A good way to stand out from the crowd is to be punctual and courteous when you meet with them.

“Stand out from the crowd in terms of your service, and you’ll do better than the guy down the street.”

‘P’ is for Profit

If you’re prepared to reevaluate your internal marketing, a few minor details can help set the correct foundation. Many marketers adopt the ‘Four Ps approach’ as a fundamental model to help identify their marketing blend.

The first “P” stands for the services provided by your company. This is your product. Gandolf advises considering the requirements that you are addressing in the commercial sector. Determining exactly what your product is vital for developing the principles of your business and determining what sets you apart.

Sizeland advises that you come up with a list of five to ten words that characterize your business; for instance, ‘personable’, or ‘meticulous’. She states that these words will be the basis for all that you do. The language you use creates your identity, and everything you do should reflect that mindset.

Once you have determined what makes you distinctive, your medical practice and its employees should align with that identity. Sizeland asserts that branding goes beyond just the logo and brochure design; it should be evident in all aspects, even down to how your personnel communicate with customers. “Staff need to know what’s expected of them. If your clinic professes to be amiable, they need to be cordial.

Gandolf suggests that getting the same message across repeatedly is a successful method. That’s marketing.”

The saying “location, location, location” applies to promotional activities. A key component of your strategy is the actual building or location you are working in.

Are you offering the services that cater to the needs of people in the local area? Can your patients get to you? Pearman suggests you pin down precisely which people you want to communicate with. What person are you going to concentrate on and what is your plan for doing so?

Sizeland suggests that the look of your practice can be a decisive point. “Does the appearance of the practice reflect your brand? What does your waiting room say about your doctors?”

Take a step back and view your practice from a patient’s perspective to gain fresh insight.

How many forms do you need to fill in? Could you simplify the process? Is your practice easy to navigate round? Going from one place to another to observe could aid in identifying areas in need of enhancement.

The cost of your service is essential; how much money do you charge, and does your work measure up to your fee? Sizeland suggests that the prices you set should be commensurate to the customers that you are targeting. Ensure that your fees do not exceed or are too low for the individuals you are trying to serve.

Sizeland emphasizes that any promotional efforts, whether internal or external, must be consistent and professional. Spread your reputation through reliable, economical approaches.

In other words, as Gandolf states; “It’s preferable to attempt something, rather than doing nothing at all.”

Building Healthcare Marketing Strategy

1. Create a Seamless Digital Patient Experience

A healthcare marketing plan of exceptional quality should carefully consider the experience of the patient and supply them with avenues to enter your healthcare system using the forms of communication they prefer. Figure out the numerous locations where patients usually begin interacting with your health care facility.

The collective term for these early contact points is known as the “digital front door,” which could cover channels such as the healthcare system website, outside doctor databases, or the involvement center, amongst other things.

Describe the process a person is likely to go through when they first interact with your healthcare system, regardless of whether they decide to use it further or not. This technique, known as patient journey mapping, can help you comprehend which steps cause conversions, and which steps might lead to the abandonment of the journey by a patient.

 2. Build a Consistent Brand

People won’t make purchases of items or services that they are not familiar with or don’t consider trustworthy. People will not opt for a hospital or healthcare staff that they do not know.

Constructing a powerful identity and elevating brand recognition can diminish the full price of acquisition, therefore ensure you set aside a suitable budget for creating a brand.

Identify a single important factor that will draw patients in and generate marketing strategies to alert people to your brand and make it well-known. Advertising your achieved excellence is one of the best means to establish a reliable brand reputation.

3. Build Engaging Relationships Using Personalization

Although healthcare is a highly individualized field, many promotional tactics have neglected to include personalized elements.

Marketers should use the clinical details located in their electronic health record (EHR) system, along with the consumer and behavioural data in their healthcare customer relationship management (CRM) software, to precisely aim at patients who require their services.

4. Create a Strong Website

Excellent hospital websites can improve the overall experience for patients throughout the entirety of their time in the hospital. They continually gather meaningful customer information used for several promotional strategies, like restimulating efforts or providing customization in digital locations.

Today’s websites are fantastic for providing tailored encounters through inventive scripts and adapting text. Eventually, they give a central spot for your data, aiding patients to swiftly find all the information about your healthcare system, and spot the accurate physician and location to suit their needs.

The SEO benefits of a well-structured website should not be disregarded. A good website provider should showcase advantages such as enhanced page loading speed and adaptive layout for maximum search engine approval for your health system.

5. Evaluate the Best Marketing Channels

Healthcare marketers need to attempt to manage a variety of outlets for marketing, including organic search, paid search, social media, display ads, and more, while only having one budget for marketing. Utilizing an abundance of marketing channels can be intimidating.

A business intelligence system can assist your squads to take advantage of data to detect the most impactful marketing mediums for distinct geographical areas, individuals, and types of services.

6. Manage Patient Reviews

Investigations have discovered that the majority of Americans (59%) consider patient reviews to be incredibly significant or of some significance when deciding on a medical practitioner.

The majority of patients are evident to be wanting to see other people have had a positive experience with you before they rely on you to take care of their medical needs. It is thus paramount that medical organizations get praise from those patients who are pleased with their services.

However, receiving a few negative reviews is inevitable. Organizations that are involved in health care and which want to maintain a sound public profile should respond to these opinions in a manner that follows HIPAA regulations and is caring and understanding.

7. Use analytics to secure your budget

Marketing teams often receive their budget from upper-level management. It is usually the case that allocating money in this fashion leads to either excessive or insufficient use of funds, thereby reducing the marketing group’s level of influence on the healthcare organization.

Rather than jumping into a campaign, marketers ought to review prior promotions, determining how much money is needed to reach out to important groups, and provide their discoveries to higher-ups to secure their support.

8. Align Marketing with Organizational Objectives

Marketing should be included in conversations and decisions concerning the company’s overall business plan.

Having conversations between marketing and higher management will create an opportunity for marketers to gain comprehension of the main objectives of the organization. They can then apply analytics to establish a practical budget in order to accomplish these objectives.

 9. Analyze your Market

Decision-makers accountable for increasing business can comprehend related market forces, such as consumer demand, market portion, medical specialist integration, and competitive dynamics, by using healthcare business intelligence which is created on the most extensive database of healthcare-specific data.

To get an extra advantage over competitors, take advantage of claims-based analytics to identify patient activity without tokens in both inpatient and outpatient locations, so decision makers can determine not only market share, but care share during the pre and post-surgery phases.

Healthcare Technologies

Healthcare customer relationship management (CRM)

A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system links data from various sources to assist promoters with constructing, launching, amending, and assessing multifaceted health-related activities.

A CRM can be utilized to customize marketing methods so as to spice up patient interactions, bolster customer service, and foster long-term alliances.

Advanced Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems connect to other technological platforms such as Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and financial systems to reinforce a comprehensive method which is reliant on data to approach potential customers.

Content management system (CMS)

A CMS simplifies and organizes healthcare marketing material, and is able to connect with a CRM to set up rules that make sure new content is consistent with brand standards.

A CMS can even develop a plan to re-implement and reuse content, which can help healthcare advertisers share material effectively.

Marketing automation

An automation platform for marketing in healthcare settings permits marketers to automatically transmit content to the proper people in a timely manner. This program capitalizes on CRM information to make sure every customer experience is distinctive and based on up-to-date facts and prompts.

There is no limit to the types of triggers that can be used in a campaign, these are determined by the stage someone is in and their behavior or the sequences they have completed. Software used for marketing automation is commonly utilized to send out persistent messages like email, social media posts, and even ads with paid advertising.

Engagement center

An Engagement Center is a specialized type of contact center designed to offer exceptional customer service for both incoming and outgoing calls. It is perfected to give a personalized and top-notch experience for customers.

An engagement center solution combines CRM data so that agents can have a complete 360° overview of each type of caller, including prior encounters – both on the phone and online.

Call center representatives can use the obtained information to engage in productive, specific conversations that can strengthen the bond between the patient and their health system.


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