- By Dwaipayan, 11 February 2021 | 7 MIN READ
Healthcare is evolving fast or has it evolved? the upswing of consumerism, the focus on value; technological innovations have become the key decision indicators everywhere. Transforming a health care service brand into a socially responsible leader doesn't materialize instantaneously by simply writing new marketing and advertising strategies – It takes sweating effort to identify a vision that the customers will find credible and aligned with their values. It is not just marketing a product rather it's a complete episode of care while keeping the patient at the center of the comforting zone.
Marketers should capitalize on wellness awareness and outreach, and capture target audiences when they are healthy, not otherwise when they are looking out for medical care. There has to be a whole innovative perspective in an approach to ensure a memorable and distinct patient experience.
The other side of the coin is equally interesting; here comes the play of the Internet and today’s healthcare consumer. They are no longer laid back to blindly accept what a doctor tells them. This generation of the consumer does their bit of research before visiting a doctor. They google their conditions and treatment options after visiting a doctor as well. They see health care as a collaboration between themselves and their doctors. They take accountability for their health and the choices that affect it. The doctors no longer have the fine say on the treatment, hospitals, medications, and all the matters associated with it.
Patients are using the internet to find comprehensive medical information; the emerging digital technology is improving communications, health and fitness tracking, medical compliance, remote monitoring, and other advances. Healthcare marketers are taking these broad steps to harness the benefits of patient-centric devices and medical self-empowerment.
Hospital providers are shifting to digital channels to market to healthcare consumers. Statistics say that a whopping 77% of patients use search engines before booking appointments. Search drives nearly three times as many visitors to hospital sites, compared to visitors from other referral sites. It also shows that 44% of patients schedule appointments on a mobile device.
A large number of healthcare providers run campaigns through seasonal marketing events. With a heart month in September, cardiac marketing focuses on events during that month, or even breast cancer that focuses on October month forgetting that what happens to those patients who need heart solutions in August?, Or the woman with a family history of breast cancer who becomes nervous about her health during January month? Marketers are identifying ways to keep their service line campaigns in front of the potential patients around the year.
Trends of marketing depend on the current technologies available, breakthroughs in technology takes these units to the next level of marketing strategies or innovation. Another critical marketing tool that is devising is data-driven marketing. The new age hospitals are identifying these as core marketing indicators and heavily investing to gather insights and make performance improvements. More and more hospitals are shifting their gear to web-based dashboards that integrate data from multiple sources (advertising performance, social media, website)
Capitalizing on the futuristic trend:
Another decisive facet of the healthcare marketing approach is identifying the demographics and economic factors. The most driving factor will be the explosion in population; an expected population to reach 1.4 billion by 2026 in India. Sixty percent of the population is in the younger age bracket and an expected increase in the geriatric population from the current 96 million to around 168 million by 2026. This represents a huge patient base and creates a market for preventive, curative, and geriatric care opportunities tapping these factors can forecast the future trends and accordingly devising marketing strategies. Lined up with it is the economy, a rise in disposable income. There is likely to be a marked increase in the incidence of lifestyle-related diseases, such as cardiovascular, oncology, and diabetes when compared to communicable and infectious diseases. Rising literacy and growing general awareness, patient preferences, and better utilization of institutionalized care as a result of the increase in literacy rates will add to inclined healthcare marketing promise.
The exponential growth is ahead
In the end, as we are marketing to an entire audience or customer base, we are still simply speaking to a single human at any given time. As we charge headlong into the future, those of us in the healthcare industry are striving to create a better system that achieves higher quality at lower costs hitting all generations of audience.
The strategy to get there is simple; value equals quality over cost. That is the most striking fact that India is offering, cheap but quality healthcare compared to its western counterpart. The effort required to get there is little more than assuming. With this approach, both the medical fraternity and administrators can see how creating higher value contributes to significant performance and growth improvements. Finally, to sum up we find the healthcare industry is growing at a tremendous pace owing to its strengthening coverage, services, and increasing expenditure by public as well private players. The total industry size is expected to touch US$ US$ 280 billion by 2021 with a CAGR of 16.5 percent that is a predictable tremendous growth.
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