Healthcare marketing is a combination of multi-channel, targeted and highly segmented offline and online methods that are aimed at acquiring and finding the right patients, engage them with the use of tactical outreach and build up permanent relationships in the whole journey of the patient. According to CDC or Center for Disease Control and Prevention, healthcare marketing is a multi-disciplinary practice that combines traditional marketing ideas with science-based strategies for health protection, prevention and promotion.
Benefits of Healthcare Marketing
The success of healthcare marketing is measured through certain metrics that adhere to key performance indicators or KPIs and or ROI or return of investment. With healthcare marketing you are able to find prospective patients with the objectives of your business in mind such as a high-value service line growth and a healthy payer mix. You are also able to get more qualified leads and create revenue that have healthy margins.
Healthcare marketing also keeps your patients engaged with personalized, relevant and timely outreach in their experience. With healthcare marketing, you can keep patients for the long-term and gain their loyalty within your healthcare community. You can also increase your tactical advantage as a patient magnet in a highly competitive arena. Healthcare marketing lets you connect with patients through several channels and also help you assess your productivity and follow your plans with very thorough data analytics.
Importance of Technology in Healthcare Marketing
There are many technology platforms that businesses need for healthcare marketing. An example would be Healthcare Customer Relationship Management or HCRM platform. HCRM incorporates information from patients through many different sources in order to create, launch, optimize and gauge multichannel campaigns for healthcare marketing. With the use of an HCRM, you can personalize the outreach of healthcare marketing in many ways that strengthen patient engagements, promote long-term relationships and improve customer service.
Another technology is CMS or Content Management System. A CMS categorizes and streamlines the content of healthcare marketing and combines with HCRM to make guidelines that makes sure future content is aligned with brands. A CMS can also create a process to repurpose and reuse content and help healthcare marketers disseminate content more effectively.
A marketing automation tool lets healthcare marketers spread CMS content to the right patients at the right times. This tool uses HCRM information to make sure that each customer experience is one of a kind and coming from up-to-date information and triggers. These open-ended triggers can be divided into stages and based on the behavior of individuals and action sequences.
An engagement center is a well-designed call center which provides support to world-class and very personalized experiences delivered right away for outbound and inbound calls. It also utilizes the HCRM information to show representatives the identities of callers and their recent experiences with engagements. With this data, call center representatives have conversations that are carefully designed and relevant and build upon the relationship they have with the healthcare organization.
Other Information about Healthcare Marketing
Since the 1980s, medical costs have been rising and since the early 2000s, the budget spent on communications and healthcare marketing has doubled. Based on a survey done by the SHSMD or Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development, spending ranged from an average of $1.3 million for independent hospitals to $5.8 million for huge health systems in 2009. The increased competition of medical providers plus a rise in medical attention have brought about more focus on healthcare marketing.
Many healthcare marketers employ both online as well as offline advertising and branding tactics in the hope that the hospital is going to have a priority standing for current as well as future patients. Traditional marketing channels involve direct mail, print advertising, newsletters, brochures, outdoor and radio and online modes consist of web design, SEO or search engine optimization, social media marketing and content marketing. Healthcare marketing could also involve internal referrals and word-of-mouth as sources of new businesses for medical centers and hospitals.
Many people argue that instead of spending money on healthcare marketing, money should be invested just on patient care given the costs of healthcare. However, healthcare marketing experts argue that with the range of medical choices and options, healthcare marketing empowers patients to choose wisely and not fall into the traps of overpricing due to stiff competition.