The healthcare industry is one of the biggest in the United States, healthcare marketing included. In 2021 alone, during a period of economic recession, they still maintained a worth of $808 billion. This is spread across the different facets of healthcare, and by 2024, the different sectors are projected to earn:
- Distribution/Pharmacies (18.9 billion)
- Healthcare IT (27.9 billion)
- Medtech (72.1 billion)
- Payer (116.6 billion)
- Pharma (169.9 billion)
- Insurance providers (197.8 billion)
After seeing the industry’s current and projected success, look at how success spreads across the most successful healthcare sectors. You might notice that actual healthcare providers are not making up the bulk of the industry’s success. It’s not uncommon for hospitals, private practices, and pharmacies, in particular, to face financial struggles since the jump in gross income isn’t the same as profit. Not to mention, across all sectors, healthcare is full of professionals competing with each other for clients, partners, and patients.
To compete, spending on healthcare marketing has been growing and evolving, but not every practitioner’s office, hospital, or pharmacy knows how to compete. To help with that, here are some helpful healthcare marketing tips that are good for almost every sector of the healthcare industry. Healthcare is an important part of life, but it’s a business too.
Who Needs Healthcare Marketing Tips?
There isn’t a sector of healthcare that doesn’t need to have some basic marketing skills. Whether you’re a doctor with your own private practice, a big busy hospital, a pharmacy, or an insurance provider, you need to know how to get your name out there.
Even if you’re the only healthcare provider in a small town, nearly 1 in 4 Americans skip medical care. This means even if you have no local competitors, you’re still competing with people’s mindsets. Convincing people that their health is worth caring for is something you need to do, as strange as that may sound. To help, we have a few tips that should help you find more success in marketing.
#1. Who Do You Need to Market To?
Always have your target audience in mind. A common mistake that professionals make across all industries is wasting time marketing to people who aren’t a part of their audience. It doesn’t matter how many consumers you market to, if you’re a business-to-business company, you’ll never get enough–if any–clients marketing to general consumers. You need to make sure you’re marketing to the right people.
- Pharmacies, hospitals, and private practices should market to general consumers. Their audience is potential patients, and this should include basically everyone across all wealth classes. The main thing to consider when marketing is “where” more so than “who” you’re marketing to. Don’t market outside of your area unless you have a healthcare program that people will and should travel far to utilize.
- Insurance providers take many forms so it depends on what kind of insurance you provide or need to push. If you provide health insurance to patients, your audience is the same as hospitals and private practices. If you provide protective insurance to hospitals and their staff, you want to advertise to medical professionals and hospital boards. The latter is much more specific than the former, which can be most budget-friendly but more difficult in other ways.
- Pharmaceutical companies and med tech developers want to market directly to doctors and hospital boards. Doctors are the ones who will be prescribing or using any new medicine or treatment, they need something they can trust. They will also be the ones who fight to get it in their hospitals through its board of directors.
#2. Have a Quality Online Experience
With everything being online, you can’t get ahead with a poor online experience. People are impatient when searching for things that have been on their minds for only a few seconds. Don’t expect them to be more patient with medical results or scheduling appointments.
You can get your website developed or partner with insurance companies and other partners who will host your medical services on your website. You know your online portal is well developed if it’s fast, easy to use, and offers patients the ability to:
- Schedule appointments
- Have virtual appointments
- Request medical history/information
- Request prescription renewals.
#3. Ask for Reviews
Reviews are important to all businesses, and the healthcare industry is no different. A popular marketing tactic that healthcare marketing should adopt is asking patients for a review after a visit.
With the advent of the internet, healthcare providers are learning what has kept people from going to the doctor. Aside from the cost, people with various body types, conditions, and family histories have been judged by their doctors and have had unhelpful, even demeaning healthcare experiences. People want a doctor who cares and listens, but they’re not going to take your word for it. They’ll take the word of people they know or those with similar body types, conditions, and circumstances.
Having as many positive reviews as possible from a diverse group of people will drastically help your public perspective.
This tip also applies to insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies that are trying to bring in new clients. In all honesty, neither sector has a good public perception, so having the trust of someone’s neighbors and peers helps a lot.
#4. Build a Network of Other Medical Professionals
Success is not something you do alone, no matter what anyone says. We all require help, but sometimes it’s subtler than others. Healthcare has professionals with different specializations and practices. While you may have many competitors, there are far more medical professionals who do not do what you do.
Get to know these people and make connections and partnerships. If they have a client with an issue in your field rather than theirs, you want them to refer their patient to you. Do the same for them if there’s something outside of your field.
Don’t limit yourself to your sector, either. If you’re in the pharmaceutical sector, having friends who are doctors will help you understand what needs your company can fill. Even if you’re in insurance, having someone recommend you to their hospital’s board, their patients, or accept your insurance at their office can only help.
#5. Be Consistent with Your Branding
This is another healthcare marketing tip that applies to all sectors of healthcare and all industries of the business overall. Your branding needs to be consistent. Decide what your brand is about and build upon it. If you’re a family doctor, advertise that, and never leave any reason for someone to question it.
It’s okay to change or pivot direction, but when you start trying to build something new, you cannot be indecisive. You have to have an idea of what kind of image of what your healthcare business is trying to do. If you don’t, you won’t be able to compete with those who do.
Extra Tip, Contact a Marketing Firm for Your Healthcare Marketing
Marketing is not easy and can be a full-time position in your office. It’s also unlike any other facet of the business, despite being necessary for any sector. Marketing can easily feel impersonal compared to the work being done in a doctor’s office. The opposite can feel true when you’re trying to develop and test new drugs.
Because of this, no matter what healthcare sector you’re in, you should have a marketing team who can handle these complications for you. You need someone to provide a service or product to, but don’t know how to get them. We at ENX2 Marketing do and are ready to help with your healthcare marketing needs. Contact us today.