As with any other type of business, health care providers, agencies and organizations use marketing strategies to increase their exposure and drum up new business. Marketing involves creating and communicating a marketing message, while increasing a business’ overall exposure and building relationships with customers. Through the use of technology and data analysis measures, providers can craft a targeted marketing message and approach.
Depending on the type of health care provider, a potential health care customer can be a consumer, another business, an insurance company, a hospital or a combination of two or more customer types. According to the CBS Interactive Business Network, different customer types have their own sets of wants, needs and expectations from a health care provider. To be effective, the marketing message and approach needs to meet the customers where they’re at. Relationship marketing emphasizes getting to know the customer on a personal level and creating channels of communication that the customer feels comfortable enough to use. By establishing a relationship with customers, health care providers can better target their marketing message to the types of customers they’re serving.
Health care services are a heavily regulated industry where procedures, data tracking and performance analysis are built-in requirements for meeting regulatory standards. This mass of information provides evidence-based proof of a health care provider’s service outcomes and success rates. Data-driven marketing approaches incorporate available evidence-based information regarding the provider’s services into the marketing message, according to the Entrepreneur business resource site. In the process, consumers can see how a particular provider’s offering will benefit him. A data-based marketing message also enables consumers to compare a particular provider’s success and outcome rates with other competing service providers. In effect, data-driven marketing helps health care organizations communicate useful information to the consumer within their marketing message.
In addition to data-based approaches, technology-driven marketing incorporates the communication networks made possible through the Internet. Traditional marketing messages communicate service or product benefits up front. Since the health care industry centers around uncomfortable issues regarding sickness and medical need, a direct message approach can have a counterproductive effect in terms of attracting new business, according to Entrepreneur. Internet marketing approaches enable health care organizations and providers to work around uncomfortable marketing messages by making themselves directly accessible to the consumer. Consumers can make contact with a provider’s marketing message through online educational videos and reference sites and have direct interactions with providers through blogs and email correspondence.