With the increasing healthcare costs for today’s patient and medical equipment price tags, healthcare marketing professionals have to go beyond social media and billboards to effectively develop a strategy that works.
Healthcare is changing rapidly, giving rise to a host of new technology-driven services and devices. From the rapid growth of telemedicine to apps that can monitor breathing and heart rates through the night, healthcare has genuinely moved into the digital age.
Medical practices are like traditional businesses; they need to find ways to connect patients to their practice, keep them coming back, and create brand loyalty. Medical marketing is more than just connecting with patients- it’s about building more significant and lasting relationships with them. Building brand loyalty through excellent healthcare marketing isn’t impossible.
Marketing for healthcare businesses and medical practices presents a distinct set of challenges that no other industry can match. To be successful in health care marketing, you must first understand how to overcome these obstacles.
Limitations in Marketing Targeting Within the Health Industry
Targeting is possibly the most challenging aspect of healthcare marketing. Search engine advertising, for example, is simple to implement because it allows you to target patients who are looking for specific ailments and treatments. However, addressing medical conditions outside of these channels is generally prohibited by privacy laws. Several platforms have even restricted remarketing ads to healthcare brands due to privacy concerns.
To attract the right patients, an effective healthcare marketing strategy may rely on creative and messaging. More advanced health care marketers will use platforms like programmatic networks, which use anonymized, privacy-safe data sets to enable advanced targeting like lookalike based on conditions.
Compliance with HIPAA regulations
The Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act standards are an essential aspect of medical marketing because they affect how marketing and leads are handled and how your website is hosted, vendor relationships, and much more.
Because technology advances faster than HIPAA, it is critical to understand how new marketing technologies are compliant and where risks exist. As a marketer, you must understand HIPAA, but you must also know when to seek the advice of legal or IT professionals to make decisions.
Mass Marketing Stack with a Definite Purpose
Many of the most popular marketing technology solutions are not HIPAA compliant. As a result, marketers are occasionally forced to use HIPAA-compliant industry-specific solutions. Health care marketers have access to far more specialized marketing tools than marketers in other industries. You’ll also want the vendors to sign a business partner agreement with you, which is simply a contract outlining the vendors’ obligation to only use protected health information in a secure and established manner.
Furthermore, one of the more severe issues that marketers face is electronic medical records and practice management software used by medical offices to manage physician calendars and securely store patient information. If you want to make it simpler for patients to schedule appointments, for example, you’ll need to connect with these platforms. The landscape is vast, and many of these systems lack pre-built integrations.
Digital Health KPI’s
Unlike other businesses, medical marketing has precise key performance indicators. Typically, medical practices are solely concerned with attracting new patients to their offices.
However, when attempting to grow a business, medical marketers must consider a plethora of additional KPIs. I’ve already discussed six of the most critical KPIs for growth.
Measurement and marketing attribution are familiar sources of annoyance, possibly due to the marketing stack’s difficulties. For the most part, medical marketers struggle to automate measurement and must spend time manually connecting the dots.
Consider the following example: determining revenue per patient. Calculating client income in other industries is as simple as looking at an invoice or credit card charge. Insurance, on the other hand, complicates matters for medical practices. Patients can choose from a variety of insurance plans. So there’s a price of the services provided, but reimbursements vary significantly from patient to patient, and determining how much a doctor is paid can take months. As a result, attributing revenue to marketing is an ongoing and challenging task. To solve tracking issues in healthcare, you’ll need time, a dedicated team, and possibly some custom integration development.
Learning About Insurance
Despite the complexity of the insurance landscape, success in health care marketing necessitates knowledge of various insurance types, such as PPOs, HMOs, Medicare, and Medicaid. As a marketer, you must understand which plans are in-network with the doctor and which are not and which therapies are covered. All of these factors, as well as the diseases and treatments you target, will have an impact on your messaging and creativity.
Obtaining a Healthy Balance of Authority and Empathy
Patients make healthcare decisions while experiencing strong emotions. Marketers must strike a balance between establishing authority and demonstrating empathy on behalf of a physician. It’s a rare combination, and it can make communication difficult. Make an effort to build a relationship while also providing hope and assurance that treatment will be available.
Brand’s Tone of Voice
To create persuasive content for health care marketing and connect with physicians and other health care practitioners, it’s critical to understand the lexicon of terminology relevant to the specialization you’re marketing. In addition, patients do not always use the exact phrases.
It is not enough to know the phrases; you must also have a thorough understanding of the treatments and illnesses to create more comprehensive marketing materials.
It’s a battle, but it’s well worth it.
Healthcare is one of the most inspiring and growing industries. Because of the rapid pace of change, healthcare professionals can find themselves overwhelmed with new rules and expectations. That’s where digital health comes in — it offers a lifeline for the industry by demystifying health procedures and providing education to patients who lack access to providers. Everyday life is what comprises of the most interactions we have with businesses, brands, or people.
Despite the challenges that healthcare marketing poses, it is still an industry with great potential. The digital health revolution has made our lives better in countless ways. As soon as one barrier to digital health is overcome, another will emerge. But as we come together to tackle these, we can expect to see the healthcare industry improve immaculately and quickly.