The business environment faced by medical practices is becoming ever more complex – and more cutthroat than it has ever been. The days of the town doctor are (for most areas least) well and truly over. Today the medical practice is having to cope with smaller practices that can leverage the power of the Internet to position themselves as a supplier of choice – at a substantially lower cost than in the past.
So what does this mean for medical marketing?
Firstly it means that the Internet plays a larger part in medical marketing than it has ever before. There is a school of thought at the moment that trust is the most important asset that any company can have. That trust now comes from sources other than the traditional media or even company spokespeople- it now comes from those who have used products and services and are willing to share that experience over social media. People are now more willing to trust in the opinions of those who share their values and aspirations – so social media is a channel that every medical practice needs to embrace.
Hand in hand with this fact is that social media has to point the reader somewhere – and that somewhere is usually a company website – and medical practice is no different. So that website needs to be designed in a manner that brings specialist skills to the fore and humanizes those who are part of the practice, while at the same time emphasizing their qualifications.
One of the ways that this can occur is through retaining the services of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) professionals. These professionals will ensure that the practice website is prominently displayed in the search engine results for those potential patients who are looking for medical services. Statistics show that an increasing number of people are using the Internet when it comes to searching for those services – and if the practice does not appear on that first page of Google results (as an example) that practice is losing out on an influx of new patients.
The above is not to say that traditional medical marketing practices are outmoded. There is still room for direct mail for instance. However, the ability to target messaging by area and to specific audience groups via the power of the Internet is a tremendously powerful weapon in the marketing arsenal of medical practices. The key is to find those professional advisors who can optimize a web presence.