Working in healthcare is more than just a job; it’s a calling to help people guide themselves to a better life. This is where medical businesses differ from others: they crave more than profit. Healthcare professionals care more about the patient, dedicating their professional careers to helping others.
If your job is to market for a hospital, clinic or physician, earning your MBA from a program focused on healthcare can help you navigate the difficult task of balancing healthcare and business management. The healthcare industry has various views and tenets on how to properly market to customers. Read on to learn more about these tenets and dive into the world of healthcare marketing.
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Healthcare professionals don’t see their profession only as a business. They see it more as a calling. Health professionals have little business training at all, so it’s rare to find a practitioner that is knowledgeable in marketing their services. Their main concern is helping others and making an impression on the medical community.
Healthcare is a more competitive field than most people realize. However, with your help and the proper marketing, practitioners can attain a following of patients, which will call attention to their practice.
Knowing Your Demographic is Not Enough
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Marketing in business requires a lot of market research. Marketers need to know the demographic they’re trying to reach and study their behaviors so they can target them appropriately. With the health field, the demographic is almost too broad to target. With so many health niches, it’s hard to pinpoint which group of people your message is going to reach, especially if you work with a general practitioner. Demographics could range from ages 10-99, not to mention gender, sex, and location-based metrics.
Healthcare businesses can measure their success through new patients, written subscription tallies, and profits. Healthcare marketing is different from business marketing in that it is a specific niche with specific marketing needs, not always based on demographics.
The Need for SEO in a Whole New Light
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Every business needs differentiation to succeed, but healthcare marketing varies since there are so many providers offering the same service. Medical marketing uses SEO in a brand new way to target their customers by practice rankings on Google and educational content with informative links to landing pages on their websites.
While this is very similar to business marketing, healthcare targets a wider audience. Since everyone is in the market for a healthcare provider, it is much harder to distinguish a particular doctor or hospital with definite differentiation. For this reason, practitioners are encouraged to tell compelling success stories and showcase remarkable results in their patients.
You’re Not a Used Car Salesman
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Marketing in the health fields is often seen as distasteful or unfavorable, making it more important to build friendships and bonds with other people in the industry. These relationships increase referrals from those doctors and health professionals without muddying the water with tacky marketing techniques.
Public relations is a huge plus in the healthcare field because networking opportunities are huge, allowing practitioners to showcase their accomplishments in a less forceful way. The industry relies heavily on positive press, so healthcare marketing includes many press releases, newsletters, and public events to gain brand awareness.
Discounts Aren’t the Answer for Drumming Up Business
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Healthcare specialists are not likely to offer discounts to improve their business since this is often times illegal. Occasionally, health professionals push free trial offers to get more clients, but many consider this a bit unethical. Medicare and other insurance policy guidelines are often the culprits here, since offering discounts would hinder subjectivity.
Even as healthcare providers focus on helping others, attention needs to be paid to improving business prospects. Marketing professionals working in the industry need to take into consideration the tenets of healthcare marketing and how they are far different from those you might find in other areas of business.