Healthcare marketers who successfully connect patients to the right physicians are more likely to increase revenue into their organization and potentially save lives. Most people who pursue careers in healthcare are passionate about helping others; the desire to make a positive impact holds true for healthcare marketers as well. To successfully connect patients with the physicians they need, healthcare marketers need a clear understanding of the array of marketing channels available and how to best leverage them.
Multichannel marketing, defined as using a variety of direct and indirect communication methods to reach a target audience as frequently as possible, is gaining popularity in healthcare, despite adoption being slower than other industries. Many leading healthcare systems, hospitals and physician practices have started developing campaigns utilizing TV, radio, direct mail, and digital mediums that connect with consumers throughout their patient journey.
Healthcare markers have a lot to gain from adopting a multichannel strategy to ensure their messaging reaches and influences the right audience.
Developing a Relationship Puts Patients’ Minds at Ease
Most patients want to develop a relationship with their doctor. While there's no way for a patient considering a practice to know what will happen at an appointment before they walk through the door, with the power of social media, online communities and videos, it's easier than ever for practices to show potential patients what a visit to their office looks and feels like.
Multichannel marketing can really make an impact here. Healthcare marketers can showcase physician expertise using videos, social media, TV, radio, content marketing, web and other channels to connect with their potential patients, as well as encourage patients to visit their social pages for a look at what makes their practice different. Emphasizing words such as “knowledgeable,” “trustworthy,” “cost-effective,” that resonate with this target audience will help patients feel more confident in their ability to connect with a physician.
Reinforcing What Customers Find Online
More than 80 percent of consumers have gone online to research healthcare information (Pew Internet & American Life Project research, 2017). Consider how the use of a multichannel marketing strategy can contribute to increased trust at every point, again, in the consumer’s journey.
For example, a patient considering LASIK surgery may have heard a radio ad or seen a TV commercial from a specific provider long before they reach the decision-making point of wanting to have LASIK surgery (which could take years). They might then see a web display ad relevant to that same provider after searching for specific search terms online. The patient will have more trust and is more likely to click on the display ad to learn more about this organization because they have heard about the provider in other advertising mediums. In this scenario, all these marketing channels worked together to create brand impressions and exposure that will likely contribute to that patient scheduling an appointment at the right moment, when they are ready.
Though multichannel marketing often requires greater investment and strategy, increasing touch points in the moments that matter with consumers always nets to a win. Remember, the more you help patients gain confidence in your practice and your physicians, the more likely you are to gain both appointments and loyal customers.