Patient acquisition is one of the top goals of any healthcare marketing department. Without new patients, the organization can’t expand their business or grow market share.
But recently, acquiring new patients has become a bit more…complicated. Not only are healthcare marketers facing a tidal wave of healthcare industry changes, but they are also navigating an explosion in new, quickly shifting marketing channels. Just when marketers mastered a channel, the rules of the game change.
Identifying where to start and which strategies will truly work can be daunting. In this post, we’ll summarize three of today’s key healthcare marketing trends and explain how you can leverage them in your patient acquisition strategy.
It’s All About Analytics
Using data and analytics in healthcare marketing isn’t new, but today it is the de facto standard. Simply having a CRM isn’t enough. Today’s healthcare industry is more competitive than ever and consumers are inundated with marketing messages. Effective patient acquisition requires hyper targeted campaigns.
Consumer analytics allow you to do this. By developing patient profiles and using patient segmentation, you can identify which other consumer households are likely to respond to your marketing outreach. Tracking response history allows you to refine the targeting and become more effective in your patient acquisition strategy over time.
Population Health Requires a Different Kind of Marketing
Healthcare organizations’ new emphasis on population health presents opportunities for a different approach to patient acquisition.
Population health marketing is all about becoming engrained in a consumer’s daily life through helpful education, reminders, and engagement programs – from exercise classes to nutritional counseling. Rather than providing a direct call to action to schedule an appointment, population health marketing can gradually educate and engage with the prospective patient.
It’s important to remember that population health marketing messages need to focus on the emotional benefits of changing health habits, not just clinical facts and treatments, to effectively change behavior over time. When executed correctly, population health programs can be an important part of your patient acquisition strategy by engaging with consumers who may not fit your typical patient profile.
New Priorities for Healthcare Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is one of the fastest changing aspects of the healthcare marketing world. While direct mail is far from dead, digital channels account for a growing share of healthcare marketers’ budgets and attention.
Digital marketing efforts used to center on social media and banner ad campaigns. These approaches still matter, but as consumers have become more comfortable searching for health information online, SEO strategies and content marketing have shifted to the forefront.
Boost your patient acquisition efforts by creating content that your potential patients are searching for online.
- Many patients today are self-diagnosing conditions before speaking with a doctor, so provide articles or quizzes that will help them determine if their symptoms may need medical attention. Bonus points: add an easy way to book an appointment with one of your physicians at the end of the piece.
- Patients are also interested in alternative therapies to complement Western medicine but finding well-researched information can be a challenge. Consider developing FAQs on some of the most popular alternative therapies.
The Bottom Line
Patient acquisition remains a priority for healthcare marketers. Fortunately, today’s healthcare marketing trends present more opportunities than ever to reach potential patients, educate them, and convert them into loyal patients for life.
Want to learn more about patient acquisition best practices? Watch our on-demand webinar to learn how analytics can help you to acquire new patients and improve marketing ROI.