The first thing to understand about healthcare marketing today is that it’s all about shared experiences, not advertising what you sell and your accreditation status.
While I never studied healthcare marketing technique in medical school, it seems as though healthcare marketing for physicians has changed drastically in the past few years. What should we be doing to change our strategy for better marketing effectiveness?
Healthcare consumer behavior is radically changing with respect to content consumption. No longer are people consuming most of their content on the TV, a newspaper, or even their computer. Healthcare marketing experts agree that online time is spread between 4 primary media devices: smartphones, tablet devices, PCs and Laptops, and television, in that order from lowest to highest in average time per interaction.
You must strive for consistent presentation, messaging, brand image, and content at every point in their interaction. Any variation could raise suspicion or confusion. If users are interacting with your brand on one channel and get a different experience on another channel, there’s a chance they will get confused. Confused customers are more likely to buy from a competitor rather than sort out the confustion. They just don’t have time to waste.
You must also pay close attention to how consumers might engage with your content. Through social media, website comments, live chats, and other methods, prospective patients can have a conversation with you around the content which begins to build relationship. It’s no longer about broadcasting your message, your services, your prowess and your CV. It’s also not enough to tell your story and hope people “get it”.
To sum up these changes:
- How: adoption and usage of multiple/simultaneous devices by users has prompted the need for a consistent experience. Healthcare marketing strategies must now include ways to deliver messages and information across these device families.
- Why: digital technologies like web, social media, text messaging, etc. have enabled bi-directional conversation. As more and more users adopt these technologies into their lives, they expect the same thing of physician practices. No interaction? No customer.