healthcare marketing technology

How to Grow Your Healthcare Practice with Marketing Technology

December 15, 2016 - 8 minutes read - Analytics, Healthcare Marketing

Marketing technology is no surrogate for human ingenuity, but it plays a critical role for modern businesses — particularly healthcare providers. Compared to other industries, healthcare has been inundated with legal challenges and bureaucracy, dated in its strategic planning, and slow — even resistant — to change. Patients have long sought greater control over access to health-related information. The sands are shifting to bridge the gap between providers and patients. We keep waiting for “the next big invention,” but industry consultants say: “It’s all right there for the taking right now. You just have to know how.”

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You’ll gain a better understanding of human behavior.

Why are people coming to your website? Why are people leaving your website? What do prospects who become patients expect from you? How can you serve these people better? We’ve never had a better capacity to draw in and analyze reliable information — not just from your website analytics, but from mobile and offline sources, united under one CRM system. Big data coming in can help us build better predictive models for health conditions that take into account lifestyle, household and socio-economic factors, clinical results, purchasing decisions, and compliance issues.

You’ll move from quantity to quality.

Great healthcare companies have always been frustrated by the dated industry model of “getting more bodies into hospital beds” and scheduling existing employees “more hours to fulfill patient needs.” The newer system demands that healthcare providers be measured against outcome, rather than the volume of treatments provided. Our line of thinking will move away from “how can we get more from insurers by ordering more tests, writing more prescriptions, and keeping patients in the hospitals longer” to “how can we incentivize patients to take steps toward wellness and encourage the herd to build up better immunity to illness within their communities?”

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You can create a seamless experience for patients.

Patients looking for reliable branding, information and customer service across all channels can find it when their providers organize and deliver the right content, through the right channels, at the right time — to drive behavior. With the widespread use of mobile, social media, and chat bots, you can become the constant, knowledgeable companion your patients need, providing answers to the most pressing questions in real-time.

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As Mayur Gupta, Head of Digital at Healthgrades, put it:

“Healthcare doesn’t necessarily need new-to-world innovation or invention, it simply needs application of the same principles that have revolutionized how we shop, travel and study. For example, we should be able to use qualitative and quantitative data to find the right doctor/hospital/care, leveraging the same principles as Airbnb uses to find the best place for you on vacation.”

Watch this video to see how marketing automation is helping this Mod Girl plastic surgery client.

You can reduce front office burden.

We’ve seen amazing things happen for our plastic surgeon clients who have started sending out a series of automated emails to their patients’ post-surgery to aid with recovery. Many of the questions people have can be answered without a phone call to the office. Instead of fielding all the same questions from patients through office phone lines, the nursing staff is reserved for true emergencies only. We’ve also seen great progress in reducing staff burden through email and text appointment reminders.

You can adapt your marketing strategy based on test results.

Like a scientist, every aspect of your marketing can be tested for efficiency and reprogrammed for an ever-adapting, agile plan that wastes little, if anything. All landing pages, ads, copy, images and components of your marketing can and will be tested. If a particular image and message resonates, you can shift more resources to promoting this branding across all channels. If something is sending prospects and patients to your competitors, you can nix it before much more damage is done. Patient review opportunities will become easier, and the insights gained will become part of day-to-day business strategy.

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You can move more of your practice out of the office.

Wearables represent a huge opportunity for practices to improve their patient care. Consumers have already shown that they’re willing to invest in the technology. It’s up to doctors to understand how to integrate the data and the opportunities into their care. Most of the healthcare investments go into hospital infrastructure. However, we know that about 80% of our health is determined by lifestyle — eating, activity, sleep patterns, etc. (rather than genetics and medical history), so wearable technology opens up that door to connect doctors with a new frontier of insights and actions that will ultimately drive better care.

Consumers are hungry for knowledge. They WANT to be empowered and take charge of their health. They WANT professional advice to lead better lives. We just have to find better ways to connect with them and deliver this information and reward people for doing the right thing. We’re starting to see shifts, in the most progressive insurance companies and healthcare providers, toward rewarding patients who come in for routine wellness visits and who sign up for fitness classes and who try out clean eating delivery services. All of these disparate systems are starting to come together.

Need Help Growing Your Healthcare Practice with Technology?

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All of these trends sound well and good, but how do you turn ideas into actions to improve your bottom line? Download our plastic surgery internet marketing case study and discover how we’re using technology and inbound marketing to get our clients on the right track with industry best practices to drive growth.

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