Healthcare Marketing

Geomarketing for the Healthcare Industry: Its Potential and Pitfalls

Meg DeLeon, Account Director Healthcare Marketing

If you remember sitting in school thinking geography was unlikely to benefit your career, you’re not alone. But the ability to locate people based on data has become a cornerstone of marketing in the past couple of years. Geomarketing is any form of marketing that makes use of location data. It can increase the chance of communications reaching the right consumers at the right time. It consists of:

  • Geofencing – This targets users in a specific area during real time. It locates them using GPS or RFID (radio frequency identification). It sets up a virtual barrier, identifies devices within range, and sends a blanket notification to everyone inside its boundaries capable of receiving it.
  • Geotargeting – The delivery of content to users based on where they are or places they have been. Communications are usually mobile, but cross-device capabilities are also possible.

Some ways brands use geomarketing include:

  • Communicating with patients on hospital premises
  • Sending advertisements to attendees at a particular event
  • Targeting shoppers in a defined retail area

A Role in Healthcare

While geomarketing was initially slow to develop in healthcare, industry leader Yext predicts healthcare geomarketing will eclipse retail by 2020. Location intelligence tools can help healthcare companies increase sales by:

  • Identifying and targeting local areas with high volumes of consumers for a particular product.
  • Providing additional demographic and lifestyle data on selected audiences to inform and customize messages.
  • Targeting users by education level, household income, and media consumed to ensure you aren’t incurring costs advertising to groups less likely to consider your product valuable.
  • Using first-party data to identify individuals who previously purchased or enquired about your healthcare products, qualifying them as leads worth nurturing.

Benefits and Prospects

Potential benefits of using location-based data in your healthcare marketing (depending on the type of product or service offered) include:

  • Allocating resources for onsite consultations according to the patient potential in the area. This also affects advertising messages for the location
  • Developing your sales area and team of sales representatives, focusing on the most promising geographical locations
  • Establishing how well geotargeted messages do in bringing patients to your organization
  • Identifying local outlets such as physician offices and pharmacies with the highest sales potential for your product
  • Managing service categories for areas with related staffing and inventory requirements

Even when the geolocation focus isn’t marketing-related, companies don’t want to advertise a service that isn’t viable. This broadens the use of marketing data to add value to other operational aspects of an organization.

Challenges and Pitfalls

There are few disadvantages to having geolocation data. The challenge is making this part of your marketing strategy in compliance with regulations. Privacy regulations can make it difficult to gather and use the data. Pitfalls also include:

Another drawback is the need for software to manage the data and perform the analytical tasks needed to develop location-based insights.

For more information about using healthcare geomarketing for your organization, call Wax Custom Communications at 305-350-5700 or visit waxcom.com.

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