All you have to do is be alive since January to realize that the rules have been changing all over the world since the existence of Covid-19. From something as small as personal habits to something as massive as international policy, everything changed. So, institutions, and the people in them are trying to adapt to the new circumstances. This is especially true in the concept of healthcare marketing.
Marketing, for the most part, is an attempt to convince people to invest their time, money, and presence in a business. In the case of Healthcare marketing, the focus has been attracting newer and long lasting patients by creating an open line of communication. However, given the new concerns that comes from a rising pandemic, there needs to be a shift in strategy. So what are some of the implemented healthcare marketing strategies that are in effect? What is working and what isn’t? How can we communicate the right thing to the right people?
An Increase in Patient Educational Materials
We are living in an age where information is more accessible than ever. In some ways this is a good thing. The speed of information is partially responsible for the ongoing effort of developing a cure for the virus. However, there are also drawbacks, including the use of information to add speculation or politics into this already chaotic mix. So, it is up to both healthcare marketers as well as medical facilities to cut through the noise and misinformation that is rampant alongside accurate information.
Bigger institutions and larger health organizations have updated their websites by providing educational content about what signs to look for with Covid-19. They have also created educational content that lists prevention measures to decrease the unintentional spread of the virus as much as possible.
Sometimes the execution or the presentation of the materials can be tailored differently between multiple practices, depending on what type of patients they are catering to, for example children are not likely going to understand the term ‘social distancing’ and elderly patients are most likely not going to be tech savvy. So, there is a chance that practices need to tailor their healthcare marketing methods to match the circumstances. Still, when you look at it from afar, it is better for hospitals to keep patients informed so they can build more trust in that practice.
Healthcare Marketing: Spending Less on Advertising more on Content Marketing
Before Covid-19, a lot of spending was geared towards branding and paid advertising. This most likely came from the mindset of using electronic communication to convince people to walk through their doors with an appealing image. Now, the needs have shifted. People need to feel safe, so they can’t exactly go to the doctor the minute they are not feeling well. Patients are wary about both the cost of a doctor visit and the possibility of catching Covid-19 in the waiting room.
So, to meet the demand for doctor-patient consultation, healthcare marketing is headed in a direction that is designed to keep patients on their website as long as possible. This means a more invested interest in email marketing, and content marketing.
This is backed up by the binary 2020 survey,
“Going forward, healthcare marketers are focusing on new areas and projects. Half of healthcare marketers surveyed said their teams were planning telehealth initiatives post-coronavirus. With relaxed telemedicine regulations and a large number of patients using telehealth during the pandemic, these marketers expect interest to continue once the emergency is over.
A Common Theme: The Growing Use of Technology in Healthcare
When you put the first two together, you start to get a clearer picture of what is happening. Healthcare marketers, as well as the healthcare industry, are increasing the role of technology in their practice. This is partially to compensate for the lack of physical contact that comes with maintaining social distancing practices. However, there are other factors that are involved.
For starters, the technology was always there, but it wasn’t until Covid-19 that the public attitude shifted in favor of increasing the role of technology in healthcare. Telemedicine is seeing an uptick, because it provides an easy way for patients to interact with their doctor, a lot of the paperwork and bureaucracy has downgraded into something manageable, and patients are getting more information about what they are taking than before.
Whether that stays the trend or not depends on how many doctors and patients talk about it in a positive light. Only time will tell how this will all play out in the world of healthcare. All everyone can do is to continue to adapt to the circumstances.