Now that we've defined exactly how important pricing affects patient engagement in our previous blog post, it's time to investigate how promotion can have a positive impact on a healthcare organization. Any form of marketing communication strategy or campaign targeted towards customers, patients, or prospects falls under the 2nd P of the marketing mix, promotion. There are many steps involved when deciding to utilize different promotion techniques, but one thing is for certain, every healthcare organization should make a concerted effort to promote themselves. Below we've detailed the process healthcare organizations should take so that they can increase their patient engagement using promotion.
Before you do anything else, the first step to complete when deciding to promote your healthcare organization or practice is to meet with top-level management to draft a promotional strategy. A promotional strategy is the act of choosing a target market and formulating the most appropriate promotion mix to influence its success.
Choosing a Target Market
When defining your target market, it's important that you don't fall into the common trap of saying, "I want to target anyone interested in my services." That is too general and makes it hard to really hone in on a market of individuals who would be most interested in your products or services. Targeting a more specific market doesn't mean you are excluding people who do not fit your defined criteria. It allows you to determine who exactly you should focus your marketing dollars and brand message.
Formulating Your Promotion Mix
The days when organizations were only limited to traditional forms of marketing (i.e. television, radio, printed advertisement) are over. Modern day marketers have the opportunity to enjoy a wide variety of different mediums where they can promote their business. Determining what mediums to use to promote your healthcare organization is easier once you've defined your target market. Does your target market spend more time on social media, television, driving? How much time do they spend on their phone? Are they savvy with technology? These types of questions help you decide where you should focus your promotional material and help you be even more specific with your target audience.
Implementing Your Promotion
Now that you've taken the initial steps with your upper-management team, you can begin implementing your promotion. But what exactly are you promoting? Do you want to do paid advertising? Is it something you can offer at a discounted pricing with a promotion code on your website? When promoting your business, the best strategies usually contain a mixture of paid advertising and non-paid promotion.
It's not uncommon for organizations to take the more inexpensive route and only promote on their social media pages, websites, or blogs. However, in order to get the most out of your promotion strategy, you should also consider paid alternatives such as Google AdWords, Facebook advertising, Twitter advertising, and maybe even Snapchat promotions to get the most out of promoting your organization.
There is a direct correlation between an increase in overall patient engagement and utilizing modern marketing strategies, specifically promotion. If your healthcare organization does not utilize the second P in the marketing mix, you are msising out on a huge opportunity.