While in years past it was rare for a doctor or hospital to advertise services to patients, increasing competition has forced them to rethink their strategies. As a result, healthcare marketing has become big business, with more doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers now marketing their services in new and innovative ways. In 2016, there will be several marketing trends within the industry that will become more and more important to those seeking new patients and clients.
Social Media Presence
As social media becomes more prevalent in marketing, those in the healthcare industry have taken notice and started making it an integral part of their marketing strategies. It’s now common for doctors to use Facebook and Twitter to advertise their products or services, and to interact with potential patients by answering questions.
Customer Relationship Management Systems
With more and more healthcare providers now relying on marketing to gain new patients, many are implementing Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, systems in their practices. Used to organize and track client questions and concerns, these systems are expected to boom in popularity in the years ahead, allowing providers to personalize their services to specific patients.
Family Decision Makers
As marketing dollars become more difficult to find in some cases, healthcare providers are increasingly concerned about directing their messages toward those who are considered decision makers in families. Based on market research, in most cases that role falls to the mother. Therefore, advertising is geared toward influencing mothers by emphasizing such aspects as compassion, honesty, and treating patients like family.
Doctors in Commercials
While many commercials continue to use actors portraying doctors or other healthcare providers, more and more doctors are opting to appear in their own commercials. Not only do they see this as a way to relate well with their future patients, but it also allows them to demonstrate their expertise to a large number of people at once. By doing so, the plan is to make viewers confident in their ability to provide quality care for a variety of conditions, resulting in increased business.
As more and more people rely on their smartphones to get information about products and services, healthcare providers are beginning to realize the vast array of marketing opportunities available to them through the use of mobile apps. In fact, many doctors now link their practices with apps that allow patients to access vast amounts of medical information. By doing so, they can reach potential patients in a quick and easy manner, enabling them to save large amounts of advertising dollars which can then be spent on other projects.
As these and other trends continue in the healthcare industry, providers will be paying close attention to which ones work best for them. Whether it’s apps or commercials, it’s clear healthcare marketing is here to stay.