While pharma companies have grown to become effective direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketers, hospital systems and other large providers lag behind the rest of the industry when it comes to creating highly efficient, measurable and accountable DTC marketing programs. Why?
First, they have never needed to compete historically. With light competition and reasonable levels of reimbursement for decades, everything was fine until the cost of healthcare began to spiral out of control. In response, payers began to push back by negotiating lower levels of reimbursement in-network. In addition, payers, including CMS, have denied claims creating losses and cash flow issues for many providers.
There is also a rapid rise of chronic conditions ranging from arthritis to diabetes to dementia. These chronic conditions are expensive to treat for healthcare providers. They are an even greater challenge to treat profitably in an environment of declining reimbursements.
At the same time, advances in medical treatment and care have extended life spans and placed additional burdens on our healthcare system, including the extraordinary cost of heroic and end-of-life care.
To help offset rising costs and declining reimbursements, large scale providers need more new patients to cover fixed costs. As a result, most of these providers have added DTC marketing to the mix. This usually takes the form of a website, some SEM and a little local advertising. Unfortunately, many any of these marketing tactics are often random acts of marketing without the marketing insights and strategy required to efficiently compete and effectively reach their target audience.
However, even when these marketing tactics produce a modicum of qualified leads, here is where the provider marketing model breaks down: attribution. Often, leads from marketing campaigns are funneled to the same phone number or web form. By aggregating these leads into one pool of potential new patients, it is virtually impossible to determine which marketing tactics produce the best results. It is therefore almost impossible to optimize marketing spending, which invariably persists with built in under performing media. The old advertising joke about only half of ads working no longer applies today with accountable media except in the case of healthcare provider DTC marketing. This needs to change.
An effective advertising and marketing plan for the head and neck surgeon can capitalize your diverse capabilities. Head and neck surgeon needs successful marketing strategies while strengthening and building their practice. With advertising and marketing, you can get the advantage of a widespread opportunity spectrum. The head and neck surgeons deal with disorders of tongue, jaw, neck, thyroid, parathyroid glands, throat/tonsils, salivary glands, oral cavity and face.
NextGenOMS.com – head and neck surgeon suggests working with an experienced surgeon for diagnostic and preventive care. A surgeon needs extensive training, clinical experience, and knowledge to treat a complex and simple oral cavity, throat, facial, pathologies and head and neck disorders. Along with your practice, you should promote your services to get new patients. Here are some marketing strategies that can help you in this field.
Do you think your expertise set you apart from others? Without promotion, it can be challenging to spread the news of your expertise. You have to figure out your brand and its uniqueness. Promote it on social media and design your clinic’s website. Facebook may help you to stay in touch with new and old patients.
It is essential to understand the marketing interpretations associated with patients. You must have a deep understanding of the requirements of target patients and answer them appropriately. Understand that you must have a connected relationship with patients to increase their satisfaction.
Prior to launching Webbed Marketing (the previous name of Fathom Columbus), founder Bill Balderaz worked with some of the largest publishers in the world to plan, execute and measure Internet marketing programs. He began working on search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising and link-building in 1998, prior to the launch of Google. He has spoken on Internet marketing topics at events sponsored by the Public Relations Society of America, the American Marketing Association and the National Fuel Funds Network. Bill holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations journalism from Bowling Green State University and an MBA from Franklin University.
Here, he discusses health IT trends, the future of wearables as he sees them and the consumerization of healthcare.
What are the biggest changes we will see in 2015 in terms of healthcare technology?
Hospitals and health systems across the country will be adopting or upgrading EHRs, telehealth capabilities, and mobile tools. Look for increased reliance on and more sophisticated use of data analytics, as well as individualized medicine, ‘doctor-less’ patient models, and quantification of population health via social media. Patients will take more control of their health.
Also look for integration. Patients have so many inputs: lab results, wearable data, fitness plans. Then they have outputs, newsletters, emails, patient portals. The smart money is on the technology to connect and simplify.
What is driving these changes?
At the consumer level, where patients are more informed and involved than ever, what some call the ‘democratized future’ of healthcare is bringing more accountability and transparency to both the methods and costs of care. The parallel needs to cut skyrocketing costs, increase access to care, improve quality of service, and encourage patient engagement are all factors contributing to the growing potential of health IT to transform the delivery and experience of healthcare at fundamental levels.
You work with healthcare systems across the country in a variety of markets. What trends are common to all hospitals and healthcare systems? What differences do you see?
In a change of pace, and in the spirit of patient engagement, the following graphic from Primacy speaks to the importance, and the need to engage patients online to educate them and bring them to a practice’s door.
According to Primacy, an award-winning agency known for creating digital experiences with impact: “Investing money in your hospital’s website can drive traffic online and to your door.”
Primacy analyzed the traffic and paid search activity of five hospitals during 2012 to see if any patterns emerged. It turns out some did. Take a look at the infographic below to see which clicks matter the most.