In today’s consumer-driven economies, ‘marketing’ has emerged as one of the most important elements of several industries, including the healthcare industry.
The healthcare sector is intensely competitive. With big hospitals coming into the mix, it becomes challenging for small practices to navigate through the tricky waters. Here’s where investing in a well-strategized marketing plan becomes crucial.
On the contrary to other industries, marketing in the medical practice focuses primarily on patients rather than doctors and hospitals. These strategies are devised to build a sustainable relationship amongst healthcare providers and seekers and not to ensure single transactions in huge quantities.
‘Patients’ are the focal point of healthcare marketing – who they are, what they need, what information they need etc. factors are considered while forming a medical marketing strategy.
This approach helps medical practitioners build a trusting relationship with their current and potential patients. Furthermore, it also plays a pivotal part in positioning them as a leader in their area of expertise.
In this article, we will understand what healthcare marketing is and why it is crucial for medical practices.
What Is Medical Practice Marketing?
In simple terms, medical or healthcare marketing is outreaching the healthcare seekers, guiding them along their journey, and helping them establish a long-term relationship with health professionals. This can include both online and offline practices.
More comprehensive marketing plans are devised with integrated omnichannel marketing with specific online and offline techniques to drive patient engagement and accelerate practice growth. These campaigns are further measured with industry-specific KPIs, and the ROI on each channel/strategy is thoroughly analyzed.
Why Is Marketing A Crucial Aspect Of The Healthcare Industry?
Now that you know what healthcare marketing is let us first look at some stats that clarifies the importance of medical practice marketing, especially digital marketing.
- According to a study, 88% of patients turn to search engines for gaining health-related information.
- 48% of people conduct online research before booking an appointment with a medical professional/clinic.
- 57% of millennials have searched for healthcare and wellness information on online platforms.
Potential patients looking for these essential aspects while researching a doctor or medical practice:
- 94% – reputation of the facility.
- 90% – insurance acceptability followed by that medical facility.
- 86% – Referral by another physician.
- 85% – use of upgraded technology/ treatment modalities.
- 51% – recommendation by friends or members of the family.
To further understand the role of medical practice marketing in the healthcare sector, let us look at some of the essential benefits of marketing for medical practices and doctors.
Notable Benefits Of Healthcare Marketing
1. Expansion Of The Patient Base
With strategized health marketing, doctors can reach the potential healthcare seekers at the right time and place. This drives more patients to their business, ultimately expanding their patient base and giving them an edge over their competitors.
A balanced marketing approach will focus on generating new leads and staying at the forefront of current patients’ minds.
2. Increase In Physician Referrals
Along with keeping the patients satisfied, healthcare marketing also focuses on improving a practice’s position in the industry. Physician Referral programs play a colossal role in this.
This form of marketing is termed as ‘physician liaisons’ wherein doctors create a highly dynamic network resulting in an overall increase in the industry revenue and growth of individual revenue.
3. Keeps The Patients Well Informed
Marketing strategies such as social media, content, and video campaigns share valuable medical information with the patients to keep them engaged and well informed.
Along with promoting physicians and their medical services, such medical practice marketing efforts also educate the patients and minimize the chances of being cheated.
4. Enhances Patient Experience
In medical practice marketing, physicians often have to share their USPs with the patients and show how they stand apart from the crowd. They also have to improve their service quality and deliver everything they have claimed in their promotional campaigns.
Consequently, the overall patient experience is improved, and they receive top-quality medical care with the latest technology, well-behaved staff, review portals, education sources, etc.
Some other significant benefits of healthcare include but are not limited to –
- Formation of sustainable patient-physician relationship – with mutual trust and a sense of familiarity.
- Improvement in patient satisfaction and retention rate.
- Increased possibility of patients investing in additional services.
- Patient referrals – This leads to better market goodwill and increased patients
- New patient acquisition costs are minimized.
As made clear in the above article, medical practice marketing is now a crucial part of healthcare. It is no longer a luxury; instead, it is a prerequisite to driving sustainable patient flow and maintaining a strong industry foothold.
With strategically devised and perfectly laid out healthcare marketing plans, you can expect an influx of new patients and a stable enhancement of your practice’s reputation.