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Healthcare Marketing Matters

Updated: Dec 13, 2023

Written by: Brianna Hardy, MPH, MBA


As a public health worker, I wanted to highlight where health and marketing merge and why healthcare marketing matters!


So, what is healthcare marketing? Healthcare marketing is a process of strategic outreach and communications designed to attract healthcare consumers, guide them through their healthcare journey, and keep them engaged with the health system. Healthcare marketing provides a platform for healthcare professionals to create, communicate, and provide resources to their target population. Healthcare marketing is not only beneficial to the healthcare consumer but also to providers. It allows organizations to gain an understanding of where or how they can improve their efforts. It also helps with measuring and evaluating. The major difference between any other form of marketing and healthcare marketing is that healthcare marketing does not result in financial benefit. Instead, it results in seeing an increase in healthy populations and being able to attract more patients to detect chronic illnesses early on.



In 2022, Parkland conducted a community needs assessment (Figure 19). When Dallas residents were asked what sources they use most often to receive health information, 40% said from friends and family, 29% said from their doctor or primary care provider, and 12% said from social media. The marketing aspect in healthcare also has to be different than just engaging one in a single transaction, but attempt to create sustainable relationships with doctors and providers. To implement and maintain this relationship, providers have to be more receptive and sensitive to patient concerns. In Parkland’s 2022 community needs assessment (Figure 18), when asked who do you trust most to provide health information when you need it, doctors and community health workers accounted for almost 60%. Being able to satisfy healthcare consumers means identifying how to meet their needs and expectations. The connection between providers/doctors and healthcare consumers can be sustained by having effective communication, providing detailed information on services provided, following through on promised services, and putting emphasis on continual health improvements.


When choosing to market healthcare services there are things to keep in mind. Environmental factors should be considered when marketing services. Time of day, the location of where services are being provided, whether or not public transportation is available are all environmental factors that should be kept in mind when trying to maximize participation. It is also important to keep in mind that the performance of healthcare services depends on the wiliness of the healthcare consumer to the service. Informative blogs or articles published on social media can help to provide consumers with information in a digestible way.


Healthcare marketing allows health resources to be communicated to broader audiences. The services that are available to consumers will ultimately be useless if they aren’t properly marketed. Taking advantage of marketing via social media and inside of healthcare facilities play a huge role in maximizing the percentage of a population benefiting from available healthcare services.


Figure 18


Figure 19


References

Parkland Health | Parkland Health, www.parklandhealth.org/Uploads/public/documents/PDFs/Health-Dashboard/CHNA%202019.pdf. Accessed 8 June 2023.


Purcarea, V. L. (2019). The impact of marketing strategies in Healthcare Systems. Journal of medicine and life. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6685306/


What is Healthcare Marketing? strategies to acquire patients: Mercury Healthcare. What Is Healthcare Marketing? Strategies to Acquire Patients | Mercury Healthcare. (n.d.). https://www.mercuryhealthcare.com/faq/what-is-healthcare-marketing


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