Everywhere you look, healthcare is being discussed. From technological advances to the healthcare debate in Congress, your healthcare is changing. Even how you sign up for the exchanges can be done in at least three different ways.
So it makes sense that how healthcare is marketed to the public is also changing. After all, healthcare is necessary for everyone, but with so many choices now, it can be difficult to decide on which plan, and which facility, is best for you.
That’s where the new approach to healthcare marketing comes in.
Healthcare and Marketing
Did you know that healthcare systems in America used digital marketing?
If you’ve never thought about it before, you’re not alone.
The truth is that because healthcare is a necessity for human life, we rarely think about the marketing strategies employed to get us to sign up for one insurance company of healthcare facility or another. I mean, you’ve seen the newspaper, magazine, and tv ads for healthcare services, but you’ve been seeing that since you were a kid. Healthcare companies are constantly competing for business from each other, therefore it is essential that they have a strong marketing strategy in order for them to stay ahead of the game. Why not read a healthcare marketing book in order to get a head start?
What I just described was the traditional method of healthcare marketing, which would probably continue to be effective if technology hadn’t advanced both healthcare and the marketing strategies. Now that so many people get their information online and through news apps, the marketing strategy is changing for healthcare systems and other providers.
The New Approach
The internet has changed everything. From digital marketing and cloud computing to medical assistant programs online and electronic health records, everything is going through the digital world before it hits consumers.
So what does this mean for healthcare marketing? It means that a new approach is being crafted, bringing about some surprising changes to the healthcare market.
The Model: Retail Marketing
It can sound weird, but the healthcare industry is taking some direction from the retail industry when it comes to marketing its services.
Because healthcare in America is now consumer-driven, with the ACA creating more competition in the open market, it means that health systems need to compete with each other in order to earn the trust and business of patients.
One way the healthcare industry is doing this is by streamlining the experience a patient has with one insurance company or one healthcare facility. This means that patients are treated to holistic experiences, such as renovated hospitals and clinics, as well as the routine care that combines both personalization and technology, which we’ll take about below.
Personalized Patient Care
As more Americans become informed about healthcare, it is no longer sufficient to use the traditional model of healthcare service. Instead, healthcare systems must learn how to personalize healthcare for their patients, making them feel as though they are the most important patient in the world.
This isn’t hyperbole: healthcare systems are using personalized patient care to literally deliver this type of experience. By using one case manager per family at a hospital, building records that are tailored to a patient’s current and past needs for referrals, and ensuring that appointments and follow up phone calls are always done with the best of care, a modern patient can expect excellent care.
The single best way that the healthcare system is accomplishing this is by encouraging stronger engagement between patients and their medical team. By making sure everyone is on a first-name basis, the facility is deepening their relationship to a patient, making them feel more comfortable about the treatment they are receiving.
Technology Shifting Medicine
The modern American is a health-conscious and proactive individual. They eat right, exercise, track their physical health with wearable devices, and often research any of their symptoms prior to going to the doctor.
Technology and the internet have gone a long way in educating the average American, but it does not mean that they can diagnose and treat themselves. Doctors are still needed, but as the world moves more towards technology, the healthcare system is going to have to learn how to keep up.
This is where technology comes in: cloud computing, wireless tracking devices, IoT for medical technology and more are all taking their place in the healthcare system. A patient can track their symptoms using an app, relay that information to their doctor during their next appointment, receive a prescription, and then fill it at a local pharmacy on their way home if they live in Georgia or California.
As healthcare companies learn how to utilize technology for the benefit of their patients, the marketing strategy is also changing; now the discussion is as much about prevention as it is about treatment. With apps and data in the cloud, doctors can do a better job of treating their patients, an aspect that is not lost on the individual.
Talking about healthcare marketing in terms of retail and technology no doubt seems strange to you, but it’s exactly what is needed. Since Americans are so used to personalized experiences in nearly every aspect of their lives, why should healthcare be any different? The next time you head to your doctor’s office, check to see how much retail marketing elements you can find during your appointment, then let us know if we’ve left anything out.