Chronic diseases are the biggest threats to human health. According to research, early or preventive screenings are the most effective way to thwart the progress of an illness. Yet many people don’t take the opportunity to get tested, especially in rural areas.
Low participation rates for health screening is one of the toughest challenges for preventive medicine. One can say that the high cost of healthcare is to blame, given that not every individual is insured.
That said, let’s identify the challenges in marketing healthcare services and the digital strategies that can help.
Factors That Affect the Demand for Healthcare
Demand for healthcare originates from a consumer’s desire for better health. But if the consumer is a low-income earner, they may not seek treatment for a common illness. On the other hand, a high-income consumer may be more willing to invest in their health.
But if the government offers a healthcare subsidy, the demand can rise, as consumers will take advantage of the lower prices. That makes healthcare demand inelastic. If a consumer has been diagnosed with an illness, they will likely pay any fee to be cured. But ultimately, their income is going to limit their ability to pay, though they are likely to postpone other expenditures to prioritize their treatment.
Challenges in Marketing Healthcare Services
Health isn’t a marketable product. Once a patient receives their diagnosis, they can never exchange it for something else that’ll satisfy them. It isn’t like buying a product online, which consumers can return or exchange, given a particular circumstance.
Furthermore, since providers are more knowledgeable in healthcare than their patients, a conflict of interest can ensue depending on the motivation of the provider. For instance, if the provider is primarily motivated by profit, they may recommend more tests and services for the patient than necessary. As a result, the unsuspecting patient will be forced to pay more.
Other factors that keep from people from availing health care are lack of time, belief that they’re in good health, inaccessible screening sites, fear and embarrassment, and negative experience in their previous health checkup.
Digital Marketing Trends to Combat Healthcare Challenges
Over the past decade, the healthcare industry has gone through marketing trends that helped them reach out to their target market. These trends include:
- A more specific marketing approach
- Service marketing, which is an evolution of image marketing
- Personalized approaches
- Emphasis on lasting relationships rather than health alone
- Market intelligence
- High-tech approaches
In the past, the aim of marketing was to reach into a transaction, but today, it’s focused on building a sustainable relationship with the consumer, or in this case, the patient. The new goal is to achieve a high level of customer satisfaction so that patients would return to the same facility to receive health care.
For that to be achieved, the healthcare industry must implement the following trends, with the expert assistance of a medical marketing consultant:
- A responsive website. Speed is crucial because nearly half of patients call a slow-loading site a hindrance to booking appointments.
- SEO. It makes your site immediately visible to users searching for a relevant keyword.
- A fine-tuned content marketing strategy. It improves your search engine rankings.
- A Google-friendly website. It allows your location to show up on Google search.
- Inclusion of multimedia. Engaging photos and videos will encourage participation.
- A practice that’s accessible through the web. It can be a WebMD profile or the like.
By being aware of the challenges in preventive medicine, you’ll discover how to use digital marketing in a way that can benefit both parties. Keep in mind that the key is to focus on the patient’s wellness, and not on making a profit.