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Top Healthcare Marketing Challenges and Solutions

Top Healthcare Marketing Challenges and Solutions

A 2023 survey with 146 respondents revealed that global healthcare marketers in the United States spend about 11.8 percent of their marketing budget on sales reps or in-person marketing.

Social media and professional conferences/meetings followed with a 10-percent share each. Other budget priorities were paid online ads, websites/microsites, direct marketing, sales materials, search engine optimization (SEO), and paid traditional ads like print, radio, and TV.

Although most healthcare professionals understand where to allocate resources and assess efficiency, marketers face unique challenges in this rapidly changing contemporary healthcare industry—from compliance with stringent regulations to meeting customer and stakeholder needs.

These setbacks require innovative solutions.

Here are the top healthcare marketing challenges and solutions you must be aware of:

Public’s Perception of the Healthcare Industry

Although many individuals recognize the importance of quality healthcare and hold healthcare professionals in high regard, certain perceptions can be challenging for marketers.

One way people see things negatively is when care is all over the place, making you wait forever and struggle to figure things out. This hurts how people trust the system and see the industry.

They are also affected by ballooning healthcare costs. Meanwhile, some patients are weary of prevalent medical errors, adverse incidents, and poor patient experiences.

To address these issues, you can employ these marketing strategies to reinforce a positive healthcare perception.

  • Promote transparency by sharing certified and honest information about services, pricing, and patient outcomes.
  • Connect and interact with your prospects through social media campaigns, such as sharing health information and addressing concerns in comments and private message inquiries.
  • Emphasize authentic testimonials and success stories with positive experiences and results.

Another way to nurture positive public perception is by employing customer relationship management (CRM) tools.

Healthcare CRM solutions help reinforce positive healthcare perception through the following ways:

  • Data-driven targeting and insights into the population who need medical services
  • More personalized patient care
  • Integrations with healthcare systems like claims data, electronic health records (EHR), and third-party solutions for comprehensive views of patient records and consumer information
  • Feedback and complaint management features enable healthcare organizations to address issues promptly

HIPAA Compliance

HIPAA—The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996—is a U.S. federal law protecting patient health information from being disclosed without consent.

While necessary, this law can affect healthcare marketers because it restricts using and sharing of data. Marketers can also not efficiently segment customers based on health conditions without explicit consent.

To remain compliant, implement the following data utilization methods:

  • Use general demographics like age, gender, and location. For example, your strategies could include arthritis treatment advertisements targeted to older adults.
  • Create opt-in forms to acquire explicit consent.
  • Perform market segmentation using general health interests. Your segments could include individuals interested in fitness, nutrition, mental health, and preventative care.

Tight Marketing Funds

Having a tight marketing budget is also a challenge many healthcare marketers face. With budgetary constraints, you might find yourself stuck with less-than-optimal advertising tactics. This could result in campaigns that just don’t pack the punch you’re looking for.

Here are practices to help you maximize tight marketing funds:

  • Identify and concentrate on channels with potentially high returns
  • Establish strategic affiliations with organizations that have similar audiences and goals
  • Use free analytics tools from Google and social media platforms to measure your campaigns’ competence

Online Reviews

Surveys show that 49 percent of consumers value online reviews just as much as they do the opinions of friends and family. Thus, online reviews are paramount, as they influence purchasing decisions.

Positive reviews show your organization values quality care, establishing trust and credibility. Constructive feedback, on the other hand, can help you identify areas of improvement.

However, negative reviews are inevitable.

You can mitigate their impact by first acknowledging their concern and apologizing if necessary—follow this up by offering to resolve their problems in private.

Social media monitoring and online reputation management platforms can also help you manage online reviews.

Social media monitoring tools are social listening channels that analyze online conversations about your organization and industry. They help you understand your audience’s perception of your brand, your competitors, and topics related to your services.

Meanwhile, online reputation management platforms enable you to monitor people’s reviews about your organization across digital platforms. They can also automate the collection of reviews and help you craft personalized responses for every feedback.

Adoption of Telemedicine

While telemedicine adoption offers streamlined consultations, it may intimidate patients, especially those who prefer traditional in-person visits.

As such, healthcare marketers must strategically highlight telemedicine’s simplicity and user-friendly nature.

  • Provide step-by-step guidelines on using telemedicine.
  • Publish video tutorials on scheduling and booking appointments for visual learners.
  • Emphasize telemedicine’s time-saving advantages, such as reduced time spent traveling and the ability to get consultations at home.

Integrating EHRs into telemedicine platforms can also significantly enhance the adoption and efficacy of telemedicine. These digital records ensure that your organization has immediate access to complete medical histories during online consultations, resulting in more accurate and informed diagnoses.

To further improve telemedicine’s adoption via EHRs, healthcare marketers can emphasize their efficiency and personalization for patients.

You can highlight the patient portal EHRs provide, allowing patients to access their medical records, read test results, and speak with their doctors on a single platform.

Furthermore, most EHRs have encryption, access controls, and audit trails. These security features help ensure HIPAA compliance and that patients’ and prospects’ medical information is safe in transit and at rest.

Crafting Compelling Content

Crafting compelling content is another pressing issue in healthcare marketing.

Marketers must balance customer needs with their clients’ needs. For example, marketing materials with technical content must be easily digestible for consumers.

The key to achieving the balance is a data-driven approach. This method involves gathering data from keyword research and social media monitoring tools, patient reviews, and prospect interactions with various web pages.

These pieces of information help ensure your content resonates with your target audience by acknowledging their issues and delivering the best solutions.

Beyond healthcare marketing for patients, advertising for other healthcare professionals is also crucial. In some blog posts, you could include topics like financial management tips for a more holistic approach. For example, you can guide them on how to open an IRA account online to secure their retirement.

This way, your content ventures into topics often overlooked in professional healthcare settings, helping you position your organization as a comprehensive resource for healthcare practitioners.

Healthcare Disparities

Some notable healthcare disparities include:

  • Inaccessibility
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Gender stereotypes
  • Racial and ethnic bias

To mitigate these disparity concerns, marketers must create campaigns emphasizing their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

  • Highlight your dedication to serving all communities and demographics
  • Create campaigns that reflect cultural sensitivity
  • Engage with communities affected by disparities and foster collaborative dialogues

The Balance Between Authority and Empathy

Healthcare decisions are often emotional. If your campaigns lack empathy, they may fail to resonate with your prospects.

Thus, marketers must equally balance authority and empathy. It’s a combination that fosters emotional connection by offering hope and confidence in getting treatment. Also, you can ensure prospects feel seen and understood, ultimately attracting them to avail of your services.

Strengthen Your Brand Image

Standing out in the healthcare industry requires innovative approaches, empathetic engagement, a deep understanding of patient needs, and compliance with industry standards.

By understanding healthcare marketing challenges, you can tailor your efforts to address these complexities and strengthen your brand’s resonance, authority, and reliability.

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