5 Characteristics of Healthcare Marketing
The healthcare industry is one of the largest industries in the United States and provides more than 14 million jobs for wage and salary workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the BLS also states that 10 of the 20 fastest-growing jobs are within the healthcare field. This industry includes small private practices with just a few patients to large hospitals that can accommodate thousands of people. Regardless of size, all healthcare companies utilize fundamental marketing strategies to grow successful businesses.
Being in the healthcare industry means that you need to establish significant trust with your patients. This means becoming involved with your patients and taking an interest in their lives. Some practices will feature a kids’ board that shows off all the children patients or entire family photos. Including photos of children with their parents in marketing and promotional materials also conveys a warm and trusting message.
The best and most effective marketing technique in healthcare is through word of mouth. Referrals can be very hard to come by, however, so practices may employ strategies, such as providing samples with customized information pamphlets to boost referrals. Other companies may provide referral discounts and offer special deals on online sites, such as Yelp.
Many healthcare organizations now take advantage of blogs, forums and other social media sites to share information about breakthrough surgeries, medical research or special achievements. For example, when the Aurora Health Care company in Milwaukee tweeted about a significant knee operation in April 2009, it was heavily publicized in various media outlets, including Good Morning America and a local radio station.
Health organizations also use social media to provide correct information to their patients. With so much false and sensationalized medical information, professionals can participate in social forum sites, such as Inspire, to help answer question about health problems.
A company’s reputation is its livelihood, so it is crucial to build a strong medical brand that is founded upon quality care, positive results, technical innovation and excellent service. To sustain a place in a competitive market, an organization must constantly analyze its performance record. By conducting surveys, asking for feedback and working with focus groups, a healthcare company can always focus on improving its brand and emphasizing its top-notch service.
By authoring an article in a respected publication, a medical professional establishes significant credibility in his field. Many organizations base their marketing by being regular fixtures in the local paper, magazine or community meeting. Some professionals also start their own blogs or join online communities of established medical practitioners, such as Psychology Today. By regularly posting helpful information and becoming a publicly recognized expert on a specialized topic, healthcare organizations can help build a following and create their own brand.