This is the fourth blog in our “Digital Marketing to Physicians” series. In previous blogs, we considered the importance of email deliverability, the value of individualized physician data, and how digital tools facilitate outreach to physicians. Today we’ll look at five situations when digital tools are especially useful for health system marketing.
Healthcare marketing teams that are new to digital marketing often feel overwhelmed. Trying to master multiple channels, messages, and technologies simultaneously may even leave you longing for the days of traditional print communications. But digital marketing doesn’t have to be complicated.
To ease into it, start by using digital marketing when you need to accomplish any of the following:
- Reach More Doctors. When your goal is to increase referrals, it’s important to raise awareness of your key service lines among as many relevant physicians as possible. Using a high-quality database, you can reach 99.5 percent of physicians who use email at the address and mobile device each one prefers. Audience identity management data provides even greater insight by reporting the names of opted-in physicians who visit your health system website.
It’s possible to reach 90% of physicians who use email at the address (and on the mobile device) each prefers.
- Engage The Right Doctors. Email marketing campaigns that are built around a verified database allow you to segment physicians based on specific criteria and target your messages accordingly. For example, instead of sending the same printed oncology newsletter to all potential referrers, you could send customized email messages to various subgroups, such as general practitioners, gynecologists, and gerontologists. The same principle applies to internal communication. A series of precise email messages can be scheduled to keep in-network doctors current on your health system’s service capabilities or to convey valuable clinical information to nurses and NP/PAs.
- Get Your Message Out Fast. In medical emergencies, such as a flu outbreak, physicians need accurate, timely information in order to diagnosis and treat new cases. Likewise, when new drugs or devices become available, service line leaders want to share this information with relevant specialists quickly. In these circumstances, producing printed materials simply takes too long. Targeted email is faster and more effective.
- Maintain Frequent Communication. One of the best ways to keep referring physicians engaged with your health system is to share news and patient success stories on a regular basis. Similarly, when in-system physicians receive frequent communication about your values and procedures, they’re better able to provide a consistent patient experience across remote facilities. Email marketing is a cost-effective way to reach physician audiences as often as needed. Updating email content is easy. Plus, the economies of scale that often govern print production schedules don’t apply, so there’s no need to “save up” content for one catch-all mailing.
- Know Your Message Was Received. When your message is critical or time-sensitive, knowing whether or not it was received is essential. Email messages sent to promising referrers may not have the same urgency, but it is still valuable to know who opened them. Unlike traditional print communications, email and website marketing return data that indicates who read your content and whether or not they engaged with it by clicking-through.
Once you’re in the habit of using digital marketing in these five situations, you’ll begin recognizing many more opportunities for digital outreach to physicians.