What is Healthcare Marketing?
Healthcare Marketing Definition
Healthcare marketing integrates multi-channel, highly-segmented and targeted online and offline tactics that are designed to find and acquire the right patients, engage with them through strategic outreach, and nurture them to form lasting relationships throughout the entire patient journey. Measure the success of healthcare marketing through specific metrics that are aligned with key performance indicators (KPIs), and/or marketing return on investment (ROI).
Benefits of Healthcare Marketing
- Find prospective patients with business objectives in mind, i.e. a healthy payer mix, high-value service line growth
- Drive more qualified leads, generate revenue with healthy margins
- Keep patients engaged with relevant, personalized, timely outreach throughout their journeys
- Retain patients long-term and improve loyalty in your healthcare community
- Increase strategic advantage to attract patients in a hypercompetitive landscape
- Connect with patients across multiple channels
- Evaluate productivity and re-align strategy with comprehensive data analytics
Common Healthcare Marketing Questions
- Why is healthcare marketing important?
Healthcare is changing; the industry used to be built on volume-based care, and now it is more focused on value-based care, which prioritizes patient engagement, involvement, and ongoing health outcomes. As the healthcare landscape continues its dramatic shift to focus more on consumers and patients become more involved with their own health, providers must adjust how they engage their target audience to remain relevant and successful.
Healthcare marketing supports this transition to value-based care by educating patients, drawing them into health systems, and providing superior customer service and engagement opportunities necessary to keep patients retained within the organization. This helps providers work with patients to achieve greater health outcomes, while generating revenue for the health system.
- What technology is necessary for successful healthcare marketing?
There are four major technology platforms that organizations need for effective healthcare marketing:
Healthcare Customer Relationship Management (HCRM) Platform
An HCRM integrates patient data from a variety of sources to build, launch, optimize, and measure multichannel healthcare marketing campaigns. With an HCRM, it is possible to personalize marketing outreach in ways that enrich patient engagements, improve customer service, and encourage long-term relationships. Sophisticated HCRMs also integrate with other technology platforms to support comprehensive marketing strategies.
Content Management System (CMS)
A CMS streamlines and classifies healthcare marketing content, as well as integrates with an HCRM to create guidelines that ensure future content aligns with brand guidelines. A CMS can also create a procedure for content repurposing and reusability to help healthcare marketers distribute content efficiently.
A marketing automation platform allows healthcare marketers to distribute CMS content to the right patients at optimal times. This software leverages HCRM data to ensure each customer journey is unique and based on real-time data and triggers. These limitless campaign triggers are stage-driven and based on an individual’s behavior or sequence of action.
An engagement center is an optimized call center that supports highly personalized, world-class experiences delivered on-the-fly for inbound and outbound calls. The engagement center solution uses HCRM data to show representatives who callers are and how they have previously engaged. Armed with this information, call center representatives have relevant and carefully crafted conversations that build on the relationship they have with the health system.
Together, these four technologies acquire and nurture patients via personalized, timely content. This leads to more conversions, higher retention rates, and increased revenue.
- What are the challenges to successful healthcare marketing?
There are three main barriers preventing healthcare marketing success: departmental silos, outdated tactics and technology, and insufficient budgets.
Departmental silos prevent healthcare marketers from delivering a consistent stream of communication to patients, which is necessary to meet the quality and cost demands of healthcare reform. To remain competitive in the years to come, healthcare marketers must evolve alongside today’s fast-paced digital world, including the use of newer digital channels.
- How can providers help improve healthcare marketing?
Organizations can improve their marketing efforts by leveraging the wealth of consumer data from various sources and target patient messaging accordingly. This can be achieved through the use of a centralized data hub, which integrates demographic, social, and behavioral information to help marketers determine patient communication preferences.
In addition, the restructuring of internal teams, adoption of new technology, expansion of market opportunities, and a focus on the new customer journey allow for deeper understanding of marketing touchpoints, and ultimately create a greater competitive advantage.
- Are there any HIPAA concerns with remarketing?
Typically, there are not HIPAA concerns with remarketing, though, in certain instances, it could be perceived as blurring the line. We recommend limiting landing page forms to basic contact information, like first and last name and an email address.
As long as you’re not collecting medical or clinical information, you’re not violating PHI or HIPAA, so remarketing shouldn’t be an issue.
- Will implementing a marketing automation tool impact the marketing department structure?
Similar to adopting a healthcare CRM solution, marketing departments need at least one dedicated resource for implementing and operating a marketing automation tool, such as Salesforce Marketing Cloud. This should be a more technical individual who is primarily responsible for working in the solution—a power user, and their title would likely be Director or Manager of Lead Generation.
As far as the rest of the marketing department, it is likely that the structure shift and evolve simply because marketing automation systems provide efficiency and allow you to execute smarter patient acquisition and retention programs. If, for example, there were 4-5 people within the department doing a very similar job that the software could handle, these individuals could start working on new projects.
Most healthcare marketing departments should consider team restructuring after implementing marketing automation to ensure the technology and internal resources are being used appropriately.