Between HIPAA regulations and high (often life-and-death) stakes, healthcare marketing can seem like a field far removed from other kinds of marketing.
The special circumstances healthcare marketers often find themselves in force them to innovate in ways unfamiliar to those in other fields, forging new paths and developing creative solutions to unique marketing challenges.
But as the Futurescan 2016-2021 report makes clear, healthcare increasingly resembles a retail industry: That is, consumers shop for medical services and choose insurance plans. A central aspect of what they are looking for is a clear understanding of the patient experience. In other words, what can they expect if they choose to become a patient?
The ongoing changes in healthcare marketing have much in common with the shift B2B marketers across industries have experienced in recent years, with the customer journey growing to include rigorous online research in which potential buyers explore a variety of options, partly to determine what their experience with each provider might be like.
With that in mind, there's plenty for B2B marketers in other industries to learn from the world of healthcare marketing. Read on to better understand the shift in behavior healthcare marketers are facing—and how they are confronting it.
Reviews and testimonials take center stage
According to Pew Research Center, even in 2013 72% of Internet users reported looking online for health information within the previous year. Consumers are embracing the vast amount of information available online, from pricing to patient reviews, and using it to inform medical decisions, including provider selection.
With so many options for consumers to get health information (both credible and questionable), it's key for healthcare marketers to prove to potential patients that they are trustworthy.