Healthcare marketing has gone through multiple iterations since the early days when physicians hung a sign outside their premises. This was followed by the print marketing era, which lasted around 500 years.
During this time, the amount of marketing by an organization depended on its budget. Over the last decade, the transition from print to digital has done much to close the gap between large and small players; any organization can equally compete for marketshare.
How Healthcare Marketing Has Changed
Gone are the days of telephone directories and direct mail flyers. Online searches, reviews and referrals are the new entry point for patients looking for healthcare providers.
Up to 70 percent of patients these days are finding their practitioners online, using social media, search engines and internet reviews. The challenge for providers is to ensure they have a strong enough online presence. Companies that aren’t taking proactive steps to ensure this will feel the pain as patient bookings dwindle.
Benefits of Transitioning to Digital Marketing
In addition to attracting patients, making the transition to digital affords many benefits to healthcare organizations:
- More cost-effective: Digital marketing is less expensive than print because many online channels are free or low in cost. For example, social media accounts are free, except for maintenance time. Services like website development and email marketing cost less than print, because there are no raw materials that need to be purchased. Digital marketing results last for an infinite length of time.
- Reaches more of the “right” people: By using data-based digital methods to market your healthcare organization, you can target audience segments based on demographics, geography or even medical conditions.
- Offers result tracking: Digital marketing provides a range of tools organizations can use to track leads and conversions. This tells you whether your efforts are working and the return you’re getting from your marketing investment. With print advertising, it’s almost impossible to track how your expenditure impacts your results.
- Builds relationships: Digital marketing operates according to a two-directional communication model. This gives you the chance to build doctor-patient relationships based on trust. This also allows patients to interact with you through social media, emails and online reviews, where they feel valued and heard.
- Enables reputation management: Digital marketing helps you build and manage your reputation, resulting in better word-of-mouth marketing for your organization. A strong online reputation means you’ll get more referrals and have more potential patients visiting your hospital.
Healthcare organizations are experiencing a drop in admissions due to higher insurance rates. Patients now seek more affordable care. According to the American Hospital Association’s FutureScan 2018 – 2023, providers are challenged to deliver a better, more effective online experience.
They can do this through increased personalization and engagement, which are much more achievable today with digital marketing.
For more information about transitioning from print to digital marketing, call Wax Custom Communications at 305-350-5700 or visit waxcom.com.
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