Healthcare marketers have a distinct advantage over most others because consumers, especially those with chronic illnesses, actively search for health-related information. In fact, two-thirds of U.S. consumers seek medical advice through the Internet and social media, according to a report released by Accenture last year. In March 2010, an E-Marketer report revealed that 49% of women and 38% of men consider the Internet their first source for health information rather than a physician. These numbers are expected to rise even higher as smartphones keep consumers constantly connected. To relate and resonate with healthcare consumers, marketers are advised to keep their messages simple and connect with consumers through customized, targeted support that will help them manage their health.
The most important thing for marketers to understand is that recovering from an illness or handling a health condition is a journey. This puts marketers in the unique position to act as a guide or ally throughout that journey. The most effective healthcare marketing programs have found ways to follow alongside the consumer on their journey, and are also designed to provide help both before and after the time at which a product or service is administered.
A prime example of effective healthcare marketing is the Lap-Band campaign, which offers comprehensive patient support from the period of consideration to the time of the procedure to actually living with the device. Through their website, consumers can read success stories, find a surgeon, learn about insurance and other payment options, watch video testimonials or connect with other Lap-Band patients on numerous social media platforms. Lap-Band acts like a trusted guide to its target consumers and gives them the assurance they need throughout their journey.
The Policare line of denture care products follows a similar marketing path with a website designed to engage targeted consumers throughout their denture journey. It begins by helping them decide whether dentures are the right choice for them. Then, it offers support with the physical and emotional implications of the procedure, from becoming comfortable talking and eating with the dentures to their ongoing maintenance.
Before embarking on a healthcare marketing journey of your own, consider the following four points:
1. Make sure you understand the substantial emotional and physical implications of health-related conditions in order to address them appropriately and sincerely.
2. Take every phase of the journey into consideration so you can anticipate and respond to consumers’ needs at every stage.
3. Consumers will pay more attention to contextual-based advertising when they’re actively researching and looking for solutions.
4. Support the communities and groups that are supporting your target consumers to be viewed as an ally on their journey.
Healthcare marketing holds extensive opportunities for brands to bond with consumers throughout their journeys in ways that work well for both consumers and businesses.
MDG Advertising, a full-service Florida advertising agency, with offices in Boca Raton and New York, NY, specializes in developing targeted Internet marketing solutions, exceptional creative executions and solid branding and media buying strategies that give clients a competitive advantage.Our core capabilities include print advertising, branding, logo design, creative, digital marketing, media planning and buying, TV and radio advertising, public relations, Web design and development, email marketing, social media marketing and SEO. View MDG Advertising’s creative marketing portfolio.