Marketing a product well is difficult in any industry, all the more so in healthcare. The healthcare industry in the USA receives plenty of criticism for its cost and inconvenience. The controversial HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability) Act handles all things healthcare. However, its complicated legislation and rigid guidelines make it the source of much public ire.
One of the most pivotal challenges facing healthcare organizations today is marketing. In fact, up until the 1970s, it was illegal to market hospitals and healthcare practices. Strict HIPAA rules still prevent high-tech medical innovations from thriving. Adding to this, Adding to this, the public views the industry with an unhealthy level of trust. All this owing to the numerous controversies around it. Oh, and let’s not forget the sky-high medical bills.
But it’s not all bad news…
Most of the challenges that medical marketers face are self-inflicted. The industry is guilty of ailing digital marketing investment, therefore, lagging behind others.
In other words, most problems that marketers encounter in healthcare are avoidable. Investment in digital marketing technologies can help change that.
Digital marketing is everywhere! Every industry in the world has changed to accommodate digital marketing techniques. Healthcare industry has been slow to catch up, but finally, it is coming around.
This article lists out five of the biggest challenges for medical marketers. It explains how digital marketing platforms and marketing automation offer solutions. So, keep reading the article and find out more.
The healthcare industry incurs bills of up to $3 trillion annually with close to $400 billion spent just on prescription drugs. This means that one in every six dollars spent goes towards healthcare. Avoiding or redirecting these expenses to elsewhere is more profitable. However, the unusual market structure of the healthcare industry makes this challenging to achieve. Lack of funding further adds fuel to the fire. It is no secret that ailing digital marketing investment is responsible for the loss of revenues and poor returns.
One of the biggest challenges for medical marketers is receiving funding for their campaigns. Marketing automation changes that. It has proven to be cost-effective as well as a revenue generating option. The effect of marketing automation has on revenues is unmistakable. Research by Focus Group reveals that
Communication in the healthcare industry is often slow and minimal as most of it is still paper-based. This is a reason for considerable annual losses. Even though most people have a smartphone, it is rarely used as a medium to reach out to them. It can result in missed or delayed appointments, miscommunication, and more angry customers. This also results in a longer sales cycle, thus missing out on revenue.
Smartphone automation software solves the problem of communication to a large extent. By sending automated messages and reminders about medicines, appointments, latest trends, etc., they go a long way. Not making mobile a healthcare marketing priority has turned out to be costly, as more people buy one. Making smartphones a marketing priority can help in building an active, loyal customer base. This increases engagement with customers and nurtures better loyalty and trust. It also helps them to get new leads and win more customers.
Another one of the challenges for medical marketers is the absence of performance indicators. KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) can help providers identify their strengths and weaknesses, as well as suggest future actions. However, the lack of care for metrics plagues the industry even further. This makes it harder for the industry to evaluate itself.
This helps solve the problem of data management and the absence of performance indicators. For better customer service, you can utilize the data. KPIs such total leads generated, customer acquisition cost, engagement and so on, marketers can achieve much clarity in the medical industry.
A report by Econsultancy and Ogilvy CommonHealth shows that most healthcare organizations are unsure about how to handle the massive amounts of data they collect. Almost half the organizations also admitted they didn’t know how to apply this information. This is another example of how the industry’s chaotic marketing strategies are costing it dear money.
One of the biggest challenges for medical marketers is dealing with the volume of data they get. Opting for services such as data appending and enrichment solves the problem for you while also cutting down on time and money.
By taking away the focus from bad data, providers can now focus on providing better care.
It also becomes easier for marketers to connect with the right audience. If you treat data the right way, everything else falls in places as well.
Need a detailed insight into healthcare marketing?
Another challenge faced by marketers is that of defining a ‘customer.’ Customers in the healthcare industry may not need the products they request but feel they do.
On the other hand, many who may need healthcare get limited to no access to it. This makes it more difficult to scout and nurture possible leads. It is also responsible for the loss of potential buyers and revenue.
Classified leads based on demographics, online
habits, buying behavior, etc. It helps you to close in on your target audience and inform them about new products. It also reduces the problem of having to predict customer motives in advance.
The challenges for medical marketers are immense. They must deal with a highly regulated industry with strict rules that limit their outreach. A hostile internal environment restrains the industry, which prevents them from executing their ideas. However, what worked before does not work anymore, at least for marketers. It becomes necessary to automate the marketing process to ensure that the industry focuses on providing healthcare, than the former.
Organizing healthcare marketing in the digital age will prove difficult. However, unless the industry adapts to changing trends, it risks being stuck behind. Marketing automation is the first step the industry can take to start connecting with today’s consumers. Learning more about other tools and services that make the process of healthcare marketing more accessible is a must. Keeping these solutions mentioned above in mind will provide answers to the most persistent problems troubling the healthcare industry. The challenge for medical marketers now is to adapt, implement and innovate as they move forward.
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