Dynamic evolution of life has inevitably affected on healthcare system. It has generated significant changes and imposed healthcare marketing as an indispensable element of health brands.
As the philosophy and marketing techniques in other fields cannot find applicability in healthcare services, healthcare need their own approach and have certain features that are not found in other industries.
An effective marketing approach involves in-depth investigation of patients' needs, identifying their latent needs and offering new health services that patients have not explicitly requested.
Over the past decade, healthcare has experienced many marketing trends that have fundamentally altered marketing in healthcare. These trends are: from a mass marketing approach to a more specific approach, from "one measure for all" to personalization, from image marketing to service marketing, from emphasis on a health episode to a long-lasting relationship, from ignoring market to market intelligence, from low-tech to high-tech.
From marketing perspective, the process of providing health services must be conducted in full compliance with patients’ requirements, activities are designed to meet those requirements. Patient satisfaction must be the main objective of any health organization and this requires a thorough knowledge about their needs and expectations. In order to gain the trust of healthcare consumers, specialized staff of the organization in the field must be more receptive to the wishes, suggestions, complaints and at the same time become more sensitive to patient concerns. The effectiveness of this approach depends on how the organization has an effective communication with patients, presents a correct image of health services, deliver promised services properly and presents a permanent concern for the improvement of the service provided to exceed the expectations of patients.
At present, patients have so many options regarding to the choice of health services and providers, the only way health practices can really be distinguished is by establishing a differentiated, memorable, and unique proposal alongside a marketing strategy adapted to the digital era. A valuable proposal must have following characteristics: It is true, Memorable, important to target audience, difficult for competitor to copy, the value offered is superior to the one of competitor.
Today, major healthcare organizations focus on content to win the race of digital supremacy. Content marketing strategies for the healthcare field are not just about blogging and producing tangible results. Since hospitals are linked to patients and physicians, digital marketing is the way to bring this process to a completely new level.
For healthcare providers, the use of informative blogs or articles published on social media can be effective ways to stay relevant to patients. Moreover, infusing targeted keywords into the content can add a marketing boost.
For organizational marketing to be effective, the digital platforms in which the organization will operate on must be identified, the target public will have to be segmented correctly, and customized marketing messages will have to resonate with the audience.
To understand the impact of marketing strategies on the quality of healthcare services, it is important to understand today’s medical consumer who prefers to look for medical information online, where he also has a wealth of healthcare services, healthcare providers, reviews from patients who contacted the provider, etc.
With digital marketing, almost everything can be tracked and measured. Healthcare professionals and healthcare organizations no longer need to insight what works and what does not work. With the help of marketing performance information, healthcare professionals, and healthcare organizations can make an informed decision on how to improve their efforts, along with the ability to continually measure and evaluate them.
The healthcare industry has the potential to significantly increase its coverage and effectively engage consumers with digital marketing tactics.
44% of the marketing costs for health-related products and services are dedicated to mobile and digital platforms. TV advertising costs have dropped to less than 33% and are expected to continue to decrease, as the cost-effectiveness of placing a product or service on TV seems to no longer justify the investment.
The way consumers use the internet to find hospital units and healthcare providers evolves in favor of smart devices. With more than 80% of the patients who frequently use smartphones, to either identify or interact with physicians, it is essential to reconfigure marketing initiatives to better fit the era we live in. In addition, as Google reconfigures its search algorithms to favor mobile-friendly websites, now it is the right time to prioritize rethinking digital ads.
Source: ncbi, 2019, access July2021
Infographic: RPh. ThiPham