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Healthcare marketing: why it matters

Posted by Damien Edmonds on 21 August 2014

Healthcare services in Australia have changed dramatically over the last 20 years. Two decades ago, practices didn’t necessarily need to communicate their offering in an ongoing capacity.

However, in an increasingly noisy marketplace, various kinds of practices must now market their businesses to remain competitive.

Several trends contribute to this phenomenon:
• the rise of online information sources
• patients’ increasing willingness to travel for care
• patients’ increasing self-direction and self-guided research
• increasing competition among medical practitioners.

These factors foster the need for marketing strategies that bring patients to general and specialist service providers.

One of our clients recently said that referrals to their practice came down to three things:
• location
• availability
• reputation.

It’s fair to say that patients are interested in working with the most capable medical experts available. However, no matter what the illness, it’s unlikely that patients or their close family (unless they’re doctors themselves) can competently evaluate the knowledge and capabilities of the practitioners they’re seeing.

This means that patients have to rely on other resources to inform their medical-care choices. This decision-making process makes building a good reputation and strong relationships an extremely effective way to bring in new patients and, when appropriate, to ensure patients continue to return.

For specialists, building a reputation in a strong medical niche area and demonstrating thought-leadership in this space is also a powerful way to engage with patients.

Many factors come into play when a patient seeks a high-quality care-provider: financial situation, increasingly busy lifestyle, range of health insurance options, geographic location and the seriousness of their condition.

Where patients do have choices, those options can become the deciding determinant. In fact, the more options patients have, the more marketing and reputation-building can make a difference.

We are finding that a growing number of medical practitioners are now adopting marketing activities. Through effective branding, educational websites, newsletters, webinars and other such tools, practitioners seek to communicate their standards of care and actively manage patient expectations.

Edmonds Marketing has experience of developing marketing and communications campaigns and will be speaking at Medical Financial Groups Into Private Practice event on Saturday 13th September.

For more information and to secure your seat click on the link below.

 

Author: Damien Edmonds
Tags: Into Private Practice Event

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