Healthcare Digital Marketing – Six mistakes that SMBs must get over with
Since early 2012 Indian brands, almost in all verticals, recognised the importance of being digital and healthcare couldn’t be left behind. Multispecialty hospital brands like Fortis, Apollo, and Continental aren’t just active in the digital space but are investing a huge share of their marketing budget into digital endeavours. However, when it comes to small-scale brands, it’s been observed that their strategies, at times, turn out to be ineffective. Despite having a proper budget in place, there are some loose ends, which they can’t seem to get fixed. Over years I’ve studied and observed that most successful brands fail in the big “E”, as rightly guessed ‘execution’. Though there are likely to be many reasons, I just felt it necessary to analyse the closest possible ones. Here you go:
1. Too many ideas:
Marketing is not just marketing, it involves within its fold a bit of creativity. And, when it’s so, there are just too many ideas from too many heads. Your partners, staffs, associates, stakeholders, friends all come together to suggest ‘what should be done’, without anyone paying much attention to ‘how it should be done’! Like any other field, all excellent ideas fail without a proper execution plan. And, healthcare marketing would also follow suit unless there is a plan in place. It’s important to note down all ideas, analyse feasibility with respect to your budget and goals and select those compelling ones that can yield a better ROI. That’s the only way you’re likely to succeed.
2. Lack of training:
Going digital isn’t just about hiring an excellent digital marketing partner or having an in-house marketing team. The digital efforts should percolate in every possible dimension of your activity. Probably, you can ask yourself these questions a. Are you taking down email of every new customer? Are you providing opt in option to them to receive email communication from you? b. Are you asking out your successful customers for reviews? Do you provide them with your local business page URL wherein they can post their reviews? c. Does the business card of your company representative contain links to your social profiles? If the answer to these telltale questions is no, you’re seriously missing out on a huge potential you could otherwise capture, yes?
3. Not utilising your website to the best of potential:
A good number of healthcare brands come up with a website with bundles of enthusiasm – however, a five-page website isn’t what you really need (you have your company brochure for that!). What you really need is a strong website with a lot of information which can actually be a reflection of your hospital size, your specialised areas, success stories, reviews, location and a lot more!! Not utilising your website to its fullest potential can actually be retarding in the longer run.
4. Not getting listed in Google plus:
Now, this is something that runs parallel to the website are having a listing in Google local. Remember this, that Google would always prioritise your website for local searches. This is especially true for the healthcare industry as someone residing in Kondapur, Hyderabad is likely to go to a hospital in his vicinity. It’s really imperative to have a strong local listing in place.
5. Selecting the right Digital Marketing partner:
Hiring the right healthcare digital marketing agency could be instrumental in your business success. It’s not just another agency; it’s your Digital Marketing partner. Remember that it’s the strategy, efficient project management and execution that results in business success. While hiring your agency, check out their healthcare digital marketing portfolio, their years of operation in the business and details of this sort.
6. Not hiring a marketing manager:
Now once you have decided to go ahead with a digital marketing agency, you must also hire a manager who would be the SPOC to evaluate and discuss digital strategies on your behalf. He should be engaged in project discussions, monitor the agency reports and try to derive the maximum Return on Investment (ROI) out of this marketing effort. I’ve seen many bigger brands fail just because they didn’t think about hiring an SPOC who could coordinate with the digital agency – at times when the hospital management doesn’t find time to coordinate with the agencies; the best solution is to hire a manager who can address this demand. In a nutshell, you should foresee all the rough edges of your efforts well in advance and try to shape up the things first. While having a proper healthcare budget and the plan is crucial for marketing success, it’s dynamic execution which kick starts the momentum & creates synergy at every level.
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