Sunday, October 30, 2016

How does one make provider marketing meaningful?

A crucial question because the answer is, that one only needs a hospital for three things anymore- emergency care, ICU, and treatment for complex acute medical conditions.  The hospital as the center of the healthcare universe is an antiquated business model.  That is how fast the market has changed in three years.

While traditional approaches and messaging to marketing the hospital and health system continue unabated, the healthcare consumer is left scratching their head since its looks and feels so much the same for all the hospitals’  in a market.

While the healthcare consumer wants quality data, the hospitals look and turn away.

When the healthcare consumer asks for pricing information is the provider answer rude and arrogant that you’ll never understand our prices so why to bother?  

When the healthcare consumer tweets about a bad experience, silence echoes in the hallway.

And that is the core of the challenge.

Hospitals continue to be deaf to the changes and need of the market.

The healthcare consumer is searching for information on the hospital or health system that includes brand reputation, price and outcomes data, and experience to make a health care purchase decision.  They are finding the information elsewhere. What they are finding doesn’t match with the message. 

And that doesn’t foster or create trust.

Health care is a retail-driven, consumer-focused medical market and that means new approaches.  A new transparency based on price, outcomes and the value that the healthcare consumer receives. It’s not about logos, awards, vague claims or misleading advertisements. It is about being healthcare consumer focused and meeting their needs with usable, transparent, and actionable information, not hospital- centric messaging that makes the Board, physicians and senior management feel good.

It’s a new business model for hospital and health system operations and marketing.

In most cases, healthcare advertisements and other channel communications are the primary contacts that a consumer has that start the experience process.   Talk to the audience in meaningful ways. Educate. Teach. Inform. Change opinion.  Frame the experience and set up the clinical service or physician by providing actionable information in terms the healthcare consumer can understand.

Winning healthcare marketers are driving growth by increasing their precision, broadening their scope, reacting quickly, and being transparent by telling a better story.

Otherwise, last one out, please turn the lights out.

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.

For more topics and thought leading discussions like this, join his group, Healthcare Marketing Leaders For Change, a LinkedIn Professional Group.

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