Healthcare marketing is important because it’s a key driver of growth for modern healthcare practices. Without regular promotion efforts, most practices will have difficulty even holding onto the clients that they already have.
What you can accomplish with healthcare marketing is far more exciting than just maintaining your current clients, though. It’s also important because it allows you to:
- Reach more customers in new places
- Respond to your competitor’s campaigns
- Increase your profile among physicians who give referrals
- Define your services
- Make a new impression
In this quick guide, you’re going to learn more about how marketing creates these opportunities for you.
Reach customers in new places
Healthcare marketing can help you reach more of the people who aren’t familiar with your practice. It may surprise you how easily people in your area can fail to notice that your office exists—even when they need your services or the location is very close.
If you haven’t reached all the customers in your area, it may be because you haven’t yet met them where they currently are. Right now, they are overwhelmingly online, and they prefer to use their mobile phones to connect with nearby services.
60% of adults use their smartphones or tablets to find information about local products and services. They overwhelmingly use services like Google to find businesses and reviews.
Healthcare offices, in particular, can benefit from:
- Search Engine Marketing: These marketing campaigns focus on search engines. The goal of these campaigns is often to improve where your pages appear for searches. The businesses that appear on the first page collect significantly more clicks. Nearly 80% of searchers never click through to the second page.
- Local Search Marketing: Local campaigns are about claiming local search features so that your business can appear in the local map results.
- Mobile marketing: These campaigns focus on optimizing for mobile phone searches. There are far more searches now happening on mobile phones than on desktops.
A small business marketing campaign may include some or all of these objectives.
Respond to your competitor’s campaigns
Some marketing campaigns are less about finding new clients than preventing the loss of your current clients to a clever competitor. Marketers are constantly innovating new ways to attract or reassure people. You could easily fall behind if you don’t recognize marketing as important.
In the past, creative promotions have been capable of reshaping markets. Slogans like Nike’s “Just Do It,” have allowed some brands to shift from being merely a product to a lifestyle.
Healthcare businesses like yours may not have to worry about competitors offering a lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore what they’re doing. Sometimes, presenting a small discount in just the right way can lead to a flood of clients switching services.
Only a few years ago, the American car company GM launched a campaign to offer new car buyers the same discount enjoyed by GM employees. The campaign was so effective that all of their major competitors had to copy it or address it within weeks.
In truth, the discount GM was offering wasn’t that substantial. Customers didn’t notice or care because they loved the message. It felt like it was worth more. If a competitor discovers an effective message like this, you need to adapt your marketing as soon as possible.
Increase your profile among physicians who give referrals
Potential clients are not your only targets when you’re planning marketing campaigns. Many health-related businesses depend on referrals from primary care doctors and other professionals. Advertising is important because it has the potential to reach this group
Being noticed by referring physicians can be far more valuable than reaching a potential client. Once they are aware of you, referring physicians can send a significant amount of new clients your way. This can mean dozens of new leads at no extra cost.
Define your services
Not every healthcare office—even those involved in the same type of care—offers the same type of services. Some dentists only practice cosmetic dentistry, for example. If you’re concerned that your business name doesn’t fully communicate what you have to offer, you can use marketing to create more opportunities to define your services.
Focus your ads or messages on the services that you prefer to center. Make sure that you’re letting your potential clients know where you stand out. The only other chance you’ll have to do so is when they arrive at your office.
Your marketing campaigns can also help you redefine your services. You may notice, after several years in business, that your priorities have changed. Perhaps you now do more of one type of operation than any other? Or, maybe you’ve recently added a new type of operation.
Make a new impression
Marketing can be used to re-introduce your business to people who have already formed an impression based on past experiences. Sometimes a second impression can be the best one, and this is particularly true if you’ve worked on serious upgrades to your office.
For example, if an office is now under new management, you can use a campaign to let people know that they can now expect a different experience. This can also be a great way to let customers in the area know that you’ve recently completed a renovation.
For all of these reasons, you should take healthcare marketing seriously. Understanding the importance can make it easier to apply everything else you’ll learn in our healthcare marketing agency guide. It can allow you to reach a lot more people and referring physicians, react to changes in the market, and define your services in the most accurate way.