Adopting Practices from Consumer Marketing to Build Patient Loyalty

December 29, 2017

// By Rich Phillips //

Rich PhillipsThe past few years have seen noteworthy transformation within health care strategy and marketing. An important shift is underway from “awareness” marketing focused on brand building to “conversion” marketing focused on patient acquisition. While this shift is necessary, it remains insufficient.

The emerging emphasis by health care CEOs on retention and loyalty underscores the need for health care marketers to adopt principles and practices employed by other consumer markets — that of customer loyalty, a model based on customer lifetime value, and influencing decisions at the moment of purchase. Studies have shown that the Net Promoter Score (NPS) for health care providers ranks considerably below most other consumer markets. NPS uses a 0-10 scale and asks, “How likely is it that you would recommend [brand] to a friend or colleague?” Hospitality and banking, both with a score of 27, dwarf the score of about 9 for health care providers[1].

Health care marketers can benefit greatly from adopting long-proven methods in consumer markets. While there are differences between health care marketing and hospitality or banking marketing, we find the parallels far outweigh the differences for the simple reason that patients are people, too.

Here, Phillips shares specific examples from both hospitality and banking to help illustrate these methods. The competition in health care is heating up, and often from outside the hospital or doctor’s office. One retail pharmacy bent on capturing market share offers services that might make any busy Dr. Mom a loyal lifetime customer. Could a loyalty program set your organization apart?

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