Change can be transformational for companies. Or, for the lack of leadership and understanding, spell the death knell of the business model as the market and industry changes. For example, one only needs a hospital for are three things, intensive care, care for complex acute medical conditions and life-threating emergency care. After that, all other healthcare consumer or patient medical needs can be meet outside of the hospital or hospital-based outpatient services.
The third wave of digital transformation.
Keep the above thought in mind as another transformational innovation is impacting health care and hospitals. The third wave of digital isn’t pie in the sky and few years out. This market changing transformation is the third wave of digital for providers. No one is immune.
The healthcare consumer is increasingly in control. Period. They are in control of their heath and health data through wearables, mobile health platforms, and self-tracking devices. They are in control of the experience. They are in control of the expectations for services.
What does it all mean?
In the digital third wave instead of healthcare services being static, they are now living services with liquid expectations. It is through the third wave, that lays the marketing opportunity for healthcare providers, in understanding those living services and leveraging liquid expectations.
Marketing steps to take now.
1. Market research to understand how the market segments especially how the Silver Surfers are using digital health, the internet of everything, as well as their expectations around those channels.
2. Understand the nature and function of the hospital or health system digital brand. Does it meet the expectations uncovered in the market research?
3. Embrace the trend don’t fight. That means marketing leadership and participation in hospital or health system strategy development.
4. Understand, and this is important for senior leadership and clinicians, all services in this new environment are liquid. Clinical serves are no longer static and unforgiving of expectations.
5. Understand the experiences that the healthcare consumer has in other industries and is transferring to healthcare. Learn and emulate.
6. The healthcare consumer is moving between mobile, online, wearable and smartphone devices with expectations for a seamless digital experience. Can the hospital or health system deliver on the expectation?
7. Development of internal marketing educational programs for all levels of staff about the third digital wave and what it means when the patient is searching for providers and when they are in-house.
8. More difficult but now essential transition from a provider-centric business model to a consumer-centric business model.
9. Use digital to establish and manage engagement. That is where the healthcare consumer lives and expects to be engaged. Seamlessly across all digital platforms.
10. Focus marketing efforts around the healthcare brand and value proposition around outcomes, price, experience, and expectation.
11. Listen. Listen. Listen. And listen some more to the healthcare consumer and their needs.
Things have just gotten a lot harder in healthcare. The healthcare consumer is gaining control faster than hospitals, and health systems can keep up.
Not good. Not good at all for the digital deaf providers.
Michael is a healthcare marketing business, marketing, and communications strategist and thought leader. As an internationally followed healthcare marketing strategy blogger, his blog, Healthcare Marketing Matters receives over 20,000 page views a month and read in 52 countries. He is a Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives, Professional Certified Marketer, American Marketing Association and HubSpot Academy- Email Marketing, Inbound Marketing & Inbound Sales Certified. Post opinions are my own.
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