As the momentum toward healthcare organizations pursuing marketing strategies to draw and engage patients continues to grow, organizations can keep up with the competition by employing specialized "marketing officers."
"The large healthcare company has to build that brand recognition with the end consumer," Scott Sette, executive vice president of executive search at DHR International, told Houston BizBlog. "And they have to strengthen their customer experience platform, so wherever [the patient] goes in the system, they make sure they're getting a constant experience across the board."
To do this, Sette recommends healthcare organizations seek out top marketing talent to "find and fix the gaps in their current campaigns." He suggests recruiting from consumer-driven industries that have already dealt with major customer shifts, such as retail and hospitality.
One example of a low-tech but successful marketing campaign comes from Michigan's Hurley Medical Center and McLaren Flint hospital, which both effectively used billboards to grab the attention of potential customers as they and other facilities found themselves increasingly competitive for revenue, FierceHealthcare has reported.
More modern strategies also play a major role in developing brand recognition and expanding patient outreach, with one study finding that many patients are influenced heavily by social media when deciding where to get treatment, according to FierceHealthcare. Still, hospitals may not yet be harnessing the full power of these online tools.
Whichever marketing strategies hospitals choose to pursue, they must always look improve these efforts, as the increased "retailization" of healthcare means competition for patients' business is stronger than ever, according to a MediaPost article. Indeed, the accessibility and affordability offered by retail clinics has left many traditional providers scrambling to compete.
Hospital marketing strategies also need to be increasingly targeted due to the vast regional differences in regard to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the MediaPost article states, adding, "marketers that are already adjusting and customizing their messaging to targeted groups are one step ahead of the rest of the pack."