Changing the Face of Health Centers – A Branding Revolution

Health care is changing at a rapid pace, this is not news. Robert M. Brecht, Ph.D., author of 5 Healthcare Marketing Trends to Watch in 2015 states that there are 2 reasons for this transition:

  1. One is the evolution from a fee-for-service payment system to a healthcare delivery model based on transparency, quality outcomes and patient satisfaction.
  2. The second is the rise of the empowered healthcare consumer. These changes affect both the “how” and the “who” of medical marketing strategies.

Health care centers (medical practices, doctor’s offices) are uniquely positioned to establish themselves as a resource, destination and medical home within their community. How can you capitalize on this and grow your business?

How important is mobile, digital and social to your branding and marketing efforts? A recent AdAge article quotes the Mayo Clinic CMO, John Weston as saying – “The consumer-to-patient journey is largely a digital journey at their moment of need. If I were diagnosed with something tomorrow, one of the first things I would do is go online.”

Still not convinced, below are a few statistics that Robert M. Brecht, Ph.D. outlines:

  1. 1 in 3 adults have gone online to figure out a medical condition.
  2. Most common searches are: 1) Specific diseases, 2) Treatment or procedures, 3) Doctors or other health professionals.

Access to the internet has changed the way patients find health information, educate themselves and manage their own care.

What does this mean for health care centers? You now have the ability to share info and gain visibility in the following ways:

  1. Website – keep in mind your site must be mobile friendly
  2. Blogging
  3. Social media
  4. Print / email newsletters
  5. Media outreach
  6. Education – classes, events and workshops
  7. Online ads

Now, don’t get overwhelmed. The first step is to outline a plan that reflects the goals you have for your practice. A communication’s plan combines all tactics – creative, digital, public relations, advertising, marketing and meshes them all together to deliver your desired results. Everything works together to form a cohesive strategy that outlines goals, measurement and ultimate results for you, the business owner.

Below is an outline for your marketing plan (don’t overthink it). We talk more in-depth about integrated communications here. 

  1. Overview – what the purpose of the plan is.
  2. Background & situation analysis – where your center stands currently. This section would also outline what marketing has been done to date.
  3. SWOT – identify your strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities.
  4. Competitor analysis – outline what your major competitors are doing. Are they on social? What networks are they using? Are they blogging? Advertising?
  5. Target audience – Is it women? Men? A certain age group?
  6. Goals – what do you hope to accomplish? For example, how many patients would you like to obtain in the next year? Retention?
  7. Objectives & tactics – How will you achieve your goals?
    1. Public relations
    2. Digital
    3. Blogging
    4. Social media
    5. Email marketing
    6. Website
  8. Measurement – a past blog of ours, breaks this down well. 

The most important thing to remember once you have your strategy and plan outlined, is to maintain. You can’t set it and forget it. Set weekly or bi-weekly meetings to check-in on the implementation of the plan.

We are here to help, peruse our past blogs for more tips and tricks as you plan world domination.

 

 

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