Since marketing techniques and philosophies vary in different fields, the healthcare industry needs to be more innovative in its marketing approaches.
Traditionally, health care systems focus on face-to-face selling and events to reach out to doctors, patients, and potential customers. Majority of marketing expenses go to hiring, training, and deploying a huge sales force.
With the influx of digital media, a new set of healthcare marketing strategies were put on the spotlight. More practitioners started making their own websites and apps. It became faster for patients to acquire health information and find a medical provider.
However, with the constant changes in marketing trends and audience behavior, many medical providers struggle to balance cost-effective marketing efforts with health care value and quality.
Is cost-effective health care marketing possible in this modern age? We’ll discuss it here in this article. Read on.
What’s Cost-Effective Health Care Marketing?
According to the Advisory Board, sustainable cost control is the number one concern for health care system executives The second one is innovative approaches to expense reduction.
Health care system CEOs acknowledge the importance of effective growth and financial-sustainability strategy in building a cost-competitive structure. This way, they’ll be able to deliver high-quality yet economical patient care and treatment.
Cost-effectiveness in health care marketing, however, does not necessarily mean never spending money or resources to promote the patient care services of a healthcare provider.
It requires wise decisions on how, where, and when to invest the resources to achieve the desired marketing goals.
Why is cost-effectiveness important in health marketing?
Health systems have multiple functions, but their sole purpose is to improve the health status of a society.
However, not every health system produces the same health outcomes, despite having the same expenditure.
A good marketing strategy can help in solving some cost issues within a medical practice. It’s significant to find a balance between the cost and the results to know what’s working and what isn’t.
With an effective marketing strategy, healthcare providers can convert more customers, generate more revenue, and improve patient care and experience without breaking the bank.
Healthcare Marketing Then
Personal selling or in-person sales is a traditional method of marketing health services. It requires sales agents to have one-on-one communication and deliver the message straight to their target audiences.
This marketing method enables health care workers and providers to connect better with target markets and potential patients. Personal selling has implementation characteristics dependent on the type of service and health outcomes being promoted.
One example is the nursing homes which are highly dependent on referrals from families, healthcare facilities, and social services.
To pursue these referrals, representatives use an in-person sales strategy to directly contact sources and encourage them to consider patronage of the nursing home care.
People engaged in personal selling marketing play crucial roles in the evaluation of overall marketing and communication strategies of healthcare organizations.
Cold calling is the act of soliciting business from a potential client with no prior contact with any of the team’s sales representatives.
It’s a traditional marketing tactic that is no longer considered effective for most B2B healthcare services for the following reasons:
- It can be used in phone scams
- Political parties often use this method to ask for votes or financial support
- It is inefficient. For example, you make 100 calls per day, only 10 of them would be willing to converse. Out of 10 people who showed interest, only 5 of them might be interested in a sales meeting. In the end, only 1 of them purchased the product/service. In short, you have to make hundreds of calls daily to convert only 1 to 2-digit sales.
Live events, conferences, and seminars
The power and cost-effectiveness of live events remain unquestionable. In fact, about 84% of marketers believe in-person events are critical for overall business growth
Event marketing in health affairs provides the following benefits:
- Face-to-face communication with potential patients
- Convert new customers
- Drive social media interaction
However, most event marketers were negatively impacted by the pandemic. The traditional live event marketing is now done virtually.
Cost-Effective Health Care Marketing Now
Even before the pandemic struck, LinkedIn has been helping health care marketers create purposeful brands, connected communities, and measurable return of investments (ROI).
LinkedIn’s Healthcare Hub for marketers aims to help them overcome the four key challenges they are facing today: trust, targeting, mindset, and engagement.
Through the hub, marketers will be able to:
- Have an insightful engagement with an audience with high interests in healthcare
- Target a good number of healthcare audiences with accuracy and precision
- Measure what matters cost-effectively with the right tools
- Optimize brand on a trusted and reliable platform
Another effective platform for social selling is Facebook Groups.
Not only Facebook is the undisputed leader of social networking sites, but it’s also one of the primary resources for users and researchers to acquire health information such as but not limited to:
- Articles about signs, symptoms, treatment of certain diseases
- Health and safety advice
- Health insurance options
- Latest news and updates about health affairs
With Facebook, you can communicate with a group of users united with a common interest or subject. Health care providers can communicate with them as a community or individually.
Group members can also interact with one another, making it a more interactive community for patients, potential clients, and the health care establishment.
Ever since the pandemic happened, more and more marketers have switched to virtual events, including webinars, summits, and other gatherings.
The majority of event marketers are now planning to invest in more virtual events moving forward since they tend to convert more registrants into attendees, without the location restrictions.
With the continuous rise of digital media, it’s now easier and more cost-effective for healthcare marketers to partner with other providers for promotions.
They can partner with different healthcare providers with the same target audience to promote each other’s practices.
There’s no doubt that content marketing, as a long-form marketing strategy, is a natural fit for many healthcare providers.
It’s a tool to provide useful and engaging information to achieve improved outcomes on the following:
- Patient engagement
- Audience retention
- Professional reputation building
With content marketing, healthcare organizations can reach a wider audience without much costs because of the many available platforms for engagements:
- Video-based media, even with cell phones
- Youtube channel/Youtube Live
- Facebook live
- Instagram TV
- LinkedIn Live
- Email marketing
How is Cost-Effectiveness Measured in Healthcare Marketing?
In general, the cost-effectiveness of health interventions is measured through cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA). Healthcare marketing, however, requires other methods to measure the effectiveness. Let’s take a look at how they are assessed.
Digital Healthcare Marketing Analytics
The following are the metrics you can analyze to measure the performance and results of your digital healthcare marketing strategies:
- Number of website or page visitors tracked using a cookie
- Page views
- Sessions or series of visitor activities (views, CTA) on your website
- Traffic by channel to see the number of visitors per platform (social media pages, emails, landing pages, etc.)
- Traffic by device to see the number of visitors per device type (smartphones, desktop)
- Bounce rate to see the percentage of your website or page visitors who didn’t have any other activities as compared to your overall number of visitors.
Analyzing Healthcare Marketing Cost-Effectiveness
Measuring the costs and effectiveness of healthcare marketing strategies can be done in different ways:
- The Patient Acquisition Cost. Simply divide your marketing budgeting for a specific period by the number of new patients and customers acquired at the same time. Evaluate your PAC and compare each of the marketing tools you’re using to get a clearer view of what method brings the most ROI.
- Click-Through Rate (CTR). To measure the success of a specific digital campaign, you need to know how many users paid attention to it. CTRs vary depending on the platform you used and the type of campaign you have. The CTR rate for a healthcare Facebook ad, for instance, is at .83%.
If the CTR of your healthcare marketing results is below average, it’s best to analyze and diagnose the bottleneck of your strategies. If more users are unsubscribing from your campaigns than new ones signing up, you have to identify the cause immediately.
Revamp Your Healthcare Marketing Methods Cost-Effectively!
Over the past decades, the healthcare industry has to ride on marketing trends to keep up with its target market’s changing behaviors and sustain revenue growth.
These trends are the follows:
- From a direct and personal approach to a more specific method
- Finding a balance between image marketing and service marketing
- Personalizing marketing strategies instead of a “one measure for all”
- From a blurry market to a more targeted market reach
- From traditional marketing to digital marketing
You’ll have to find a balance between old-style marketing and modern trends to see what attracts your target market more without overspending.
If you need an expert partner to help you with your healthcare marketing, Digitalis Medical is here for you!
As experts in healthcare marketing, we are knowledgeable about the right techniques to drive sales to your healthcare business!
How do you practice cost-effective marketing in your medical practice?
Share your thoughts and questions by leaving a comment below!