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Healthcare Marketing: Think Beyond Brand Awareness

Healthcare Marketing patient engagement

Traditionally, healthcare providers—including both hospital systems and private practices in a variety of fields—have focused marketing on one thing: brand awareness.

And traditional marketing has been very good at that approach. Billboards, local print and broadcast advertising, online banner ads and print magazines build recognition with an emphasis in most cases on physical assets: great facilities, convenient locations, expert providers in specialty fields.

But there is something missing that is vital in today’s healthcare market, which is becoming more consumer-driven: personalization.

While healthcare marketers told TrueNorth in 2016 that their top goal is still brand awareness, that objective was closely followed by two priorities that the channels listed above just can’t reach: patient loyalty and engagement. Two of the top challenges cited in the survey were budget and a lack of buy-in from executive leadership. Sound familiar?

(See more stats from the TrueNorth survey in these infographics: Healthcare Marketing Strategies Growing in Use of Content and How Healthcare Mixes Traditional and Digital Content.)

What if I said that there is a way for marketing to address both those priorities AND the challenges by rethinking healthcare marketing?

There is. Personalize patient engagement communications as part of your healthcare content marketing strategy.




JONES has worked for nearly a decade with West and its TeleVox Solutions surveying patients and providers about a range of topics that impact patient satisfaction, chronic disease management, health outcomes and more. And a few of those findings are particularly relevant to how healthcare providers should approach marketing.

  • 88% of Americans would consider switching healthcare providers if they aren’t completely satisfied.

  • Providers can improve patient satisfaction by sharing information such as treatment costs and available services.

  • 88% of patients who need assistance managing chronic conditions say continued engagement would make a difference in their overall health.

Personalized communications and content, delivered by email, text or through an app, can address your patient satisfaction and engagement goals.




Here are a handful of ideas that provide the type of engagement patients are seeking:

  • A daily or weekly email tip focused on specific chronic health management needs and delivered specifically to individuals with that condition from their doctor. These might include lifestyle advice such as recipes and exercise ideas for those with diabetes or tips for making a home safer and more convenient for those with mobility restrictions.

  • Text reminders of appointments that also include information about available screenings covered by insurance.

  • Videos with condition management advice featuring the patient’s doctor.

  • Personalized voice messages from the doctor reminding patients to follow treatment plans, including taking medication as prescribed or following through with care recommendations such as physical therapy.

What other ideas can you develop for engaging with patients to improve patient loyalty and satisfaction?

Increasing patient engagement and satisfaction improves patient outcomes and provides revenue optimization opportunities.

So now you want to know how personalized content and engagement will address budget and buy-in challenges, right?

The key to getting the budget you need to develop this personalized content is to show your CEO and other executive leaders how it impacts the bottom line. It’s tough to connect a billboard directly to revenue, other than as possible new patients, which is why it’s tough for healthcare marketing departments to get additional budget funds.

What you can connect directly to the bottom line are results like these:

  • More existing patients scheduling screenings that are covered by insurance.

  • More timely payment of patient accounts.

  • Fewer hospital readmissions (thanks to better management of chronic conditions) that can lead to fines.

I’m not saying you should abandon the brand building marketing that has been the mainstay of your organization’s strategy for decades—it is still important for healthcare providers to maintain that awareness and community presence that comes from outbound marketing and a strong public relations strategy. But I am saying that it is time to shift your thinking from a macro level to a micro level where you create content meant to connect with patients on a personal level.

You’ll find more details on Rethinking Healthcare Marketing in this two-page checklist, or learn more how JONES is uniquely qualified in healthcare marketing, based on our experience in several branches of the healthcare and healthcare technology industries by downloading our Healthcare Marketing Case Study Package.

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