Healthcare Marketing is continuously evolving. A shift in healthcare marketing strategy is required for the sustained growth and evolution of the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry. The question however that one is confronted with is - what will be the role of healthcare marketing in the future?
Reforms in the healthcare domain won't be repealed. A lot of adjustments to the legality changes would continue for the many years to come, but an overall revamp of the healthcare reforms is yet to happen. This is the time when majority of the patient populace and families have some or the other form of health insurance. Marketing has a wide role to play in today's environment than ever before.
In the modern age of consumerism, patients have control over their health information i.e. the patient, not the doctor or the hospital; have control over individual patient health information data. This underlines the fact that marketing would play a significant role in the life of healthcare organization beyond the traditional means of communication activities.
Marketing of healthcare organizations is not much different from what happens with other organizations. Marketing healthcare organization employs strategies which are in sync with standards practiced across all domains. Newer avenues such as social media, online medical and healthcare marketing will continue to earn revenue and will slowly emerge as dominant players in the healthcare segment. In fact, these alternative means of advertisement will be more integrated, value driven and further strengthen brand value.
The New Role of Healthcare Marketing
Leadership in Marketing
Marketing deals with the essentials of strategy first followed by marketing tactics. Marketing is the means of putting forward the voice of the customers and should not be just a second thought. Every future campaign and program must be market driven and not just a gut feeling. In order to be a leading marketing organization one must possess the skills associated with building an effective customer- driven or market- driven organization.
Management of Patient Experience
Hospitals mostly make the mistake of putting their operations in charge of patient experience. The discharge process itself takes 3 to 4 hours. It would be ridiculous to expect them to manage patient experience along with their previous task. Patient experience implies a thorough understanding of what a patient experiences throughout all touch points.
Patient experience requires integration across an organization both internally and externally.
The Dynamics of Demand Management
Marketing needs to take into consideration the demand of healthcare services. The demand would need to be managed. This would make sure that the hospital or the healthcare system has the right resources, in the right place, at the right time to fulfill the demand.
Having Revenue Accountability
Return on Investment (ROI) is extremely important for any marketing practice irrespective of the means i.e. traditionally, socially or online. Marketers need to generate revenue and not consume resources. Marketing should have both Profit and Loss (P&L) statistics as well as a track of Selling, General and Administrative Expenses (SG&A) for all the services being offered by a healthcare organization.
Managing the change
One of the most controversial approaches to managing the marketing role is to look inwards within an organization. Those individuals that look internally at their organizations may not have the necessary skills, training or abilities to bring about a change in the strategies of an organization. Managing the change would require people with skills and understanding keeping in mind the complete functioning of the organization.