As healthcare and medical services expand horizontally across more platforms and access points and the market becomes more competitive, patients are expecting a better, more personalized consumer-like experience with their providers and practices. Now, instead of simply settling for the same physician or clinic they’ve always used, potential patients are shopping around to find the best care for their needs, when and where they want it, in person and on demand.
Effective medical marketing can be your key to getting in front of more patients in more places, improving your visibility and increasing the chances that your practice or clinic will be someone’s go-to choice for quality care. From capitalizing on telehealth opportunities and engaging with online users and reviews to making sure you’re at the top of someone’s search results, medical marketing helps ensure you’re sending the right messages and creating the right value for optimal outcomes with your target audience.
The challenge with medical marketing, though, is that it can be difficult for healthcare facilities to balance the need to generate revenue and increase profit with the duty of remaining a trusted, regulatory-compliant service provider who puts the patient first. This is why starting with a good strategy is absolutely essential.
Developing the Right Approach to Medical Marketing
All marketing strategies are built on the same primary principles of placement, price, and promotion. Effective medical marketing, however, also needs to consider these 5 additional factors:
You cannot build a strong brand image if your physicians are not equipped to thrive and succeed in their jobs. Part of your marketing approach should occur behind the scenes by bolstering the support that your physicians receive. Encourage job satisfaction by listening to physicians’ concerns about their workplace and taking action accordingly. Be stringent when hiring so that patients only encounter the best of the best at your location, and when doctors exceed expectations, leverage this information to advertise their services and draw new patients.
The processes utilized in your facility will in large part be informed by the policymakers who dictate mandatory practices. A good example of this is HIPAA, which governs private patient information and how, or when, it may be disseminated. As you develop your medical marketing strategy, keep these policymakers in mind, being careful to create marketing materials that are personalized and thorough without compromising regulatory compliance.
Medical facilities are staffed with more than just doctors and nurses. They rely on a number of other critical professionals to provide quality care and keep administrative and financial tasks under control. As you build a marketing strategy, remember that these areas are just as important to patient satisfaction and impressions as their experience in the exam room. With professional respect and appreciation for front- and back-end employees, even non-client-facing positions can support a positive brand image and improve your reputation.
Effective marketing takes a comprehensive approach to how your business is perceived, including the monetary and financial ways in which consumers engage with your brand. As part of your medical marketing strategy, be sure to evaluate the payment experience that you are providing to your payers. Do they have access to your company name and sufficient information to pay their bills with ease, or is the process difficult, frustrating, and confusing? Even if they have received exemplary care, difficulties with payment can sour the entire experience and leave them with a negative impression that they may spread to others in online reviews.
Consumers are at the heart of any marketing campaign, and medical marketing is no different. Patient satisfaction should be one of the primary drivers of your medical marketing campaign because often it is the metric by which a facility’s reputation is measured. Social media posts, for example, can be a valuable asset to reach your patient demographic and remain top of mind. Capturing and acting upon patients’ reported experiences at your clinic or practice through online reviews gives you powerful insights into what is or isn’t working and opportunities to put your patients front and center.
Examples of Medical Marketing Strategies
The most successful medical marketing strategies incorporate multiple angles to cover all target demographics. Here are some best practices for delivering an optimal ROI for your marketing spend.
Websites. According to studies, more than 90% of patients will review a doctor’s information online to decide whether they should schedule a visit. If your practice doesn’t have a website, you aren’t on the radar of potential patients. You can also customize websites to create the best possible patient experience, from gathering information and scheduling appointments to making payments and viewing visit summaries or test results.
Physician referrals. Physician referrals are a powerful but highly under-utilized medical marketing strategy. Through a referral system, either independently or via a referral liaison, physicians from multiple specialties can establish trusted relationships with each other and their patients. This increases confidence and ensures that patients who need referrals are being moved along a reliable and streamlined pipeline for the highest quality continuation of care, improving patient satisfaction and health outcomes and reflecting positively on the practices involved.
E-commerce. Even–and perhaps, especially–in the medical field, e-commerce is a necessary part of doing business in an increasingly digital world. By integrating efficient, effective, and accurate payment procedures, e-commerce capabilities improve the customer service experience and reduce the workload on other staff, who would otherwise have been tied up with cumbersome or convoluted billing problems.
Let Freestyle Creative Help Make Medical Marketing Work for You
When it comes to medical marketing, timing and placement are just as important as the tone of your message. Medical marketing services from Freestyle will help ensure your brand stays professional and patient-centric no matter what platform you’re on, so you can build the trusted relationships that are at the heart of your healthcare or medical business.
Freestyle is a full-service digital marketing agency that has decades of experience helping medical facilities achieve positive ROI on their marketing efforts. Our portfolio of services includes everything from branding and strategy to video production, web design, and social media marketing. We can help you navigate the ever-evolving world of marketing options and guide you in targeting the audiences that are most relevant for your business, all with consistent, accurate, and compliant messaging that leverages your assets, demonstrates your values, and exceeds the expectations of your patient base. Contact Freestyle today to discuss your goals and start creating a vision for your future.