Article | April 1, 2020
The world is caught up in the dual health and economic crises of the novel coronavirus and resultant disease COVID-19. Globally, the healthcare industry has rallied around the challenge in unprecedented ways: drug companies and medical researchers are racing to find therapeutics and vaccines that can treat, cure, or prevent the disease. Diagnostics companies are developing tests at an unprecedented rate and scaling up production of test kits and diagnostic instruments. Medical device companies are working overtime to manufacture more of everything from personal protective equipment (PPE) to ventilators. Regulators are fast-tracking innovations, and government is rushing to add treatment capacity through ad-hoc medical facilities.
Article | January 11, 2021
Healthcare marketing, for a healthcare provider, is challenging as a lot of technologies are emerging in the market. What matters is choosing the right healthcare marketing techniques and technology to market your products and services. The global digital health market size was USD 51.3 billion in 2015. According to Global Market Insights, this is expected to have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.9% from 2016 to 2025. However, to compete with your opponents and to face the challenges of increasing patients buying your products and services, you need an excellent and well-designed marketing strategy with the latest healthcare marketing trends.
As we have entered a new decade, healthcare providers should look into developments in the healthcare marketing brought out by the year 2020. The global pandemic has changed all the practices in the industry, including the style of healthcare marketing and technology. Since the turn of the century, online marketing has been a part and parcel of healthcare marketing. However, healthcare marketing is witnessing a new era. This can be attributed to the increasing integration of various smart devices in the everyday lives of people and the introduction of artificial intelligence algorithms. Are you ready to leverage these technological transformations and changes?
This article discusses some of the major healthcare marketing trends to be integrated into your healthcare marketing strategies.
One of the important healthcare marketing trends that you can use is online reviews from happy patients. Healthcare providers have largely relied upon these online reviews— the patient sentiment—to establish a reputation and acquire new patients. These reviews are widespread across multiple online platforms and anyone can easily access them.
A study conducted by Binary Fountain in 2019 claimed that 60% of people use online reviews to choose a healthcare provider. It also claimed that 75% are influenced by online feedback when they go for a healthcare provider. This shows how influential this healthcare marketing trend is. Thus, in 2021, healthcare providers should concentrate on acquiring positive reviews and replying to both good and bad reviews and feedback. It is crucial to respond to negative reviews for your online reputation management, as 70% of patients consider it important to address patient concerns publicly.
Content is King
Content marketing is yet another healthcare marketing trend that healthcare providers should focus on. Producing educational, entertaining, engaging, and high-quality content is crucial in increasing your online brand visibility and patient engagement. This aspect of online marketing came into existence ever since Google became the king in the search engine market and established their ever-evolving algorithms.
To leverage this healthcare marketing trend, healthcare providers should have a plan for creating content holistically and publishing it on multiple platforms in different forms. All content that goes online should be well-produced and authoritative. All forms of text-based content, such as articles, blogs, press releases, white papers, and case studies, should be well-written and have high-quality links. It is also good to add images to your content to increase engagement.
Within this healthcare marketing trend, video marketing is considered to be the most effective one because online visual content appeals to users more than any other form of content. To make the most out of your videos, you can run video ads on YouTube, share them on your social media pages, and post them on websites and landing pages.
Responsive, Fast Loading Websites
Among the online healthcare marketing techniques, it is very important to have a very responsive and fast loading website. Also, the navigation on the site should be smooth and easy. This is because the websites with these features win more patients.
Websites of healthcare providers with ads and pop-ups, navigation issues, and slow loading will make users leave the site in no time. This will be much realized in 2021 as patients expect websites to load instantly on all their devices, including their smartphones.
To increase patient acquisition, you may have to streamline and optimize your website for both mobile and desktop viewing. Here are some quick tips to make your website loading fast and navigation easy:
• Decrease image size on your website
• Switch to a faster web host
• Clean up unnecessary code.
Growing Influence of Social Media
Having a strong presence on all social media platforms is an effective digital healthcare marketing tactic. The online presence of your healthcare organization should not be limited to your website. To maximize your brand’s reach and to have an impact in 2021, you may have to make full use of all social media platforms. In terms of lead generation, engagement, marketing, and reputation management, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, among others, are turning more influential nowadays. According to Statista, social media has 2.82 billion active users. More specifically, according to Hootsuite, as of 2020, 90% of older adults use social media to seek or share healthcare information.
This most influential healthcare digital marketing trend can be effectively used by creating and promoting targeted ads on all these platforms. Also, by interacting with users through likes, comments, and shares and publishing content regularly, you can increase your organic reach. For any healthcare provider and marketer of 2021 and beyond, it is a massive mistake to neglect the power of social media.
Data-Driven Healthcare Marketing
In 2021, to personalize outreach campaigns, healthcare providers and marketers will have data and tools. Adhering to HIPAA regulations, healthcare providers can design various marketing materials according to key demographics, such as key health concerns, income levels, age range, etc. This is the more granular approach to reach new patients and to keep your regular and current patients loyal to your brand. This personalized healthcare marketing technique will make patients feel that they are treated well and slowly build up trust in your brand.
A customer relationship management (CRM) tool, which is reliable and healthcare-specific, can store relevant patient data. To optimize your marketing strategy, insights from the stored data can be considered. Thus, this important healthcare marketing technique—data-driven healthcare marketing—helps you personalize your healthcare marketing campaigns.
Turning to Telemedicine Technology
Demanding physical processes and spatial barriers are not yet a big restriction for healthcare providers. Artificial intelligence, telemedicine, automated systems, and IOT contribute a lot to make healthcare more efficient and accessible. Highlighting these features in healthcare also becomes an effective healthcare marketing technique.
Using telemedicine software, healthcare can be provided remotely, which eliminates the need for an in-house visit. Although this breakthrough happened at the start of the century, it will become more accessible, viable, reliable, and will be used widely than ever before in 2021. Patients with mobility and transportation issues prefer using remote healthcare services and adding these facilities to your services can be considered a part of healthcare marketing tactics. So start offering remote healthcare services, if you have not started yet. This will eventually increase your brand reputation and build up trust.
Self-Serving Technologies- Patient Profiles, Chatbots, and Appointment-Scheduling Modules
As part of healthcare marketing plan and strategy, patient profiles, chatbots, and appointment-scheduling modules are incorporated by providers in their websites. These additions provide more awareness and control of their health to the patients. Updating your website to include these self-serving technology will help you improve the patient experience online.
Look forward to the new developments in healthcare marketing technology to improve your healthcare marketing, which is suitable for you. Embracing all of these changes and transformation in healthcare marketing strategy will help you stay ahead of your competitors with effective healthcare marketing campaigns strategies.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are technological advances in healthcare?
The year 2020 witnessed a lot of technological advancements in the healthcare industry due to the pandemic. Some of the major ones among them are personalized medicine, telemedicine, blockchain, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.
What technology is used in healthcare marketing?
Blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots, voice search, and augmented reality are some of the major technologies used in treatment and marketing in healthcare in 2021. However, the technology in healthcare marketing is ever-evolving as new trends are set every moment.
Why is technology important in marketing?
Technology is very important in businesses and marketing as technology helps businesses grow. It also creates relationships and it is necessary for communication between the customer and the organizations. Technology is an essential part of any business for development and growth.
What is the most effective healthcare marketing technology?
There are many existing and emerging healthcare marketing technologies in the global market. However, the most effective marketing technique is social media; generating leads through social media and websites.
Article | April 1, 2020
Although it was widely reported that several ransomware threat actor groups have pledged to not target healthcare providers until the COVID-19 pandemic is over, BakerHostetler’s Digital Assets and Data Management Practice Group and Healthcare Privacy and Compliance team continue to see ransomware attacks launched against healthcare providers. In order to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare providers have had to radically change their normal business processes, which could make them more vulnerable to ransomware attacks. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic has required healthcare providers to make difficult choices related to workforce staffing. Some healthcare providers have been forced to furlough or lay off nonessential workforce members. Healthcare providers also are permitting some workforce members to work remotely. As previously reported by the Data Privacy Monitor, having a reduced workforce and a remote workforce could put healthcare providers more at risk for cybercrime, including ransomware attacks.
Article | July 17, 2020
The COVID-19 virus (C19) pandemic is turning out to be the event of the century. Even World War seems timid in comparison. We are in the 4th month of the virus (in non-China countries) and have gone past the lockdown in many places. Isn’t it time we re-think the approach? What if there is another wave of C19 coming soon? What if C19 is the first of many such events in the future?
Before we get into analysis and solution design, summarizing the C19 quirks:
While a large section of the affected population is asymptomatic, for some it can be lethal
There isn’t clarity on all the ways C19 spreads
It’s known to affect the lungs, heart, and kidneys in patients with weak immunity
It has been hard to identify a definitive pattern of the virus. Some observations in managing the C19 situation are:
With no vaccine in sight, the end of this epidemic looks months or years away
Health care personnel in hospitals need additional protection to treat patients
Lockdowns lead to severe economic hardship and its repeated application can be damaging
Quarantining people has an economic cost, especially in the weaker sections of society
If one takes a step back to re-think about this, we are primarily solving 2 problems:
Minimise deaths: Minimise the death of C19 and non-C19 patients in this period
Maximise economic growth: The GDP output/growth should equal or higher than pre-C19 levels
One needs to achieve the 2 goals in an environment of rising number of C19 cases.
An approach that can be applied to achieve this is:
Data driven health care capacity planning
Build a health repository of all the citizens with details like pre-existing diseases, comorbidity, health status, etc. The repository needs to be updated quarterly to account for patient data changes
This health repository data is combined with the C19 profile (disease susceptibility) and/or other seasonal diseases to determine the healthcare capacity (medicines, doctors, etc.) needed
The healthcare capacity deficit/excess needs to be analysed in categories (beds, equipment, medicine, personnel, etc.) and regions (city, state, etc.) and actions taken accordingly
Regular capacity management will ensure patients aren’t deprived of timely treatment. In addition, such planning helps in the equitable distribution of healthcare across regions and optimising health care costs. Healthcare sector is better prepared to scale-up/down their operations
Based on the analysis citizens can be informed about their probability of needing hospitalisation on contracting C19. Citizens with a higher health risk on C19 infection should be personally trained on prevention and tips to manage the disease on occurrence
The diagram below explains the process
Mechanism to increase hospital capacity without cost escalation
Due to the nature of C19, health personnel are prone to infection and their safety is a big issue. There is also a shortage of hospitable beds available. Even non-C19 patients aren’t getting the required treatment because health personnel seek it as a risk. This resulted in, healthcare costs going up and availability reducing.
To mitigate such issues, hospital layouts may need to be altered (as shown in the diagram below). The altered layout improves hospital capacity and availability of health care personnel. It also reduces the need for the arduous C19 protection procedures. Such procedures reduce the patient treatment capacity and puts a toll on hospital management.
Over a period, the number of recovered C19 persons are going to increase significantly. We need to start tapping into their services to reduce the burden on the system. The hospitals need to be divided into 3 zones. The hospital zoning illustration shown below explains how this could be done. In the diagram, patients are shown in green and health care personnel are in light red.
**Assumption: Infected and recovered C19 patients are immune to the disease. This is not clearly established
Better enforcement of social factors
The other reason for high number of infections in countries like India is a glaring disregard in following C19 rules in public places and the laxity in enforcement. Enforcement covers 2 parts, tracking incidents of violation and penalising the behaviour. Government should use modern mechanisms like crowd sourcing to track incidents and ride on the growing public fear to ensure penalty enforcement succeeds. The C19 pandemic has exposed governance limitations in not just following C19 rules, but also in other areas of public safety like road travel, sanitation, dietary habits, etc.
Maximise economic growth
The earlier lockdown has strained the economy. Adequate measures need to be taken to get the economy back on track. Some of the areas that need to be addressed are:
One needs to evaluate the development needs of the country in different categories like growth impetus factors (e.g. building roads, electricity capacity increase), social factors (e.g. waste water treatment plants, health care capacity), and environmental factors (e.g. solar energy generation, EV charging stations). Governments need to accelerate funding in such projects so that that large numbers of unemployed people are hired and trained. Besides giving an immediate boost to the ailing economy such projects have a future payback. The governments should not get bogged down by the huge fiscal deficit such measures can create. Such a mechanism to get money out in the economy is far than better measures like QE (Quantitative Easing) or free money transfer into people’s bank accounts
Certain items like smartphone, internet, masks, etc. have become critical (for work, education, critical government announcements). It’s essential to subsidise or reduce taxes so that these items are affordable and accessible to everyone without a financial impact
The government shouldn’t put too many C19 related controls on service offerings (e.g. shops, schools, restaurants, cabs). Putting many controls increases the cost of the service which neither the seller not buyer is willing or able to pay. Where controls are put, the Govt should bear the costs or reduce taxes or figure out a mechanism so that the cost can be absorbed.
An event like the C19 pandemic is a great opportunity to rationalise development imbalances in the country. Government funding should be channelized more to under-developed regions. This drives growth in regions that need it most. It also prevents excess migration that has resulted in uncontrolled and bad urbanisation that has made C19 management hard (guidelines like social distance are impossible to follow)
Post-C19 lockdown, the business environment (need for sanitizers, masks, home furniture) has changed. To make people employable in new flourishing businesses there could be a need to re-skill people. Such an initiative can be taken up by the public/private sector
The number of C19 infected asymptomatic patients is going to keep increasing. Building an economy around them (existing, recovered C19 patients) may not be a far-fetched idea. E.g. jobs for C19 infected daily wage earners, C19 infected taxi drivers to transport C19 patients, etc.
In the last 100 years, mankind has conquered the destructive aspects of many a disease and natural mishap (hurricanes, floods, etc.). Human lives lost in such events has dramatically dropped over the years and our preparedness has never been this good. Nature seems to have caught up with mankind’s big strides in science and technology. C19 has been hard to reign in with no breakthrough yet. The C19 pandemic is here to stay for the near future. The more we accept this reality and change ourselves to live with it amidst us, the faster we can return to a new normal. A quote from Edward Jenner (inventor of Small Pox) seems apt in the situation – “The deviation of man from the state in which he was originally placed by nature seems to have proved to him a prolific source of diseases”.