One of the characteristic features of healthcare industry is the severe competition among the players. Healthcare is one of the largest businesses across the globe with an annual turnover that runs into billions. A fact and statistic which sounds logical; who doesn’t fall ill or need a doctor at least a few times every year?
In today’s world, healthcare is as much about care and cure to patients as it is a business where patients like to be treated as customers. Patients need and expect a lot more from hospitals and doctors than just getting treated for their ill-health. They look forward to be cared for, treated well by the hospital personnel and be provided with services and facilities which make them comfortable, happy and satisfied.
Naturally, healthcare has become much more than a profession and has turned into a business. And all the rules and considerations that are applicable to any competitive business hold true for the healthcare industry as well.
Let us consider some of the marketing strategies for the healthcare industry:
Know Your Target Audience
Healthcare industry is marked by specialization. A Heart institute, a Cancer Hospital, an Ophthalmology clinic and a Dental Care Centre all cater to different needs and patients. Therefore, one of your foremost strategies would be to zero in on your patient type.
You may need to set up stalls at commercial fairs and exhibitions and distribute free newsletters and brochures which promote your hospital’s work and activities. These handouts could be provided with a feedback form. Such feedback forms could help you collect information on your prospective patients and the newsletters could be one of your best tactics as lead magnets.
One more way of making yourself accessible to your patients is through doctor referrals. For this you need to build a closer relationship with doctors in your city whose specialty matches that of your medical practice and convince them to refer your healthcare brand to patients. A doctor’s words carry a lot of weight and you being recommended by a doctor is great way of attracting new customers towards your hospital.
Hospitals need to create educational videos which inform viewers of their work, doctors, nurses and support staff. They can be played on a loop on screens which could be located at strategic points within the premises and in patient waiting rooms. If such videos could be appealing and eye-catching, they make for great viewing and improve the image of the hospital among patients and public.
Similarly, you could also add notice boards and dashboards which too function to educate visitors to your hospital through information, animation and images.
Social Media, Online and Traditional Marketing
Social media marketing is the need of the hour. You need to sign up and have an account on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. This strategy goes a long way in building your brand awareness and you never know when and what can convert your “Followers” into consumers.
If you give some thought to other forms of online marketing, you’ll understand the necessity of a website. A website which informs people about your activities is a must. A website is a showcase as well as an entry point to know about your undertaking. Your website design should be such that it is optimized for display on all possible devices: computers, tabs or mobiles.
Another vital strategy to popularize your healthcare work is SEO. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, are tactics which ensure that your product or service has a greater chance of being shown up in search results when clients Google relevant topics.
Likewise, you can never ignore the utility of tried-and-tested advertising modes like newspapers, radio, television, billboards and movie halls. You need to place your ads in a way which reaches the widest possible circle of customers and it goes a long way in creating and sustaining publicity for your brand.
One very effective tool to implement in this marketing strategy is Email automation. Email automation is the procedure of sending a business or commercial message en masse. Through this step, you can reach out to the entire group on your healthcare industry email list (existing and prospective patients) in one go.
Emails embedded with links to videos are an effective way of keeping the subscribers informed and educated. Noteworthy and relevant videos on latest developments in the field of medicine can act as a great value addition to your marketing strategy.
Customer Satisfaction is Prime
You need to make all efforts possible to ensure that patients are happy and content. One way of gauging this is through Patient Reviews. You need to accept positive feedback with gratitude and negative opinions as opportunities to correct and better yourself. As important as attracting new patients is getting into the good books of your existing and returning patients.
Internal marketing is a very crucial aspect too. You need keep your staff and workforce in good spirits and regularly show that their work deserves appreciation. If the internal staff is happy, they are bound to serve better and make patients pleased and joyous.
Innovate and Revise your marketing strategy
Healthcare industry is constantly in a flux and evolving. Your marketing strategy needs to reflect this continuous transition and be likewise. Put in time and efforts to regularly overhaul your strategies though experimentation and innovation.
We all are familiar with these sayings: “Health is wealth”, “Prevention is better than cure” and so on. Today, it would be apt to say people completely endorse these opinions. Greater awareness about health has led to an increased life expectancy. All this beckons for a bigger participation from the healthcare industry and demands that it play an even better and more dependable role in creating a healthier world.