If you’re looking for growth opportunities, then consider the health sector which is one of the most exciting industries to be in in recent years. With an increasing number of people taking the digital plunge and switching to online shopping, the demand for online marketing experts is at an all-time high, and it’s created a new opportunity for marketers.
However, being able to successfully market health-related products and services isn’t as simple as it sounds. Healthcare is complicated and sensitive subject matter, which is why you need to approach online marketing for hospitals with utmost care and attention to detail.
The Growth Opportunity
Thanks to the internet and social media, there are hundreds of thousands of products and services available to consumers, regardless of where they are located. This trend has created an opportunity for businesses in all industries to gain more traction and become more accessible to a global audience.
Although the growth in online shopping has benefited consumers immensely, it’s also created a marketing headache for businesses as the internet is full of competitors and it’s difficult to stand out from the crowd. To compete successfully in this environment, you need to find ways to market your products that make you stand out above the rest.
For health-related businesses, the opportunity to market online is especially significant. With more people seeking healthcare than ever before, there are plenty of online marketing experts waiting to help you take advantage of this growing market. Healthcare is a broad area and encompasses a variety of sectors from insurance to pharmaceuticals to medical devices. Every sector is growing and evolving, providing you with a goldmine of marketing opportunities.
Attracting New Customers
According to HubSpot Blogs’ research, 78% of businesses surveyed said that attracting new customers was their number one marketing priority. As much as possible, you want to grow your patient base so when they do need your product or service, you have plenty of people to sell it to.
To attract new patients to your practice, you need to consider what makes your practice special. Do you have a gifted doctor on staff who’s passionate about providing the best possible care to your patients? If so, you can use this as a selling point and draw in new patients who are looking for that high-end experience.
Do you offer special financing plans for medical devices? If so, this is another way of attracting and retaining patients owing to the declining number of health insurers that offer this type of plan.
In addition to helping you find new patients, a successful online marketing strategy for your hospital will also guide your communication strategy and ensure that you are representing your hospital accurately and consistently across all platforms (digital and traditional).
Expanding Into New Markets
Just because your practice is in healthcare doesn’t mean that you need to limit yourself to just patients. A lot of businesses in the health sector operate internationally and have the ability to take their products or services across borders. This gives you the opportunity to target markets that normally wouldn’t have heard of your practice or hospital.
For instance, Dignity Health, a large health system in the U.S., operates in 21 states and has nearly 200 hospitals. As a result of this global reach, the organization generates over $14 billion in annual revenue and employs over 65,000 people.
Dignity Health’s revenue comes from a variety of sources including hospital rooms and services, outpatient procedures, pharmacy, and insurance coverage. Because of this diversification, the organization is able to achieve a higher growth rate compared to other healthcare groups. This is thanks in part to the fact that they have no real limits on where they can expand.
Along with revenue, you want to make sure that you are expanding your patient base. One of the best ways of doing this is by attracting new patients to your hospital from other countries. By providing world-class care to patients, you can keep them coming back for more and potentially expand your market share.
The Specialized Needs Of Healthcare
Healthcare practitioners need specialized tools to properly diagnose and treat their patients. This includes everything from medical equipment (such as MRI scanners) to staff training (Pharmacists must be trained in CPR).
As much as possible, you want to ensure that your strategy incorporates these specialized needs. If you’re marketing to a general audience, you may not always need special equipment to provide the service. However, if you’re marketing to a specific audience (i.e. MRI customers), you can utilize this as a way of distinguishing your product or service from others.
The Importance Of Patient Experience
According to HubSpot Blogs’ research, over 77% of businesses surveyed said that the patient experience is something they care about. As much as possible, you want to create a positive patient experience which will encourage them to return for future treatments.
In addition to ensuring that your patients have a good experience, you want to do everything you can to encourage them to spread the word about your practice. An effective strategy to do this is to provide them with discounts on medical devices and treatments. Not only does this provide positive word of mouth, but it also encourages those patients who may otherwise be hesitant to enter the practice to do so. This is because the discounts make the service more attractive.
As much as possible, you want to ensure that your strategy incorporates these needs. If possible, you want to create a positive experience for your patients and then encourage them to spread the word about your practice. For those running a digital marketing agency, this may mean helping your clients achieve greater patient engagement on their websites.
Although the digital world has changed the way we interact and conduct business, there is still a place for traditional marketing. Just because there are so many competitors doesn’t mean that you need to shy away from attracting new patients to your hospital through traditional means.
Telemarketing has been around for years, and while the technology may have changed, the principle behind it remains the same. Instead of reaching out to people via email or social media to engage them in your product or service, you call them and ask them to come back later.
You may be familiar with telemarketing because of the various telesurveys which are popular across the globe. Companies like OneOpinion survey thousands of consumers every day and use automated dialing technologies to connect with potential customers. Because they rely on human interaction for recruiting, the process is slow and can take weeks to complete.
Even if you don’t have the time to participate in a formal telesurvey, you can use more traditional methods to reach out to potential patients. For instance, you can send out mailers, put up posters in the community, or register with local business directories. By doing this, you can get the word out there and attract new patients to your hospital.
Being able to successfully market health-related products and services isn’t as simple as it sounds. Healthcare is complicated and sensitive subject matter, which is why you need to approach online marketing for hospitals with utmost care and attention to detail.