Patients’ expectations are changing with time. Physicians that offer an individualized medical marketing experience have a greater potential to improve customer’s satisfaction. Pandemic has transformed healthcare marketing for clinics, hospitals and organizations. Traditional ways of healthcare advertising are being replaced with new digital-based technologies.
The pandemic accelerated this shift. As a result, the traditional ways of healthcare marketing are starting to fall short. For example:
- A healthcare marketing strategy that’s designed for an “average consumer” results in a one-size-fits-all model that doesn’t always meet a patient’s individual needs.
- Communication options with fixed hours and channels don’t reflect “patient first.”
- Outreach messages blasted to an entire patient email list miss the mark for individuals who don’t speak the language or might prefer a quick text message instead.
83% of patients expect healthcare services and engagement to be patient-centric with a personalized experience.
Having a healthcare marketing strategy in place helps to build a 360 degree patient centric engagement approach to educate, communicate and enhance the patient experience across the care continuum.
What is Healthcare Marketing?
Healthcare marketing represents the communication and outreach strategies and ideas that aim to attract healthcare consumers, and make it simple for them to navigate across healthcare channels.
A personalized approach helps to improve consumer engagement within the medical system.
Successful hospital advertising, and clinical marketing integrates fragmented systems into a highly systematic, omnichannel pathway. A targeted offline and online plan improves not only patient’s satisfaction but also enhances the organization’s growth.
Healthcare organizations evaluate the performance of the marketing efforts through some specified criteria that are in accordance with the key performance indicators (KPIs).
Elements of medical practice marketing:
- A more targeted personalized approach instead of a mass marketing strategy
- A service marketing instead of conventional image marketing
- Focus on building a long-lasting relationship instead of only providing care during a health episode
- Adoption of digital technologies (market intelligence)
Why Healthcare Marketing is Important?
Healthcare engagement has become an integral part of any health system. The key advantages of healthcare marketing include:
Brand awareness: A website that has all the information regarding signs, symptoms and problems faced by the patient makes it easier for the patient to track the hospital or clinic.
Engaging communication: Personalization emails and messages provide relevant information to patients that enable better management of their medical condition.
Omnichannel presence: It helps to connect the consumers across different channels.
Patient retention: Hospital branding builds a sense of authority where patients regularly keep booking against the other available options for healthcare services. It develops loyalty, and long-term relationships with the patient.
Personalized information: Patients are regularly engaged with personalized messages and timely follow-up improves their health status
Competitive edge: An effective clinical marketing has the potential to drive better leads, and generate healthy margins. It helps to retain the existing consumers and attract new patients in a competitive environment.
Strengthen use of digital engagement tools: Use of healthcare data analytics promotes productivity and helps the doctors to re-align their healthcare advertising.
9 Healthcare Marketing Strategies to Grow and Retain Your Patients
Devise an omnichannel marketing approach
Medical marketing should create an omnichannel digital strategy. In order to accomplish this goal few strategies should be incorporated into the marketing campaign.
- Understand the factors contributing to success of the brand
An omnichannel marketing service helps to connect the clinic or hospital with the patients through different channels. Avoid using all the medium at the same time. Ensure to share relevant content across social media, apps, or websites to reach the customers.
- Maintain uniformity in the messages
An effective marketing strategy should deliver consistent information across all the channels so that patients find it easy to navigate through various platforms.
- Track the target audience
Healthcare professionals should interact with patients through the media that they find comfortable. Marketing techniques such as collaboration with local health-related functions, using healthcare apps, or getting published in popular medical magazines will prove helpful in medical practice marketing.
Create a personalized digital patient experience
Next, providers can enrich patient identities with originally sourced consumer data for a comprehensive picture of who their patients are. When providers can confirm who their patients are, what they need, how they spend their time and money, and how they like to communicate, they can build personalized outreach strategies to improve patient acquisition and retention.
A patient-centric experience can be created if outreach strategies understand the personality of their patients, their interests and communication preferences. It is a significant step in enhancing patient acquisition and retention.
Hospitals may provide telehealth services to the patient in preferred language. This will help to connect the patient to the right doctor. Creating a personalized experience restores their loyalty towards the healthcare system.
Optimize execution with Digital patient engagement tools
Marketing channels can be used to educate, inform, and engage patients. Digital patient engagement tools provide various options to communicate with patients, family members and providers such as texts, email, and smart wearable devices. Patients can be informed about their disease condition much earlier with such technologies.
For example, artificial intelligence and chatbots can collect patient’s data to provide useful information regarding relevant communication to provide better care services, and superior management approaches during times of high patient volumes.
41% of healthcare marketing reports improved patient retention, and conversion after adopting artificial intelligence within the system.
Automate appointment bookings experience wiith patient scheduling software
During the pandemic, out of every 10 patients 7 canceled or postponed their scheduled appointments.
Hospitals and organizations should analyze the healthcare needs, complications and challenges encountered by such patients. Providers need to encourage them to receive appropriate care to rebuild the relationship.
Online scheduling platforms will be helpful in several aspects:
- Identifying the correct patient information
- Evaluate the specific needs and concerns
- Re-engage through their preferred channels
- Connect them to required telehealth services.
Automate patient outreach
Automation improves patient engagement. It allows to retain patients, increase conversion rate, and minimizes drop-offs.
Automate recurring-events such as reminders or notifications
Healthcare providers can automate workflows so that patients can engage in recurring events. For example, marketing strategy can focus on reminding patients of their yearly health check-up.
Health systems can be equipped with such date-based information to make it easier for the patients to follow their appointments.
Maintain communication throughout patients’ journey
Patient’s retention rates increase if medical practice marketing communicates effectively. Automate tasks such as:
- Appointment reminders
- Sharing clinic locations linked to google maps
- Message for doctor reviews
- Immediate response to patient’s inquires
It will build a rapport with the patient before the appointment is even scheduled.
Drive a healthcare survey and campaign
To generate new leads, marketing teams can automate quizzes, campaigns and health surveys for their new and existing patients.
Share tips on a healthy lifestyle. Score the patients based on their health and dietary habits. Patients who appear to have a medical condition can be given a first free consultation. Once a patient trusts the hospital and the physician, they will be more willing to engage for further treatments.
Make use of your healthcare analytics to understand patient journeys
More than 32% of the patients consider phone calls as the most irritating means of customer service. Simply calling patients is not enough, clinical marketing should have important data about their caller to understand their consumer needs.
- Make it simple for the patients to reach out to you. Promote the “call now” option on the website.
- Identify the callers generated from the marketing source who are booking appointments.
- Understand healthcare data in terms of patient conversion from calls to clinic visits. For example, how much is the hold-on time, how many calls remained unanswered, and what were the patient’s expectations during their first telephonic interaction. Make appropriate plans to create a seamless patient journey.
- Target patients with the right marketing advertisement by integrating their healthcare information with the correct marketing resources.
Evaluate the best marketing channels
Healthcare organizations should ensure that their marketing strategy is fulfilling the goals and meeting patient’s needs as well. Performance analytics helps to gain insights into the best marketing channels for patient retention.
Success of a healthcare branding depends on several factors that includes:
- Customer relationship management system to track the patient engagement across various mediums including emails, text messages, call centers, campaigns, websites etc.
- Website analytics to understand effective use of search engine optimizations (SEO) brings clarity regarding the search queries and visitor tracking
- Paid advertising helps to target your customers across the right channels and online platforms
Follow up with patient feedback in your marketing efforts
Valuing your patient’s feedback about the healthcare experience is critical to develop the brand. Patients who have a bad experience can leave poor reviews on digital platforms. In order to improve the clinical outcome in the future, providers and other staff members can follow up with the patient to show that their concerns are taken seriously.
Take immediate actions to resolve the issue. Patients will acknowledge the help and will be more likely to tell other consumers that the problem was solved efficiently.
Medical practice marketing should focus on services and plans that build their reputation. Negative feedback just shows that you need to improve the patient experience. It can be either upgrading the medical devices, or teaching effective communication skills to the staff.
Audit your front desk’s response to your healthcare marketing initiatives
Even the most successful marketing strategy cannot create results if the front desk shows inadequacies in handling patient’s calls. Front desk auditing is important to identify the shortcomings such as:
- Assessing patient misinformation
- Long hold times during patient calls
- Ineffective skills to sell the healthcare services
- Slow healthcare system that disrupts the scheduling or appointment
Creating a Healthcare Marketing Strategy for Growth Driven Organizations
Healthcare marketing strategy covers all the ideas, plans and best practices to engage with your patients and prospects with an omnichannel perspective throughout their journey. Having a solid healthcare marketing strategy is a collective approach that promotes patient engagement and improves hospital systems growth and revenue.