The journey of growth and progress is never ending and the healthcare industry is one the most progressing industries in the past decade or so. The Healthcare industry has broken all records and has become one of India’s largest sectors – both in terms of revenue and employment. As compared to other industries it lags behind considerably. With HIPAA compliance regulations and FDA restriction tying up both its arms, the healthcare industry has still managed to adapt itself to the changing marketing trends despite such a tightly regulated industry. Earlier, healthcare and hospital marketing were focused more on conventional methods like newspapers, TV, radio, and direct mail. The Marketers would launch various campaigns and only hope that the information reaches the customers in the limited time span.
Today’s healthcare consumers have a different approach towards patient care as they are more healthy, have higher longevity and increased disposable income that they depend on Google more than the doctor himself. They do extensive research online to self-diagnose before visiting any doctor or physician.
To meet up with their expectations the healthcare industry must keep themselves abreast to all the changing trends including Digital Marketing. 83% of customers are willing to pay more for great customer experience and this experience can be enhanced by merging healthcare services with the transformational element of digital marketing. India is soon going to be one amongst the top three economies of the world and the health care industry, in particular, is expected to reach $280 billion by 2020. This economic jump will open up a land full of opportunities for players in the medical devices industry. Over 40% of consumers say that information found through social media affects the way they deal with their health (Mediabistro). From booking appointments on Practo to ordering healthcare services at home, the treatment of patients has come on our fingertips with the click of one button. This phenomenal change in the digital world has made doctor-patient relationships, for example in telemedicine the 1:1 doctor-patient ratio allows the physician to personalize the prognosis and diagnosis for the patient while sitting miles away.
Several healthcare providers feel that digital marketing is no longer an option for the hospitals and clinics, pharmaceuticals but rather it has become their reliance. According to a Google study, 84% of all patients use both online and offline sources to research hospitals on a mobile device to schedule an appointment. From blog posts to social media updates like videos, webinars easily available on the internet, the quality of patient care has drastically improved. A patient can easily read up about the surgery he is undergoing, the doctors who will operate on him and also the tariff rate compared with the next best hospital. Apart from social media updates, the search engines and social media channels help the healthcare service provider to collect ample amount of digital data for analysis.
Some of the digital marketing strategies used by the healthcare industries at present are-
- Easy to access the website where the information is easily available to the patient who is surfing through the website.
- Informational Blogs are published regularly that tells the patients about the upcoming health and patient safety drives
- Medical Webinars conducted online by in-house doctors and surgeons.
- Educational videos on epidemics, patient safety, and hygiene.
- Strong SEO Attributes, display advertising and online classified.
Digital marketing aims to achieve awareness and acquisition to cultivate patient engagement and loyalty with the hospitals and healthcare providers. Digital Marketing has been conquering all the industries, especially the healthcare, that it will not be long before we will not run the digital world but the digital world will run us.