“The Doctor will see you now …”
From a marketing perspective the question may be more along the lines of, “Will the patient see the Doctor anytime?” As a company we’ve had the privilege and responsibility of working with many Doctors and clinics over the years at various levels. We have become immersed in the medical marketing and health care industry. In this first of a series of two articles I want to answer the question in what ways is internet or web based marketing important to the medical practice industry?
Let’s talk about the area of selection:
I received an email from a clinic we were reaching out to recently. In it the person stated quite clearly that, “We don’t do much with our website, we have always operated by word of mouth.” Hmm, I thought to myself, I wonder what the client acquisition and retention cycle is like there? Provider networks (remember we supposedly have choice!) may narrow the selection and word of mouth certainly can factor in. But where do people most often go after that word of mouth reference? Hint- it’s not the yellow pages! They go to the internet and look for the Dr’s or Clinic’s website. Think about it, what would YOU be looking for in a Doctor? Years in practice? Schools attended? Specific degree and specialized training? Testimonials? Yes, yes, yes, and yes again!
47: percent of Internet users search for information about doctors or other health professionals[Pew Research, 2013]
2. Personal or reputation management: The public persona or reputation of a Doctor has always been a factor as people seek medical help. Way back, it was word of mouth, “Did you hear about Dr. so and so at the xyz clinic?” There has always been a need for public relations management, but now physicians especially need to be concerned and aware of their “online” marketability. Like it or not, your web presence has a lot to say about what the public eye sees, and therefore, who is likely to have a larger marketability.
80: percent of Internet users (59% of US adults) seek online health information [iHealthBeat]
9. 77% of patients used search prior to booking an appointment. (Source: Google)
Prospective patients are searching, will they find YOU?