Working with reduced budgets in today’s dynamic marketplace drives the need for more efficient healthcare regional marketing. That means implementing a more targeted and flexible approach. Successful regional healthcare marketing involves:
- paying close attention to local nuances
- combining hard data with soft skills
- utilizing a top-down strategy
- customer engagement
- maintaining consistent branding
Here are a few of our best digital strategies to help boost savings and get a higher return on investment for your healthcare regional marketing.
A proactive approach allows for time to adjust and revise in the event of a problem. Establishing key relationships and researching local marketing needs is a great start. Early planning also allows you to negotiate better media terms and take advantage of special added value deals. Work closely with your marketing and internal teams and seek feedback on your plan and marketing materials as soon as possible to ensure there are no legal issues or hiccups to prevent your campaign from being a success in certain markets.
Use the right tools.
Today, it’s critical to use every tool available to stay competitive and profitable. People, cultures and markets require a localized, knowledgeable approach. There are hundreds of marketing tools, platforms and service providers out there. Be sure to pay close attention to cultural nuances and pick resources that resonate best with your target audience. For instance, paid social has become a very good tool for reaching a targeted audience that would have been harder to reach not that long ago.
Identify markets through sophisticated data analytics.
Having the ability to analyze large data sets will unlock valuable insights, help you define key metrics and set goals. Utilizing business analytics tools will give you productivity and profitability rates 5–6% higher than companies that don’t. Just make sure you have the right company managing your database – one that can pull the right insights out of your data and has predictive modelling that will guide your marketing efforts, without violating any HIPAA regulations.
Be Brilliant Online
One of the first places that potential patients look for healthcare information is online. Using the right keywords to connect with your target audience either through search engine optimization (SEO) or search engine marketing (SEM) can pull them to your website right at the time they are looking for a healthcare solution. Next, is making sure people have a positive user experience once they get there. Make sure that the landing page they go to is relevant to the search they were doing. Providing great content once they are there will provide helpful information in an engaging way. Done right, it can drive them to you for the services they need, once they have some answers.
Using a combination of SEO and SEM maximizes your chances of being found and understanding your analytics will give you the information needed to make you a more valuable part of those micro-moments and give you a competitive edge. According to Pew Research:
- 77% of online health seekers said they began at a search engine such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo.
- 13% began at a site that specializes in health information, like WebMD.
- 2% started their research at a more general site such as Wikipedia.
- 1% started on social media sites like Facebook.
Deeper understanding of your audience
Tracking analytics on social media and geo-tracking unlock how and where people are engaging with you online. Add to that data from your Google Analytics, email analytics and any third party data you can purchase. This not only gives you a more in-depth understanding of the demographics but helps to uncover valuable behavior and emotional patterns. That way, you can tailor messaging and zero-in on what resonates best. These kinds of analytics can be used to segment your audience even further so that you can concentrate your efforts.
Customers are in control of their healthcare decisions more than ever before and that makes it essential for healthcare institutions to connect to with their patients. Tell success stories (making sure you are covered for HIPAA) and offer state of the art healthcare that communities can be proud of. Open communication channels are essential for building relationships and establishing trust in regional markets. Getting feedback allows you to gain deeper insights and make important decisions. Social media creates more transparency and facilitates conversations between the healthcare provider and its patients. Emails and text messages also help to build bonds between the providers, patients and the community. The power of now and immediate support in a time of crisis is a powerful tool in building quality connections and relationships.
It’s impossible to predict what will happen in a week much less in a year. That means being responsive over the course of your marketing campaign. Unexpected things come up such as new and unplanned competitors, an aging population shift, changing neighborhoods, health outbreaks, evolving customer attitudes and behaviors, marketplace fluctuations or even just re-focusing to meet goals. Being flexible is part of creating an effective healthcare regional marketing strategy that gets results.
Track and adjust in real-time.
Keeping a centralized, shared template where your team can consolidate and share insights makes it easier to monitor and adjust your marketing efforts in real time. Analytics show where improvements need to be made and help to anticipate opportunities. Frequent audits of your regional healthcare marketing efforts ensure that your strategy is effective and that your investments are paying off.
Mike McClure, SVP Digital Communications