Healthcare Marketing: How Digital Media Helps Doctors (Part I)
Healthcare marketing should ultimately focus on two key goals:
- Attracting new patients to your practice and
- Maintaining the patients you have.
Digital technology is a powerful force in both arenas and to help healthcare marketers. Kaufer DMC has created a 3-part blog series focused on how your office or medical practice can use digital media to facilitate positive, informative, and helpful communications that is designed to let your patient-base know you care. Learning how to use digital media for healthcare marketing campaigns, and how to tailor your outreach to men, women, and/or across multiple generations, will help your patients feel more inclined to keep their medical business with you.
These digital media applications – also referred to as Engagement Communications – use email, texts, phone calls, and social media platforms to provide clear, concise, and personal advice regarding an individual’s healthcare. While the majority of the population (a whopping 85%!) feels these outreaches enhance their relationship with medical practitioners, the type of information – and how it is delivered – varies across certain socio-demographics.
This first post focuses on how your practice can use healthcare marketing to reach out and connect with your female patients. The second post will focus on men and the third will address using Engagement Communications across generations.
Using Digital Media and Communications to Exceed Patient Expectations
Using digital media requires certain finesse, as nothing you do should ever violate doctor/patient confidentiality. As such, it is imperative you communicate your plans clearly with your patients and ask them to express their preferences in writing, with a signature and date, to make sure you are all on the same page. Most likely you have a boilerplate communication clause somewhere, which outlines phone or fax privacy preferences. Consider adding emails and texts to the list.
To further meet patient preferences, specify which type of information they want to receive: general health info, appointment reminders, billing/payment info, etc. Obviously any Twitter or Facebook outreach will be along the lines of general information, i.e. “don’t forget to make an appointment for your family flu shots.”
How Customized Digital Media Can Empower Female Patients
The American Academy of Physicians has issued a study stating women are responsible for 90% of the healthcare decisions made for themselves and their family members. That is not a statistic to be ignored. So what kind of information do women want in order to make these decisions?
- 84% of women say texts, emails, and voicemails are as helpful – or more helpful – than face-to-face communication. This is no surprise as the modern woman is a busy. Digital communication allows her to access information at her convenience.
- 42% of women prefer texts and emails.
- The most requested information? Appointment reminders, billing updates, and special event notifications, such as flu shot offerings or seasonal updates.
It’s important to note: 11% of women said they would ignore electronic messages if the information is not personalized. This is more than one out of ten, so it may behoove you to identify mothers from non-mothers, young women from menopausal women, etc. to get personalized information to the right patient-base. For example, isolate your female patients who are 30 and over. Send out a Recipe of the Month based on relevant medical knowledge. Include a basic fact: As estrogen and progesterone levels decrease, women need to boost calcium and magnesium intake for bone and muscular health. Did you know winter squashes are naturally high in magnesium and calcium? Then include a link to a recipe.
By adhering to your female patients’ preferences, and creatively tailoring fun, informative, and personalized health information, your digital media campaign will be your strongest asset in developing a positive and lasting rapport with your female patients.