This article is part of ParkerWhite’s weekly series, “Health and Wellness This Week,” a roundup of the latest healthcare marketing news and what it means for your marketing strategy.
The customer rules. Absolutely. If you don’t please your customer, you’re not going to be in business. This isn’t anything particularly new, but for the healthcare industry, the customer is changing… it’s no longer just the payer or the physician, it’s the patient. Now, healthcare marketers are having to make an entire shift in their thinking to take into account the customer’s needs at every single brand touch point and in everything they do.
This week we cover:
- How digital marketing is being used to cost-effectively reach patients
- Chobani and Taco Bell’s successful Instagram paid campaigns and what you can learn from them
- Why hospitals need to think like hotels
An article from Ad Age describes how hospitals are looking to generate new revenues from patients while keeping costs low. Many healthcare organizations are now using search, social and mobile to cost-effectively reach consumers. “The consumer-to-patient journey is largely a digital journey at their moment of need,” said John Weston, CMO at Mayo Clinic. “If I were diagnosed with something tomorrow, one of the first things I would do is go online.”
Marketing Strategy Insight:
- Understand the key role that search plays in healthcare marketing – search is probably the first touch point for many patients who immediately go online to find out more information about a health topic or concern
- Don’t underestimate the importance of mobile – people are often on the go when searching for health information, so responsive websites are key to creating a seamless experience (learn about what a responsive website is with this video)
- Use social media to leverage the power of testimonials, but make sure you don’t compromise the authenticity that makes testimonials powerful, for example, don’t feel the need to “package” testimonials into something that looks like marketing collateral – authenticity is more important and maintaining the original format might make for a more powerful message
Chobani and Taco Bell have been successful utilizing Instagram’s paid platform for images inspired by #foodporn. Taco Bell revealed they were able to reach 12.5 million 18-44 year olds in the U.S. over four weeks with an Instagram paid campaign. Chobani reported reaching 4 million 18-to-54 year-olds with their Instagram paid campaign. Both brands saw a lift in ad recall. Jessica Lauria, director of brand communications at Chobani, suggested that advertisers “lean in to what people are already doing,” “be real,” “don’t overbrand,” and “don’t create ads.”
Marketing Strategy Insight
- In order to tap into existing communities and trends you really have to become an expert on what’s already out there – do your research, get a firm grasp of the competitive landscape, conduct social media listening to understand what’s already being said, to identify key trends, and pinpoint influencers (learn more about how your company can use social media listening)
- In order to create really “sticky” content, master your social media personas and understand what makes them tick (learn how to get started with persona mapping)
- Remember that people don’t want companies to push branded messages, logos, or sales pitches on them on social media – respect this
When hospitals start getting compared the same way people compare hotels, there’s an increased need for transparency and better customer experiences. The shifting healthcare economy is putting the power of choice in patients’ hands, and hospitals are finding themselves more accountable with HCAHPS scores playing a role in reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid. Punam Anand Keller, Charles Henry Jones Third Century Professor of Management at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, thinks hospitals should adopt the RATER model for customer satisfaction: Reliability, Assurance, Tangibles, Empathy, and Responsiveness.
Marketing Strategy Insight
- Reliability comes in part through a consistent experience and part of consistency is a healthy brand – ensure you’re delivering a consistent message across platforms and contexts
- Assurance and tangibles can be delivered through healthcare content that provides valuable information patients can keep for reference
- Empathy should be a part of everything your healthcare organization does – most people are consuming your products and services not because they want to but because they have to
- Ultimately, providing a better customer/patient experience is about delivering on your brand promise at every single touch point