Healthcare Marketing Advice: How to Gain and Keep your Patients
It is difficult to market yourself when it comes to the medical field. Doctors, up until this point are not used to advertising for themselves. People just go to the doctor when they are sick and that is that. But today’s for profit healthcare landscape, for good or ill, has changed how people view the doctor’s office. And they often view it as a last resort.
Doctors and hospitals now have to work harder to convince patients to come to them. But what are some of the best ways to get patients to listen to your message? What is going to make them more likely to return? Here are a few ways to at least increase your chances of patients being more receptive to your message and making another appointment.
Don’t get Complacent
One of the biggest misconceptions about healthcare marketing , or really any kind of marketing is that once you send your message, and you are seeing any kind of growth that the job is done and the responsibility on your end is over.
That is simply not true. Just like the concept of health itself, it is not about just doing the bare minimum and expecting your body to be at peak performance. Its simply not possible because both things require consistent effort.
Marketing is a constant social exercise of spreading the word, getting feedback, and doing the best you can so everyones needs, including your own, are satisfied.
Even big corporations that have been established for years have become blindsided by their own complacency. They get angry that their customers are no longer loyal, when the truth of the matter is that they stopped putting in the work ages ago.
So don’t be complacent. Make sure you and your staff are doing the best they can to see how they can spread the word about your practice.
Let Your Passion Be Contagious
The idea of healthcare has certainly seen changes this past decade. Political drama, confusing language, financial burden, and insurance company mandates are are enough to make doctors and their staff members want to tear their hair out in frustration. Add mistrustful or squirrely patients in the mix and it is wonder that anyone would want to be a doctor.
But you are still going to work everyday. Why? Because there is probably a reason that got you to where you are today. Whether your motivation was to help people, or you are constantly curious about how things work in the human body, the doctors that stay in spite of the hardship are usually the ones that have a passionate investment in what they do.
People recognize and respond to passion. It is just as contagious as any other disease you would treat. It can even check cynicism and mistrust. When you are enthusiastic about sharing what you know and how things work, your patients will be more likely to pay attention to what you have to say. They will also be more responsive to visiting you again.
Speak to Patients on Their Level
That being said, passion alone isnt enough. You need clarity.
For example, a friend of yours is a fan of a sci-fi television series that you never heard of. They gush using words you never heard of and with a context that you don’t have. How long will it take before you start to tune out what they are saying?
When patients aren’t listening or giving you a positive response, it could be just that the message went over their head. They simply didn’t have the same level of medical education and upkeep as you have. Sometimes they might even lack a level of scientific literacy that is common in most public education. Whatever the case may be, it is hard for a patient to relate to a doctor who uses vocabulary that they don’t understand.
The average American reading level is at 8th grade. And only 28 percent of the United States populace would be considered scientifically literate.
So, take the time, when speaking to your patients or advertising to get to their level. Not condescendingly, but at least illustrate your point in a way that makes what you do and what they need easier to understand.
Healthcare marketing to patients requires effort, passion, and clear communication. If you have all three of those things, they will be much more likely to respond favorably.
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