The Changes in the Healthcare Field
The expectations and behaviors of patients are constantly changing, and this causes necessary changes in healthcare marketing. Telemedicine, retail clinics and centers for urgent care are growing and providing consumers with a wider variety of healthcare options. The consumer has become more involved with any decision related to healthcare due to the increases in co-pays and premiums. Due to the internet, consumers are no longer willing to wait patiently for answers to their questions.
There are numerous healthcare organizations who have not yet adapted to the current changes, and these facilities are now at a serious disadvantage within their fields. Healthcare continues to become more and more competitive, and new strategies must be put in place. Healthcare providers are risking becoming irrelevant to potential patients. There are strategies that can help healthcare organizations become competitive in healthcare marketing.
The Importance of a Strong Online Presence
The attention healthcare is receiving is now on the internet. The Pew Research Center conducted a survey and found 88 percent of all adults in the United States are on the internet. In 2000, this number was only 52 percent. The demographic with the fastest growth on the internet since 2000 have been individuals age 65 or above. Potential patients are using the internet to find information regarding their healthcare. According to Google, of every twenty searches, four are related to healthcare. A new study by the Pew Research Center shows of all smartphone users, 62 percent have used their phones to research healthcare information within the last year.
As mobile devices continue to increase in popularity, it becomes consistently easier to access the internet. It is inevitable consumers reliance on digital media will continue to rise. This provides a critical opening for healthcare organizations to increase the awareness of their brands, and reach their target audience. Healthcare providers need to increase their funding for online efforts to be easily seen on the internet, and social media including Instagram and Facebook to remain competitive.
The Online Experience of the Patient
The experience the consumer experiences online is just as important as their satisfaction with the healthcare provider. A lot of potential patients use the internet to conduct research regarding the facility prior to making an appointment. If the experience of the consumer is negative, whether online or at the physical location, they will have a bad impression. Chances are excellent they will then go to a different provider.
The website for any healthcare provider must be mobile-friendly, modern, easy to navigate and intuitive to be successful. The important questions asked by the consumers must be answered immediately, and all ads or posts on social media must be relevant to drive engagement. Technology has made these factors critical to the healthcare industry.
Tracking Marketing Results
Effective marketing in the healthcare industry is achieved by carefully tracking data. Once this information has been attained, improving the results becomes much simpler and easier. A lot of healthcare marketers struggle with this concept. They have become accustomed to placing their investments in traditional marketing including television, billboards and radio. From the perspective of patient conversions, this type of marketing is extremely hard to track. Digital marketing has numerous benefits, but the transparency holds major significance. Marketers are able to effectively track the engagement of their target audience in real time with digital campaigns. The includes the length of time the consumer was on the page, how many pages were viewed, and the number of conversions and clicks.
The current efforts in the market can be validated by using marketing driven by data. The insights this provides offers valuable information regarding the best way to improve marketing to receive better results in the future. The modern consumer wants more from their healthcare providers than in the past, and they are researching various options. To remain both competitive and successful, healthcare providers must understand the importance of the internet to consumers. The needs of the consumers must be anticipated and met. The best way to accomplish this is with a very strong presence online, providing consumers with an excellent user experience, and making certain the marketing campaign has been efficiently optimized.