In general, marketing isn't a "life or death" career. But for healthcare marketing professionals, that's not necessarily the case. Knowing how to successfully connect doctors with patients isn't only important for physicians trying to build their practice — it could save someone's life.
One of the most recent trends in the healthcare industry is multichannel marketing, which is the practice of reaching patients using a combination of indirect and direct communication methods. An example of this type of campaign might be a combination of social media posts, TV commercials and email campaigns that all share similar imagery and messaging. And though this type of marketing is effective across many industries, adoption of multichannel strategies has been slow, according to eMarketer.
Though adoption may be sluggish in other industries, it's one marketing trend those in the healthcare industry should pay particular attention to, as providers trying to build their practices have much to gain from adopting a multichannel strategy.
Putting Potential Patients' Minds at Ease
One of the most important things potential patients consider when choosing a physician is whether they can build a relationship with the doctor. While there's no way for a patient considering a practice to know what'll happen at a doctor's appointment before they walk through the door, with the power of social media, online communities and online video sites, it's easier than ever for practices to show potential patients what a visit to their office looks and feels like.
This is where multichannel marketing comes in. Marketers can create a consistent message about personable care that uses videos and text on social media to connect with potential patients, and they can create ads for the web and TV that encourage potential patients to visit their social media pages for a look at what makes their practice different. Emphasizing words across all channels like "gentle," "friendly" and "patient-focused" will help your practice paint a more comfortable picture for potential patients who are nervous about visiting your office.
Reinforcing What Customers Find Online
According to a study from Frost and Sullivan, the use of a multichannel marketing strategy can also contribute to increased trust, as customers who do their own research on doctors and procedures will look to individual practices to back up what they read online.
For instance, if you have a patient in search of a dermatologist who read information online about skin cancer, having a multichannel marketing plan that provides similar information featured on reputable sites can help build trust, as customers will recognize the information more readily from their own research, and may be more likely to call and make an appointment.
Though multichannel marketing strategies can take a long time to develop and implement for healthcare providers looking to attract more patients, the time and capital invested in creating such a strategy is well worth the investment. It will help patients feel more at ease with your practice, which will hopefully lead to more appointments.