Healthcare marketing is undergoing a rapid transformation. As modern consumers become more used to targeted, personalized communications in their everyday lives, they also expect the same user experience in their healthcare journey.
At the same time the healthcare marketer’s role continues to grow. Marketing efforts now encompass the full patient experience, from brand and reputation building all the way to supporting service line revenue growth, patient satisfaction, and loyalty efforts.
With ever-growing responsibilities, how can marketers scale their programs to deliver personalized, thoughtful, and patient-focused interactions? Modern marketing professionals are focusing their attention on digital marketing strategies, and giving new focus in the area of patient acquisition marketing.
Let's dive into this topic and learn more about what patient acquisition marketing is, and how digital approaches can help.
What is patient acquisition marketing?
Patient acquisition marketing refers to the digital strategies that health systems and hospitals use to meet patients at the beginning of their healthcare journey. Healthcare brands use a variety of tools to engage with patients and convey that they are the best choice for a patient’s healthcare needs—through informative websites, email programs, social media, advertising campaigns, and more.
How is this approach new?
In many ways, it’s not. Healthcare marketers have always been interested in understanding their patients' needs, meeting them where they're at in their healthcare journey, and delivering the message that will get them to take action.
What’s new is the changes in consumer behavior—and expectations. Healthcare marketers are investing in digital approaches because today’s patient is much more technically savvy. Some interesting stats from a 2020 consumer survey commissioned by Doctor.com:
- Patients now rely on online resources nearly 2x more than they do referrals. This is a decline by 44% since 2018.
- More than half of consumers find the patient journey to be difficult, a top frustration being “finding enough information about a provider online”
- 83% use search engine for their search of a healthcare provider
- 56% say the availability of relevant and accurate information online is a make-or-break factor when choosing a doctor
….and if you’re tempted to attribute this shift to generational preferences, think again. In this survey, Baby Boomers and Millennials are equally reliant on search engines when searching for a provider. The main takeaway from these trends is that investing in patient engagement and experience on digital platforms—from search to appointment booked and beyond—is a critical component of patient satisfaction.
Start your patient journey by collecting data that helps you better personalize your marketing programs
Digital marketing efforts now go beyond traditional media buys and banner ads. The need for engaging content marketing strategies has grown—especially to capture the attention of patients who are self-diagnosing conditions as they choose their provider.
Wellactivate health assessments by Wellsource are condition-specific assessments used by healthcare marketers to guide patients to the right care for them, while collecting data that helps them better connect with patients in their marketing programs. This engaging type of content is a valuable conversion point for patient leads, as it is interactive, informative (with a personal risk report), and engaging.
New Wellactivate health assessments are being added regularly. See Available Assessments.