Healthcare Marketing Strategies

Healthcare Marketing Strategies For Medical Practices

88 Percent of Your Patients are Checking Your Services Online. Consumerism and Online Cultural Changes are Driving This Change.

Our society is turning into a Digital Society. Medical industry is also changing. More and more people are on mobile devices, on the internet, on social media, and reading their Emails on a mobile device.  Just look around you.  At a traffic stop light, look to your left, you will probably see a woman checking her Email on her iPhone, look to your right, you will probably see a man sending a text or responding to one while waiting for the red light to turn green. Not a good idea while you driving, but it is happening.  You will also see more and more people using devices like Siri and Digital Personal Assistants.  So as a Medical Provider, Doctor, Dentist, Chiropractor or any medical service provider you have to realize that you have 3 choices  

No. 1) Ignore the digital change  

No. 2) Accept it, and do the minimum to stay relevant  

No. 3) Compete and win in the digital age

4 Components of a Marketing Plan for a Medical Practice

Traditionally, marketing experts tell us that there are 4 key components of your Medical Marketing Plan.

  1. The Product or Service – This will be service offerings for your medical practice. For example if you an Urgent Care clinic, do you offer service to patients based on 12 major categories. Examples will be Onsite X-ray, DOT Physical exams, Lab-test results, Ports Physicals, Simple Fracture treatment, Travel medicine, Immunizations etc.  If you are MedSpa / Esthetic based practice, you may want to define your product/service strategy based on competition and availability of your staff’s credentials.  For example if you want to offer “CoolSculpting”, you will need to make an investment in purchasing this technology and then training of your staff.
  2. The Price of the Service – In many cases, this is driven by the insurance company payouts to you. But there are certain procedures that are not covered by the insurance payments. There are additional strategies available to you here. Each patient can be divided into 3 main categories.
    1. PPO or Full Insurance – These insurance plans pay fixed amount for each procedure for in-network vs out-of-network procedures.
    2. Self-Pay Patients – Patient pays directly to the provider – you have leverage to provide better service than your competitors and charge more.
    3. High-Deductible plans – In this case, as an example,  patients typically have to pay initial $4000-$10000 out of their pockets.  After ta patient has spent these amounts on deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance, then the medical insurance  plan pays 100% of the costs of covered benefits.  Many patients consider that first $4000-$10000 as something that have to “shop” for prices, hence you have an opportunity to apply your own marketing strategy on how to attract these patients to your practice.
  3. The Place or Location of Service – For most parts, healthcare delivery system in USA and Canada is very local. Telemedicine can change this in the future, but for now patients typically go to a “local” provider. This is evidenced by 2000% plus increase in Google searches for “Urgent care near me”  or   “Sleep Apnea doctor near me”  or hundreds of other variations based on mobile patients searching fro services “near” a patient. So your Place or Location matters.
  4. The Promotion(marketing) or Advertising of Service – This is one area, where you have true leverage to dominate your medical field. Your medical plan must include the promotion of your service.  There are generally 2 main sub-areas for promotion of medical services:
    1. Offline Promotions – Traditional marketing – includes newspapers, yellow pages, billboards,  referrals from peers, networking with other providers and suppliers.
    2. Online Promotions – This refers to digital marketing and digital advertising to acquire more patients and retain existing patient base.

Emotional Medical Marketing Techniques and Strategy

Emotional Medical Marketing is focused on healthcare advertising and marketing that appeals to a potential patient’s emotional state and desire. Here are 4 examples:

Example 1 :  Medical Weight Loss Clinic :  An example of this type medical marketing is a weight-loss clinic show casing a thin person (usually an actor or a past real patient) and using a testimonial along with an “attractive” image of a thin person.

Example 2 : A Medspa or Aesthetics clinic may display before and after picture of a past patient who used Botox(r) injections. Plastic Surgeons use a LOT OF EMOTIONAL Medical Marketing.

Example 3 : An Urgent Care practice may show picture of empty and clean waiting rooms. This appeals to a patient looking for an immediate care, and who does not want to wait in long lines at the emergency room.

Example 4 : A dental practice may show picture of patient with beautiful, perfect white teeth, along with an unforgettable smile.

The results and ROI of Emotional Medical Marketing are immense. And PatientGain data shows that patients have become acceptable to this practice and they “attach” themselves to a brand more than a brand who focuses on “prices” only.

8 Strategies That Work for Physician Marketing

  1. Awesome website – must be intelligent and focused on conversion. Intelligence means conversion tracking CRM for your website. 88 percent of the patients looking for medical services will contact you by calling you or simply finding you on a map. Majority of the time it is Google Maps. To read more about Conversion Websites for doctors,  please click here.
  2. Google SEO Optimizations for specific keywords, like  “Urgent Care OKC” – in this case a patient is looking for an Urgent Care in Oklahoma City. To read more about SEO for doctors  please click here.
  3. Google Local Optimizations. To read more about  LOCAL SEO for doctors  please click here.
  4. Content of the website. To read more about Content Marketing for doctors  please click here.
  5. PPC Advertising (specifically Google PPC). To read more about PPC for doctors  please click here.
  6. Facebook Advertising. To read more about Facebook Advertising for doctors  please click here.
  7. Monthly Email Marketing. To read more about Email Marketing for doctors  please click here.
  8. Patient Reviews Marketing & Reputation Management – Minimize negative reviews, Maximize positive reviews. To read more about Reputation Management for doctors  please click here. 

Results From Online SEO For Primary Care Physician

Review of a real customer.  Location is east coast – mid-level competition. Doctor Jones has been in practice for the last 13 years. Her focus has been Primary Care, Internal Medicine and general wellness with focus on Diabetic patients.  However, since last 3 years, multiple clinics have opened within her 5 mile radius. In addition, two Urgent Care clinics have also impacted her business. In the past all she had to do was to advertise in local yellow pages, few referral practices and business had grown due to her excellent focus on patient care. Due to competition, her average patient count had steadily decreased from 30 patients a day to 22.

In this case, Doctor Jones had to focus on new patient acquisition.  She search online for “online advertising for doctors” and found PatientGain.com as the first organic listing on Google. She signed up for PatientGain.com’s GOLD Service for $499/mon.  The results have been as follows:

Nov 2016 – Go live with new website, along with 20 apps embedded in the new Medical Marketing website.  135 phone calls received in the first month.  116 unique phone calls.

Dec 2016 – 434 phone calls received in the 2nd month.  388 unique phone calls.

Jan 2017 – 621 phone calls received in the 3rd month.  534 unique phone calls.

Feb 2017 – 518 phone calls received in the 4th month.  419 unique phone calls.

Mar 2017 – 599 phone calls received in the 5th month.  450 unique phone calls.

Apr 2017 – 697 phone calls received in the 6th month.  541 unique phone calls.

May 2017 – 801 phone calls received in the 7th month.  643 unique phone calls.

By the end of 7th month, Doctor Jones had achieved her target of 30 patients per day.   Mission accomplished. 

Healthcare Medical Marketing Influencers

Every physician, medical practice owner and administrator should understand that there are 5 important aspects shaping the healthcare and patient care in USA & Canada.

No. 1 Public health delivery systems – Shift from hospitals to individual clinics 

No. 2 Health Care coverage – Focus on prevention and awareness

No. 3 Drug development and technology impact – Time to develop and bring new medicine is decreasing. Supercomputers and bio-technology is helping humanity and bringing hope. New drugs, new ways of non-invasive robotics are changing the outcomes and shortening the recovery time of patients. 

No. 4 Health Care and information technology impact – Information is no longer in silos – Internet specifically has made the information available to billions of patients across the globe.  

No. 5 Health Care commercialization – Ability for physicians and healthcare providers to reach patients directly.  More and more Physicians, Dentists, Surgeons, MedSpas, Pharma & Medical Practices are turning to online medical marketing to acquire more patients and provide timely services to patients.

PatientGain.com is a certified premier google partner for healthcare.

To learn about Website Strategies and Website Examples for Doctors & Medical Clinics, please go here.

To learn about Search Engine Optimization for Doctors & Medical Clinics, please go here.

To learn about Pay Per Click PPC Advertising for Doctors & Medical Clinics, please go here.

To learn about Content Marketing Strategies for Doctors & Medical Clinics, please go here.

To learn about GOLD Package Marketing for Doctors & Medical Clinics, please go here.