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Healthcare Marketing: The Ever-Changing Healthcare Industry

Modern-day healthcare has improved to a great extent than what it had been a few years before. Patients are well informed and are now aware of the latest developments in the field of medicine. Keeping these developments in mind, it is imperative that medical practitioners promote themselves and their practice. This will help your patients learn about the services being provided and make good use of it. Healthcare marketing helps build a positive image of a medical practitioner and thus helps attract newer patients.

A healthcare practitioner needs to identify the need of the patients and the community at large. Once you have identified your target segment, it becomes easier to put forth a workable marketing plan. The marketing plan is to be tailored as per your vision and the extent to which you want your services to be recognized.

Unlike the days when a patient would visit a doctor closest to his residence, today's patient is educated and well informed. A patient is willing to go the extra mile in order to get an expert opinion of his diseased condition. A patient usually looks up for solutions on the internet, tries to diagnose his own medical condition and then tried to find the right doctor with the appropriate expertise. But how can a medical practitioner make himself visible to the patient? The solution is to use a sound healthcare marketing plan that makes use of various strategies tailor-made to your requirements.

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Today's patients are not those who only visit a doctor when they are sick, but those who are in search of treatment or those who seek to prevent a condition, just as in preventive medicine. A medical practitioner is not just someone who goes about his regular practice, but a business which needs to be marked to your target segment (patients) in order to earn revenue and generate profits.

In order to be successful at healthcare marketing, it is important to define your value proposition, identify the right accrediting bodies for your practice, research & set meaningful outcomes as standards and decide what your marketing position would be. It is necessary to develop a way by which you could measure the outcome of the service provided by you for a particular market segment. Whether patients are responding positively or whether there is a further scope of improvement in the services being provided.

People do not see healthcare marketing as something that would benefit society at large. This is understandable because in the past there have been overhyped advertisements that disappointed patients. Also, however appealing a beautifully written content is, it cannot take the place of a face-to-face conversation.

However, the global scenario is changing quickly. The availability of social media services, chat, and digital media has opened new doors of opportunity for healthcare marketing that can be explored. As doctors become more and more sceptical to the traditional healthcare marketing practices, the new avenues of marketing such as social media, digital media, etc. will give them the opportunity to interact at a time that is convenient to them. The paramount shift in healthcare marketing is based on a simple principle, 'give the audience what it wants, not what the marketers need.'

Unlike most businesses in other industries, healthcare organizations do not get paid until after services have been rendered because, as also different in other industries, the consumer receiving services is NOT who is fully responsible for paying for them.

Healthcare organizations receive most of their reimbursements through third-party payers (insurance companies, Medicare), which can take up to a month or longer to process.

Unlike many industries, like retail for example where goods are marketed directly to potential customers, most marketing efforts of healthcare organizations do NOT target end-users (patients, customers).

Healthcare organizations, especially those that provide specialty care, rely on the referrals of other physicians (primary care physicians) to build their patient base. Thus, specialty practices will focus their marketing efforts towards building relationships with other providers.

However, in healthcare, organizations (especially non-profit organizations) have obligations to accept patients regardless of their ability to pay. In emergency rooms, patients with emergency care MUST be seen at least until they are stabilized. Physician practices may require payment to be made before the visit, however, the practice must consider ethical and liability concerns before they decide to turn away a symptomatic patient based on their lack of means to pay.

Healthcare organizations, like any other business, must turn a profit in order to keep its doors open. As in situations explained above regarding emergency rooms, healthcare organizations have ethical and legal considerations that do not affect businesses within other industries.

If a service is necessary to progress a patient's course of care, it should still be provided even if it is not profitable.

A patient's chemotherapy regimen may include a drug that is not profitable to give but is necessary to complete the regimen. Typical laws of supply and demand generally do not apply within healthcare, as an increase in supply does not necessarily lead to a decrease in prices, and an increase in demand does not necessarily lead to an increase in prices.

Although healthcare organizations set the prices for the services they provide, their reimbursement is usually dictated by their managed care contracts, and an organization will be reimbursed for a set fee regardless of the price they charged. The demand of healthcare services is not monopolized by the consumer, as they do not have the choice to choose what services would be necessary to continue their care. Such decisions are made by physicians.

Healthcare mostly markets services rather than tangible goods. Therefore, in most cases, marketers are not marketing a specific product but a service and who is providing the service and how it is performed to attract consumers. A consumer of a tangible product will base their level of satisfaction on the product on its use and performance. The consumer of service will base their opinions on factors such as customer services, wait times, condition of the facility, the demeanor of those providing the service, and the processes used to provide the service amongst many other factors.

We hope this blog helps you in understanding the insights of healthcare marketing. CorpZone services is the best digital marketing agency in Noida that manages your Digital Marketing Campaign whether it is the healthcare of any other sector. With our 20+ years of experience, we have earned a prominent place in the digital market. 

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