Is Online Marketing Still a Good Strategy for Healthcare?

Healthcare was once considered to be one of the most boring industries in terms of marketing and sales performance. However, today, healthcare businesses must adapt to new ways of thinking and acting if they want to remain competitive.

In the past, healthcare professionals might have focused on acquiring new patients, who would then be responsible for generating revenue through services such as lab tests and surgeries.

Although healthcare has changed, the role of marketing within the industry has remained largely unchanged. While marketing departments in healthcare had to adapt to changing technology and consumer preferences during the early part of the 2010s, they have now focused on more traditional marketing tasks such as advertising and brand building. This shift reflects the changing role of marketing within the industry and the rise of digital transformation, which aims to rebrand marketing as part of a customer lifecycle strategy.

The Rise of Digital Transformation

In the past, healthcare marketing departments might have organized occasional events such as charity walks and wine-tasting parties to generate awareness and brand loyalty. However, the role of marketing within the industry has evolved to focus on creating a 360-degree view of a patient’s life, including monitoring their digital footprint. This digital awareness creates lifelong customers who are much more likely to buy healthcare products and services in the future. (1)

The rise of digital transformation and the changing role of marketing within the industry is driven by a younger audience. Young people have always been considered to be more digitally aware and open to new ideas than older generations. (2)

If you’re a healthcare business, you know that marketing to this audience is essential. This is because they will become your best customers and advocates for the products and services that you offer. (3)

Marketing to this demographic could therefore be considered a form of “digital marketing.” However, marketing within the industry has not always been considered digital marketing. In fact, back in the 1990s, the term “marketing” was used to generally refer to “promotion” and “advertising.” (4)

New Technology, Old Tasks

With the rise of the internet and social media, healthcare marketing departments have had to adapt to new technology, changing consumer preferences, and increased competition. (5)

To begin with, healthcare marketers have had to adapt to the new world of digital marketing and build up their knowledge of SEO, content marketing, social media, and email marketing.

What used to be considered web design has now become a specialized skill, requiring a deep understanding of HTML, CSS, and XML.

Since consumers are now getting their news from the internet instead of traditional newspapers, magazine articles, and TV commercials, online marketing has become extremely important for keeping up with the trends and news in your industry.

Another critical area that healthcare marketers need to know how to get involved with is content marketing. The role of a content marketer is to research and understand what content formats work best for different groups of people within your industry. With this, you can create content that will engage and persuade patients, residents, and employees.

Being able to measure the effectiveness of your content is also critical for healthcare marketing. With a CMS (content management system) such as HubSpot, for example, you can track the success of your content marketing efforts in real time and analyze which formats lead to the most engagement.

The Changing Role of Marketing

In addition to new technology and changing consumer preferences, healthcare marketers have also had to adapt to the changing role of marketing. (6)

Traditional marketing approaches, such as marketing plans, tactics, and strategies, are now only one part of a business’ marketing mix. (7)

In previous generations, marketing departments might have focused on planning, researching, and implementing traditional offline marketing tactics, such as advertising and public relations. (8)

In today’s digital world, marketing departments must also consider how to utilize the power of the internet and social media to gain brand awareness, attract potential customers, and convert them into delighted repeat customers.

Why Should Healthcare Businesses Care About Marketing?

If you’re a healthcare business and you don’t take marketing seriously, you will quickly find yourself in trouble. The role of marketing within the industry is too important to be considered a “bore-like” exercise. (9)

Healthcare businesses that ignore marketing will find it difficult to stay afloat in today’s competitive world. (10)

When it comes to marketing, the line between a hobby and a career often becomes blurred. In the eyes of many employers, marketing is now considered a “career-ready” major, with many lucrative job opportunities. (11)

Furthermore, with the evolution of marketing and the changing role of marketing within the industry, marketing professionals can now find work in a variety of roles, including sales and business development, as well as strategy and account management. (12)

Although healthcare has changed, the role of marketing within the industry has remained largely unchanged. Today, healthcare marketers must adapt to new ways of thinking and acting if they want to remain competitive.