Monthly Archives: April 2017

Marketing in Health category

Overview Of The Healthcare Industry

The healthcare industry is quite a fragmented industry with many companies falling into the medical sector and other parallel sectors.

The mood in the industry currently is busy; due mainly to the fact that the population has boomed and resources are stretched. Healthcare funding is always in short supply and due to the current economic difficulties cutbacks are common.

Competition in the healthcare sector is high, and indeed is growing as more companies spring up.

Marketing In The Healthcare Industry

The healthcare industry is very active with its marketing using a wide range of marketing tools both for new business and also brand reinforcement.

Due to the growth and development of the healthcare market, specialist marketing companies have diversified and do concentrate on healthcare marketing. Many work exclusively with healthcare companies and use this as a USP to ensure they stand out as unique. Others have healthcare clients as part of their mixed portfolio of different industries they work in.

What Sort Of Marketing Tools Do Healthcare Companies Normally Use?

The industry tends to work in a specific way and as such do make use of certain marketing tools both for drawing in new business, but also communicating news.

The healthcare sector is unique and in many ways does not operate in the same way as other industry markets (such as retail, IT, recruitment etc.) as it is not as commercial.

Websites For Healthcare Companies

Websites are a big part of marketing for healthcare companies; giving up to date information about new products, services and any industry news.

Most healthcare businesses are quite web savvy and do make use of the internet as a form of communication. Their websites are normally quite basic HTML websites but quite a few do have flash websites to showcase their products in a creative and interactive way.

Internet Marketing also plays quite a big role in the marketing portfolio of healthcare businesses which links in to paid advertising and pay per click marketing.

PR For Healthcare Businesses

PR is a very effective marketing tool for healthcare companies. Used mainly for communicating business news and product launches it ties in well with any web advertising that is being done.

Crisis PR is something that is also used by many companies, as the industry does come under public scrutiny. Whether this is for protecting share prices, corporate espionage, or even problems that may occur within the business.

Telemarketing For Healthcare Companies

Inbound telemarketing is used by some healthcare companies, but the traditional B2B outbound calling is not really used within this industry.

This ties into what was mentioned earlier in this article, that the industry is not as commercial as other sectors that are more aggressive when it comes to their marketing and advertising.

Choosing A Marketing Company

Finding a marketing company that has healthcare marketing experience can be tricky due to the sheer number of marketing agencies around the UK. Something that could be time consuming both in terms of researching and selecting suitable agencies, but also in communicating with them.

Using a price comparison site can help save valuable time both in hunting down marketing companies with relevant industry experience; but also could save money in comparing costs – something that all businesses currently are looking for.

Healthcare Consumers Vs Other Consumers

Healthcare is quite an unique industry, as are it’s consumers. Healthcare consumers share similarities with consumers within other industries, but also considerable differences that healthcare marketers must acknowledge.

Similarities

Although healthcare consumers have various unique characteristics from those within other industries, healthcare consumers also share various similarities.

Discretion

Many healthcare services are elective (i.e. laser eye surgery). Thus, consumers have the option to consider wants vs. needs and decide whether to pursue a service or not.

Demand

Healthcare consumers’ demand can be influenced by many factors such as price or type of treatment. For example, in retail, if the price of a high end product is cut by half, its demand would increase significantly as the lower price would attract buyers. This is considered as elastic demand.

Elasticity of demand is the measure of the change in demand of a product or service in relativity to the change in its price. If demand for a product or service increases or decreases based off of the increase or decrease in its price, then the product s considered to have an elastic demand. If the demand for a product or service is unaffected by the change in price, then the product is considered to be inelastic.
Payment for Services

Although in many cases when medical services are paid by third parties, many are paid out of pocket by the consumer. Whether a consumer has an insurance policy that includes a high deductible or co-insurance responsibility, or a consumer is self pay and is solely responsible the payment of services, consumers’ ability to pay for services greatly influences their demand for them, even if they are medically necessary.

For elective services that are not considered medical necessary, consumers usually have to pay for the service mostly out of pocket, which will certainly affect its demand. In a booming economy, demand for such services would increase, as in a slumping economy demand would decrease.

Differences

Lack of Buyer Discretion

Consumers in healthcare rarely determine their need for services, as consumers within other industries usually determine their need for products and services. Healthcare services, which are consumed by the patient, are usually ordered by a physician. This is unlike any other industry, as the patient is prescribed a service that they must comply with.

Knowledge of Price

One of the most prevalent differences between healthcare consumers and other consumers is that healthcare consumers’ costs are usually covered by third parties (insurance). Because third party payers pay for most of a patient’s medical services, patients themselves are not usually involved in or even aware of the price of service. Patients rarely even have access to pricing information for services.

Evaluating Quality of Service

Most healthcare consumers do not experience the healthcare system until they have a need for services. Thus, when consumers evaluate services they receive, they form their opinions through subjective observations such customer service and the cleanliness of the facility. This is considerably different for consumers within other industries as they form their opinions about products through objective observations such as the quality of the product and the ease and effectiveness of its use.

Knowledge of Services

Healthcare consumers typically have limited knowledge regarding the services they are to receive, as other consumers are usually well informed about the products and services they are pursuing. Most consumers in other industries seek as much information about products to compare one from another.

Because of this, healthcare consumers usually lack the ability to evaluate the quality of service they receive, as other consumers very well can evaluate the quality of the product or service they receive.

Marketing

Healthcare services are usually NOT marketed directly to healthcare consumers as they are not the ones that choose which services to receive in most cases. This is unlike other products and services which ARE directly marketed to the consumer.

Here’s a Web Design for Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Medical Brands

Healthcare web design is a varied and huge animal. A lot of healthcare web development companies have difficulty knowing where to start. But really the principles are the same in this industry for any experienced and accomplished healthcare web development professional. But it is how a visitor finds you, sees you and the experience that they have that will truly determine how successful you website is.

Trust

Your healthcare web developments have to encompass trust at their heart. This is going to be the most valuable commodity, especially if you are a new or unknown company or service provider. The sector you are in will also influence how difficult it is to build up online trust. So the diet sector along with a lot of alternative therapy providers will have an uphill battle to win.

The issue you will have is this. Healthcare, like life insurance, car insurance and many other critical areas of our lives screams to our subconscious that we should only trust someone we know or who has been recommended to us by our friends. If you go now to a website and see a life insurance banner, you are probably not going to click it or buy straight away from an unknown supplier.

So How Do You Build Up the Trust Required?

Well as part of your healthcare web design you need to have someone on your side who knows how to build trust. Having someone on your side that has been there and done it is priceless. We ourselves have gone through the pain barrier over the years. This means that we have taken the lessons and successes on board so that you don’t have to.

Building an integrated healthcare web development strategy that gives trust is a two part story. The first part is the impact and first time impression of your site. We know this and are experts at this aspect. On average a visitor will take only about 5-10 seconds to make their minds up as to whether to stay or to hit that back button on their browsers. So you are looking to drop in the quality indicators for that fast scan that holds the visitor and encourages them to explore.

Engaging With the Visitor

To build trust and to retain a loyal reader and potential customer your healthcare website design and quality content has to be engaging on many different levels. It is not just about looking smart and professional. In fact that may actually work against you in some healthcare areas. Sometimes having a more relaxed, non-officious approach can pay enormous dividends. It becomes less about marketing speak and more about satisfying a visitor’s needs.

Ideas for healthcare website design here include multimedia content in the form of videos, webinars or audio interviews and recordings. It could also mean having a blog which is less formal and can take and accept comments. After a while this comment conversation actually generates its own content and power.

Making the Website Experience Easy

If your healthcare web design is terrible then you are not going to keep anyone on site, no matter how good the content or how engaging. The content needs to be logically and well organised for easy access. Nothing should be too many clicks away either. Your organisation is a professional one, so it generally should look as though it was put together by a professional. A very high standard of graphics is absolutely necessary.

Functionality and Security

This is where, as far as healthcare web development is concerned, we come into what is dealt with and regulated by the regulations, such as the ABPI and other professional bodies. The main things to consider are the protection of personal data if you have a forum or membership element, the security of information and the segregation of certain information to restrict access to certain groups of users. For instance this may mean the separation of healthcare data for practitioners and customers.

This is critical for your company. If you do not achieve this in the architecture of the healthcare website design, you put yourself at risk on several fronts. We know the importance of making sure this is done properly. If it is not done correctly it could mean censure or even worse a criminal prosecution or civil proceedings.

Then there is the case of social media interaction. If you fail to understand or handle this properly you will come seriously unstuck. Social media is a superb way of encouraging involvement and building your brand and reach. Sites such as Facebook and Twitter have immense power. But there are also dangers that you could fall foul of. The speed with which information can be spread and the huge amount of users who will share it make the whole area very sensitive. Fortunately, we have a lot of experience in managing sensitive and regulated campaigns and making sure they are successful.

Conquering SEO to Increase Visibility

Search engine optimization is a valuable way to promote your site and brand and to provide an additional way of gaining trust and visitors. Healthcare website design should be carefully and fully optimised and promoted with ethical methods to help the site rise to the first page of the search engines. This is a good natural way to gain domain authority with the likes of Google.

Of course you are also at the mercy of those search engines and the way they decide they will assess how important your site is in relation to its content for their searchers. But by building and promoting smart, we are able to give you the stability through any changes that may come.

So as you can see, healthcare web design incorporates a lot of both simple and complicated elements. These involve proper presentation, content and interaction, along with providing the best platform and strategy to promote, segregate and protect your company.

It is essential to ensure that you have someone on board with vast experience and innovative solutions to guide you through this process. This will also mean you avoid the pitfalls of web design and the regulating codes and laws.

Michiel Van Kets writes articles about a small but perfectly formed digital marketing agency that focuses on healthcare web development as well as healthcare website design, helping pharmaceutical, medical and healthcare companies achieve sales and marketing objectives via the practical use of websites, mobile technology and digital marketing. If you work in the pharma, medical or healthcare sectors and you are looking for practical and creative ways to enhance your digital performance, Genetic Digital is a number one choice, providing a friendly team of digital marketing professionals with a proven track record in delivering healthcare web design, digital marketing, search engine optimisation services for your sector. From designing and developing a website or mobile app to help you interact with your target audiences through to creating digital marketing campaigns that enable you to attract more visitors, find out how the experienced web design and marketing experts at Genetic Digital can improve your digital marketing performance today.

Battle Over Health Care in America

Introduction

Or is it “health care”? Or “health-care”? The battle over how to properly use the term “healthcare” has trudged on in America for many years. I have been involved in educating healthcare professionals and students here in New York City and on Long Island for over 27 years. For that entire time I have watched the phrase “healthcare” being grammatically abused by all – even by the largest book publishing companies, dictionary publishers, newspaper and magazine publishers, medical institutions, and government agencies in America.

Who Is To Blame For The Confusion?

But these very same publishers and institutions are to blame for the prolonged confusion. Some of them mandate the using of “healthcare” as one word for all grammatical situations. And some of them still insist on using “healthcare”, as well as “health care”, depending on the specific topic being discussed. To make matters much worse, some publications will even switch around the term and the way that it is used – all within the same publication. Here at our company we have consciously chosen to use “healthcare” as one word, but we certainly understand both sides of the argument. New compound words always seem awkward to use for a while. But eventually, we all accept and conform to the change. Most of us in America have already accepted the change to using “healthcare” as one word. Now it is time for the last few holdouts to accept this change and start using “healthcare” as one word.

Why We Use Healthcare

Why, then, does my medical training and publishing company embrace “healthcare” as one word? Well, “health care” may have technically been two words when the term first came about, but in all rational practicality it was one word. The distinction was a fine one – and way too subtle, obviously, to keep up. Before long, writers and editors alike started dropping that confusing extra space, transforming what had become a purely semantic nuance into no nuance at all. At my company, we have a core belief that we have an obligation to our students and readers to make everything that we teach and publish to be as easy to read and understand as possible. If this means using one word versus two, or using an unpopular or grammatically incorrect hyphen in a word, or splitting an infinitive, or using extra commas, then we will do it. Our first and foremost duty is to our students and readers, not the grammar editors or linguists.

Evolution And Improvement Of Our Language

But can we blame our language for simplifying and evolving? It’s equally possible that American society, in its infinite semantic wisdom, decided not to split hairs – or word phrases – where it is pointless to do so. This isn’t just the inescapable evolution of our language. It actually is a sensible change to make.

“Healthcare” and “Health Care” Defined

We will frequently see the word or phrase “healthcare” and “health care” but are unsure whether they are the same. Many people use each one to mean the same thing – but they were fundamentally different at first. At its most elemental definition, “health care” was a service offered by trained professionals to patients. As one word, “healthcare” meant the system in which the professionals work and where patients receive care. Healthcare as one word referred to a system to deliver health care (two words). Thus, America has a “healthcare system”. In Great Britain, it’s called the National Health Service.

We can easily see why these definitions can get confusing and become commingled. But now, most of us accept that the term “healthcare” is now a generic way of referring to any aspect of medical care – no matter what the topic being discussed. Whether it is a discussion of the diagnosis or treatment of diseases, or how that diagnosis or treatment is delivered, or how they are paid for, is now “healthcare” – one word.