One of the most curious dynamics in hospital marketing is that a hospital tries to attain an unbelievable position with the patient. On the other side, the patient doesn’t care.
In general, majority of population is relatively healthy. Healthcare services are availed only in cases of serious medical need, accident/emergency or ongoing treatment for a chronic disease. In other words, the consumer apply “no interest” in hospital or related service points.
To make matters even more challenging, various forces—broadly labelled “healthcare reform”— including remote consultation e.g. telemedicine, video consultation, ask your queries over phone, chat, email are continuously disrupting the playing field and are revising the rules of the game in mid-play.
Further, intense competition among general hospitals and other providers increases the continuing need for marketing your services to reach more and more patients.
In lieu of this complex operating environment in healthcare sector, hospital marketing services are an important means to achieve new business(consumer), patient satisfaction, quality of care, physician relations, brand management and many other critical performance goals.
Creating a marketing strategy and plan for hospital is not a piece of cake. The key objective is to satisfy the numerous and various internal demands, and to do so with limited (often shrinking) resources in terms of budget, human resource, time duration.
It’s not an easy task, but a comprehensive marketing need to provide the insight and the tools to anticipate, assess, prepare, build a road map to follow, create/build necessary support systems, position yourself in market, and specifically define the measure of your marketing success.
It needs to be a cohesive and well-coordinated plan that effectively reaches various audiences and serves or supports a range of service lines/departments in a variety of service areas/specialities.
Beyond the well-known fundamentals of healthcare marketing and advertisement, many hospitals will continue to climb the learning curve. An effective, results-driven marketing plan will include the following points in consideration:
Amalgamation of Traditional media with digital media –
Often we think, and sometimes believe, that traditional media—print, direct mail, television, etc. – has been eradicated by online options such as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, websites, content generation and the other extremely popular forms of social media. In fact, we experience it otherwise. A well-tuned marketing plan will integrate the strengths of both traditional and digital media.
Follow your target audience(s) –
Healthcare sector is changing slowly with time and innovations which are impacting the services provided by hospitals. It is changing from practitioner centric to patient centric sector. Hence, the changes in healthcare are tightly connected to how the consumer (patient) is changing, where and how they find medical information, and their provider- and hospital-selection process. To be effective, hospital marketing must adopt flexibility and understand changing habits and new attitudes of the intended audience groups. “Start fishing where the actual fishes are” .