Challenges In Healthcare Marketing Today And How To Resolve Them
The face of healthcare marketing has changed dramatically in the last couple of decades. The industry has become increasingly competitive and marketing has become critical to the success of hospitals, clinics, treatment and rehabilitation centers and even small private practices.
To compound the complex nature of this crucial function in healthcare, marketing has also evolved beyond traditional techniques and strategies to include digital or inbound techniques. Healthcare providers often struggle to adapt and integrate this modern approach to marketing.
So what are some of the specific marketing challenges that are faced by the healthcare industry, how can they be overcome and how can an expert healthcare agency provide assistance?
1. Specific Challenges In Healthcare Marketing
Healthcare faces some challenges that are common to most industries as well as some challenges that are specific to the healthcare industry.
- Ensuring that a marketing campaign is HIPAA compliant is essential before starting any marketing campaign in healthcare especially as it relates to privacy.
- The healthcare sector is currently not popular among the general public due to rising costs, poor service delivery and a number of other factors.
- There is often little to no budget available for marketing.
- Healthcare professionals are often concerned that marketing can cheapen the expertise and therefore the value that they provide to their patients.
- Practitioners are resistant to the introduction of inbound marketing through channels such as social media that allows their patients to review their services.
- Defining a unique market segment as the target of a marketing campaign can be difficult.
- It is often a challenge to find unique attributes that sets one healthcare provider apart from their competition.
- Recognizing that there is competition and who the direct and indirect competition are can also be a challenge.
Many healthcare establishments believe that they can face these challenges alone or do not see the value that a comprehensive and tailored marketing strategy can provide. The first step for any healthcare provider to overcome the above mentioned and other challenges is to determine the value of marketing and set aside a relevant budget.
2. How A Healthcare Marketing Agency Can Assist
Marketing agencies have been quick to realize the need for marketing in the healthcare industry as well as the unique challenges that are faced by healthcare providers. This and their experience at providing marketing solutions makes them invaluable in offering advice and integrating different marketing techniques into a strategy aimed directly at a specific healthcare provider.
Excel Digital Marketing, the experts in healthcare marketing will provide the following services:
- Define a target market for a marketing campaign. Where more than one target market exists, two or more campaigns can be run in parallel to one another.
- Identify the direct competition and employ techniques to give a specific healthcare provider the edge.
- Recognize the change in how the medical industry is viewed by consumers and use this to the advantage of the healthcare provider.
- Provide knowledge and understanding of how HIPAA limits and regulates marketing in the healthcare industry.
- Offer inbound marketing solutions that will meet both the needs of the healthcare provider and patients.
- Find or provide unique ways to define, build and market a practice or healthcare establishment as a brand.
- Integrate the brand throughout the practice or establishment at all levels and build a strong brand reputation.
- Managing of social media, reviews and other inbound marketing solutions.
- Determine the value of a marketing campaign and integrate solutions to fit into a marketing budget
These are just some of the expert services that a professional healthcare marketing agency can offer the unique set of needs that are faced by healthcare providers. However, it is important to understand that the best marketing solution should be presented as an ongoing campaign.
This means that it must be flexible and adaptable and that more and more techniques can be integrated as the marketing needs continue to grow and evolve.
3. Reasons To Choose A Healthcare Marketing Agency
The overall aim or goal of any marketing campaign is to increase business. Within this overall goal, there are many smaller goals that need to be achieved in order for a marketing campaign to be successful. In addition, effective campaigns need to be long-term, flexible and adaptable to meet the ever-changing and growing needs of healthcare providers.
Budgetary constraints are often the greatest obstacle for healthcare providers in benefiting from the value of an expert marketing campaign as opposed to a DIY approach. Healthcare marketing agencies take this into consideration and will tailor a campaign to meet the budgetary requirements. As the campaign begins to show results and allows the healthcare provider to grow as a business, more techniques and marketing methods can be integrated – allowing the marketing campaign to grow as the business and the budget for marketing expands.
Recognizing the needs of patients is crucial to attracting a greater number of patients. Identifying the competition is crucial to finding how your practice, clinic or treatment/rehabilitation center stands apart and the unique services they can offer to patients. This in turn allows the building of a strong brand that is absolutely essential to the ongoing success of healthcare providers.
At the end of the day, healthcare practitioners and professionals need to understand how the industry has changed and understand that these changes have resulted in the need for marketing in order to be successful in both the short and long-term. While trust and loyalty from patients is still essential, attracting new patients is just as critical to success. Learning to treat a practice, clinic or treatment center as a business will provide the benefits of a marketing to healthcare providers.
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