Digital marketing in the healthcare industry
Every company needs a digital plan, but some sectors are more suited than others for digital marketing. Lanre Onibalusi
You’d be surprised to know that these industries are nailing themselves when it comes to digital marketing.
- Legal (law firms)
- Food and beverages
Let us specifically talk about digital marketing in the healthcare industry.
Most of us have grown up seeing offline healthcare marketing through the means of banners in public places, radio ads and testimonials in newspapers, promotion of medical camps on television, and organised special health camp by hospitals and clinics.
However, the era has changed. There is a major revolution in terms of online presence and digital marketing in the healthcare industry.
Why digital marketing in the healthcare industry?
“Searching for health information is the 3rd most popular online activity”
All those info that is searched online is possible to market online. Nowadays, people surf the internet not only to find businesses or service providers but also to look for solutions to their problems online. Digital marketing includes mobile marketing, content marketing, search engine marketing, social media marketing, and more.
Since digital marketing is inexpensive as well as an effective way of marketing when compared to traditional methods, the healthcare industry cannot miss out on digital marketing.
Digital marketing trends in the healthcare industry
Both ‘who’ and ‘how’ of marketing strategies in the healthcare sector are getting affected. Hence, there has been a revolution in the role of physicians and practitioners as decision-makers.
These are the top-most digital marketing trends for the year 2018. Every healthcare marketer should evaluate these trends while determining the digital marketing strategy.
1) Transforming roles of self-employed doctors as paid employees
Decades back, certified healthcare professionals were proud to hang their signboard outside their newly opened clinic. However, over a period of time, this profession has also seen chunks of progression. Now, doctors are becoming employees. Many physicians and practitioners prefer to work as an employed doctor at corporate hospitals. They get handsome salaries rather than risking their own finance by opening own small private clinic. The number of physician practices owned by hospitals and health systems jumped 86% from 2012 to 2015, according to a survey conducted by Avalere Health for the Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI).
On the other hand, it is also a win-win situation for corporate hospitals who have invested a huge amount of finance in infrastructure. When hospitals successfully gather the right mix of salaried front-line doctors and specialists under one roof, they can offer cost-efficient and coordinated patient care.
When doctors become employees, they lose their decision-making ability to selling medical services and products. Hence, such corporate hospitals need to look for ways to market their services online. In addition, these hospitals race to employ good physicians. This is also one of the most important factors affecting the need for online presence.
2) Consumers (here, patients) are now ardent researchers
How many of you have researched online the drug content prescribed by your physician? Almost all of us do this. And, it’s nothing wrong in it.
84% of patients use both offline and online sources for hospital research and 44% of patients book an appointment who research hospitals site on a mobile device.
It is not that patients don’t trust the doctors. But, they do not blindly start undergoing medication until they get convinced. They prefer doing their own homework on the research of their symptoms, prescribed medication, available treatments, available hospitals, and the tentative tenure of getting cured of it.
Consumers’ awareness towards the healthcare sector also boosts the digital marketing needs for service providers like clinics and hospitals.
3) Targeted marketing of healthcare industry
As said above, it is all about ‘who’ and ‘how’; whom to market and how to market rather than what to market. There are various audiences for the entire healthcare industry. Target market could be segmented as patients, practitioners, clinics, hospitals and similar others. Once the ‘who’ is identified, it comes ‘how’ to do digital marketing. Numerous Healthcare consumers now rely on the internet for health-related information. Similarly, many physicians research on smartphones for medical studies and the latest updates on the technologies.
4) The growing importance of digital channels over traditional marketing
Almost each and every industry sector has joined hands with digital marketing to top on SERPs. Healthcare industry is also not an exception here. According to MM&M study, the greatest growth for the biotech, medical, diagnostics, and pharmaceutical device marketing budgets is taking place in digital sales material, mobile apps, and social media.
Consumer marketing tactics are greatly transforming to digital ads, mobile apps, and social media. Hence, this shift towards digital marketing in the healthcare industry is no wonder.
The global healthcare industry is growing at a promising growth rate where digital content plays a significant role. Healthcare industry is rapidly adopting digital marketing strategies to exercise various tools and make a huge impact, both globally and locally. A well-organized, better targeted, and effective strategy of digital marketing in the healthcare industry can easily drive lots of organic traffic. Keep reading blogs; soon we are going to publish a digital marketing checklist for dentists. This checklist will help dental digital marketers to audit their current internet marketing efforts and explore new avenues of their online marketing strategy.