Healthcare marketing can strengthen a provider’s foundation and community position during these rapidly changing times. For many, the last two years were about wait and see. They were about who would be in the Oval Office, what things would be untouched and how much would really change. Major trends in healthcare continue to emerge, they include:
- People are living longer
- Medical treatments are faster and more effective
- Hospital beds are for short-term stays
- Telemedicine works and is a hit with patients
- Home health monitoring equipment is very cost-effective
- The Life Sciences field is booming with solutions
- Obesity is at epidemic levels leading to a myriad of complex medical conditions
- Male infertility is now a global birth rate problem
- Mental illness is on the rise, but little attention is offered (Depression is the #1 reason employes call in sick)
- Physicians are aging out and in short supply
All of these issues scream marketing opportunity. We know who is in the Oval Office and the Affordable Care Act is law. The number of people who signed up for “ObamaCare” did not meet expectations, but the rules are in effect. So, the wait and see is over.
Healthcare providers that are not re-building their organizations or practices are facing uncertain futures. Your core competencies are still your core deliverables, but how are you creating distinction in a world of consumer healthcare shoppers?
Marketing is not billboards, full-page newspaper ads, or TV commercials. Some of that might be appropriate, but most often it is not necessary to have a strong marketing position. Marketing is communication, messaging and getting people to think about the choices they are empowered to make.
I often say, marketing is storytelling. Who are you? What do you do? Who do you do it for? Where are you? Today, I add, why are you different? Creatively crafting the answers to these questions can give any healthcare organization a great start.
Creative marketing is very important, too. On a daily basis, we are exposed to an average of 2,500 marketing messages. How will you make your organization or practice stand out? If your logo doesn’t grab my eye, you loose. If your brochure is jammed with too much to read, you are lost. If your web site was done by your grandson, you don’t have a prayer.
Marketing does not have to break your bank. At Success Stories, Inc. our firm has been extremely sensitive to costs, but our rule is you must stick with the program. Start and stop efforts waste lots of money, time and can be very irritable to your target audience. The “Ready, Shoot, Aim” method is simply a rush to nowhere.
Public relations are very effective when done correctly. Remember when I mentioned storytelling? Public relations and working with the right media, including social media, gives you the opportunity to tell great stories. It is not something you can ask your office manager to do and your time is far more valuable. There are several nuances to making public and media relations work.
Today, the Internet offers lots of very creative ways to reach people, but you need a professional to help you navigate the web to find the right match for you.
Yes, there is so much more such as mobile apps, videos, hospitality training, patient and referral follow-up and new things everyday.
The critical message today is, if you are not actively involved in marketing, call us. If you are doing some marketing but know you need a boost, call us. The healthcare field is moving fast, so be ahead by being professionally prepared and well-recognized in your community.