In today’s hyper-competitive landscape, information reigns supreme. Consumers are more likely than ever before to research a company and read online reviews prior to making a purchase. As more information becomes readily available, consumers are placing a higher value on a business’ online presence. In fact, 88% of consumers surveyed consider online reviews and ratings as important as a personal recommendation from a friend or family member.[1] This new age of informed consumerism is set to revolutionize how healthcare providers and hospitals attract and retain patients. Yet, despite the research highlighting the growing importance for healthcare vendors to focus more on the patient experience, many businesses are simply investing more money to outdo each other. However, to truly attract new customers, healthcare marketers must restructure their view and, instead, look for ways to better connect with and educate customers.

 

Close up of a woman's hands as she types on a laptop

 

In a recent nationwide survey, healthcare marketers were polled and asked to identify one marketing challenge they would like to solve in 2018. Of those surveyed, 26% want to find ways to outpace their competition, 24% want to implement better marketing ROI tracking systems, while only 18% acknowledged challenges around informed consumerism as a pressing marketing issue. When these results are compared to doctors’ responses, a stark difference emerges. 32% of doctors in the United States cite informed consumerism as the number one marketing-related concern they feel needs to be addressed to grow their business.

 

What should healthcare marketers focus on in 2018?

 

As you’ve seen this answer will vary, depending on who you ask. Doctors have a unique perspective, as they interact with patients on a daily basis and get to hear their common concerns, questions and frustrations. Therefore, their insight into how to connect with informed patients will be key in 2018. Marketers, on the other hand, may be too far removed from the consumer side of the business to have a clear picture of the true obstacles that may be standing in the way of reaching new patients.

With various healthcare options to choose from, and with constrained financial budgets to consider, consumers are becoming more vigilant in how they choose healthcare providers and services. As online channels continue to expand, allowing patients to analyze reviews and explore social media presences before making a health-related decision, marketers must begin to shift their way of thinking. Staying competitive in the healthcare industry will quickly become more about how businesses connect with informed consumers than it will be about the size of their marketing budgets. To generate sizable marketing ROI, healthcare providers will need to strategically position their company as a thought leader in the industry and use this position to educate consumers. When consumers view a healthcare provider as a source of information, they are more likely to use and recommend their services to others.

 

Doctor talking with informed patient about medical results

 

Determining the right marketing approach to both attract informed customers and stay steps ahead of the competition takes expert planning. At Response Mine Health, we leverage the most proven marketing strategies to help healthcare providers overcome challenges related to informed consumerism. The consumer purchasing experience is quickly changing, contact us to learn how you can leverage marketing to achieve your 2018 business goals.

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