SM/U4 Topic 4 Marketing Applications in Healthcare and Wellness
The Six Fundamental Elements
Professional Referral Marketing: A reliable and continuing stream of inbound patient referrals from other medical, dental or other professional sources is the lifeblood of many specialty providers. And whether it’s a primary or secondary channel, professional referral sources can’t be taken for granted. Doctor referrals do not happen by magic or simply because you are a good provider. Success requires a written plan and an unfailing system to preserve and grow the flow of professional referrals.
Internet Marketing: From websites and social media tools, to patient portals and mobile apps, online marketing is a mainstream channel for marketing, advertising and public relations. Exactly how you use the muscle of the digital freeway can be highly effective and profitable, or a huge waste of time and money.
Branding: This is all about standing out from the crowd in a positive way, and it includes virtually everything you do. A powerful, differentiating brand for your healthcare business is part of your reputation. Meaningful and effective branding does not occur without a deliberate effort to shape and express the right message at the right time.
Internal Marketing: This heading includes all the ways and means that you communicate with people who already know you, primarily present and previous patients. Depending on the nature of your practice or situation, this influential audience can be a rich resource for referrals, additional services, testimonials and/or word-of-mouth advertising.
External Marketing: These are the media that reach prospective patients that don’t know you. Advertising in newspapers, radio, television, billboards and the like target an audience that needs to know that you provide an answer for their healthcare need. There’s little margin for error in an external media budget that is expected to produce a measurable return-on-investment.
Public Relations: This heading includes, among other things, planning and generating healthcare publicity and free press exposure, such as newspaper articles or broadcast interviews. The end results look easy, and it can be a positive and powerful influence. But “free press” typically results from careful planning, good timing, a clear message and a deliberate effort.