How Marketing Communications Can Navigate Patients Right to Your Door: 4 Steps to Get Your Facility on Your Customer’s Map

May 4, 2015

By Claire Hovis

Claire-HovisIn health care, it isn’t just the care that’s changing.

Power is changing. “Expert-driven” communications that placed providers and large corporations atop the information market are giving way to a generation of empowered consumers who are more engaged and have higher expectations.

Access is changing. The Affordable Care Act has brought health insurance and care within reach for millions of Americans, many of whom are experiencing the health care system for the first time. In contrast to the empowered über-consumer, this cohort often needs more help understanding how to effectively use that system. Helping the ACA’s “rookies” get and stay healthy may be the key to lowering skyrocketing health care costs.

And the process of receiving care is evolving, too. People used to have just one or two options—getting care from a local physician or from the hospital. Now consumers have access to extended-hours urgent care centers, retail centers like CVS’s Minute Clinic, 24/7 nurse phone lines, and even video chats with physicians from the convenience of their own homes. With new competition, health care providers need new ways to stand out and build their brands so patients will consider them when they’re seeking care.

More competition also means more messages—and more chance of getting lost in the sea of health care advertising and communications. As media fragments and channels multiply, it gets tougher to build a marketing strategy that can reach prospective and current patients at the right time. To meet that challenge, health care providers can take a page from the retail industry—by working to map consumer/patient behavior so marketing communications deliver more impact.

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