Healthcare marketing uses many traditional marketing approaches with an added level of complexity. For one, in healthcare, customers are referred to as patients (or sometimes as “residents”).
Healthcare marketers are tasked with promoting a service of care that aims to create health outcomes with patients. This task is balanced with having to generate revenue for the health system. A balance that most healthcare marketers will tell you can be somewhat of a challenge. This may be attributed to cognitive dissonance as profit and care are two different perspectives.
Another major part of healthcare marketing is working out how to target patients. Health networks are often segmented by insurance providers. This means each insurance company has a unique system of rules for delivering patients. The insurance company also pays the healthcare provider, which adds another relationship that must be nurtured.
This is all done in a regulated environment. This means healthcare marketers must navigate constantly changing rules and regulations on how services can be marketed. It is because of all the aforementioned, that doctors, insurance providers, regulators and healthcare marketers must work together to create services that meet the constantly changing climate of healthcare.
There are several strategies in healthcare marketing to consider.
Personal selling and relationship building by a sales professional in order to create a strong referral network is an important pillar of a healthcare marketing. This process involves an outreach program to create a referral network with physicians, hospitals, healthcare providers and practitioners. Other important aspects of promotion include: public relations, advertising, branding, marketing management, search engine optimization and custom website design tailored to different healthcare stakeholders.
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