This year I’ve had the opportunity to attend a number of healthcare conferences around the country. Every healthcare organization has its own goals and challenges. Still, some common themes have emerged from my conversations with hospital marketers, recruiters, and CME planners.
I’ve captured some highlights from these discussions below. As we head into Q3, these are the trends I’ll be watching:
1. Applying Consumer Marketing Principles To Physician Outreach
Health systems are experts in consumer marketing. And almost everything you know about marketing to patients also applies to communicating with physicians. If effective consumer marketing is about messaging, frequency, and platform, physician marketing is too:
- Specialists are most interested in messages related to their area of expertise.
- Frequent communication is the key to effecting change, whether your goal is to increase referrals or implement new hospitality guidelines.
- Doctors prefer digital communication, especially email.
Why is this important? Because, as the care providers whom consumers know and trust, physicians are a hospital’s most powerful brand ambassadors. When you send email about your system’s medical services, facilities, or hospitality to physicians, they’ll convey those messages to their patients.
Recently, we looked at 8 Innovative Ways Health Systems Can Use Email To Engage Physicians.
2. Embracing Digital In Order To Reach More Doctors
More than two-thirds of medical professionals prefer email over direct mail or an in-person visit. Yet that’s not the only reason to go digital:
- An authenticated physician email database lets you reach more doctors than ever before. At the same time, detailed profiles help you identify the right doctors based on specialty, claims data, geographic location and other criteria.
- Sending email to a large, well-defined audience is much less expensive than sending direct mail. With email, you can reach doctors across the country in order to increase referrals to your key service lines, promote attendance at CME events, or fill medical positions that require hard-to-find skills.
It can be hard to break away from traditional marketing channels, but there are at least 7 Reasons Why Email Marketing Is A Win For Health Systems.
3. Harnessing The Power Of The Hospital Website
Of course, digital doesn’t stop at email. Health systems are investing significant resources in their websites in order to connect with consumers. But that website can also be a powerful vehicle for building loyalty among both in-system doctors and referrers.
- Digital audience identification technology is making it possible for health systems to know the name, NPI number, specialty, and practice location of every "tagged" healthcare professional who visits their website.
- This data provides valuable insights into the types of doctors who visit your hospital website, how often they visit, and what content they view.
Hospitals can use digital audience identification data to create content that addresses physicians’ questions or concerns, as well as to develop multichannel CME and recruitment initiatives. When your website truly meets physicians’ needs, they’re more likely to visit frequently, giving you the opportunity to reinforce your system’s values, best practices, and priorities.
For more information, read Know Your Website Visitors To Integrate Health System Marketing
In the coming months, I expect to see many more health systems taking advantage of these digital strategies to build strong, ongoing relationship with doctors—and by extension, their patients.