Building a viable and coherent marketing strategy can be a daunting task. Understanding the consumer behavior, the nature of the market, and the target audience and eventually building a sound marketing strategy that can aid the growth of your hospital or clinic can be intimidating especially if you are just starting with your healthcare practice. An effective marketing approach involves an in-depth investigation of the patients’ needs, identifying latent needs, and offering new health services that patients have not explicitly requested. (Purcarea VL. The impact of marketing strategies in healthcare systems. Journal of Medicine and Life. 2019 Apr-Jun;12(2):93-96. DOI: 10.25122/jml-2019-1003.
To help you ease into the process of marketing strategy for your healthcare, we have curated a list of practices you need to keep in mind to help you understand and eventually create a sound marketing strategy for your healthcare practice.
Practices that you need to keep in mind to create better marketing research strategies are:
Market research is one of the most fundamental aspects of building a marketing strategy. Market research involves taking a deep dive into the psyche of the consumer and analyzing their behavior and experience towards the specific product or service. Market research is done in three major methods.
These methods are; Firstly, there are Surveys. Surveys are a set of close-ended questions which are posed to a group of people who represent the target audience of the healthcare practice. Their answers are then analyzed and scored upon which their experience of the product or service is based. The scoring, conduction, and analysis of surveys are exceedingly easy making it a very popular market research tool.
Secondly, there are focus groups. Focus groups include bringing together a group of people who represent the diversity of the target audience, upon bringing the group of people together, a moderator starts and steers the conversation to get insight into the experience of the group of people about the product or service. Focus groups however are not advised for healthcare providers with less experience because of two major drawbacks. These drawbacks are dominant bias and moderator bias. The dominant bias is when a dominant participant of the focus group influences the opinion of the rest of the group and moderator bias is when the moderator lets their personal bias affect the objectivity of the focus group. Because of these drawbacks, the analysis of a focus group becomes a very tedious and daunting task, thus young healthcare practitioners shouldn’t use it for their market research.
Thirdly, some interviews can be conducted to assess the psyche of the consumer. Interviews are the best way to conduct market research as it involves sitting down face-to-face with the consumer and gaining insight into their experience using the product or service. Since it does not require any tedious analysis or scoring, it is by far the most preferred method to conduct market research.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing includes harnessing the power of social media and its exuberant reach to a global audience. Social media marketing includes understanding the intricacies of the algorithms and intricacies of major social media websites including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Upon getting an understanding of the behavior of the target audience on the major social media websites, a campaign needs to be designed which not only promotes a healthcare industry, but also establishes the doctor, or healthcare provider as a leader of the industry. By sharing a series of blog posts, webinars links, podcast episodes, the clientele begins to see the healthcare provider as a leader of the industry and consequently promoting their healthcare practice.
Digital marketing as opposed to traditional marketing is the utilization of digital tools to market and promote a medical practice. These digital tools include search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, SMS marketing, etc. SEO essentially helps the visibility of your healthcare practice’s website on major search engines. According to a report by digitalcrafts.in, more than 60% of patients use search engines before calling or scheduling an appointment; making SEO one of the most important tools at your behest for making a marketing strategy for your medical practice. Email marketing and SMS marketing include using Email and SMS as a medium to spread the word about your medical practice through a coherently written Email or SMS highlighting your services and products. The consistent usage and popularity of Email and SMS is the reason that they need to be an important part of your marketing strategy.
Traditional Marketing Techniques
Apart from utilizing digital marketing mediums for healthcare marketing, traditional marketing techniques remain one of the most pertinent and popular marketing techniques today. These techniques include putting out advertisements in newspapers, organizing talks and seminars that help to spread the word about your practice and highlight the services your healthcare practice provides, putting up billboards, etc.
Apart from the above, Below-the-line marketing (BTL Marketing) is a very popular way to spread the word about your healthcare practice. BTL Marketing includes several different elements like putting up kiosks in trade shows, telemarketing, flyers, etc.
To sum up, In order to have a coherent and effective marketing strategy for your medical practice, there needs to be a clear understanding of the psyche of your target audience. Once you understand the psyche and the consumer behavior, there are plenty of practices and marketing tools that you can inculcate in your marketing strategy including, digital marketing, social media marketing, market research, traditional marketing, etc. These marketing strategies will help you promote your healthcare practice exponentially and drive more patients to your door inadvertently increasing your profits.