For members of the healthcare industry, email contact lists present both a golden opportunity and a challenge. While the marketing medium allows doctors and hospitals to stay in closer contact with patients and build deeper relationships, who recipients actually want to hear from within this sector is limited.
Cross-channel marketing can better connect doctors with patients
In a recent article for Med City News, Deanna Pogoreic contended that patients do now want to build relationships with hospitals or provider networks. What they desire is greater communication with their physicians, i.e. the individual directly providing them health services. Yet doctors are not eager to involve themselves in institutions' marketing and email campaigns.
So what can marketers do to integrate doctors' voice into cross-channel marketing efforts? According to Dr. Russell Faust, a strategy healthcare consultant for Annica Media, the first thing to do is understand physicians' hesitations, the news source explained. A survey the company did last year found that doctors' biggest fears of utilizing such marketing campaigns are related to committing unknown violations or spurring negative reputations.
There are a few simple ways institutions can help assuage these worries, Faust explained to Med City News. For example, enabling physicians to create educational content for patients allows them to tap into a vocational urge to teach. Doctors can shape email content around commonly-asked questions or illnesses they are seeing more frequently.
Additionally, since physicians maintain very busy schedules with many stressful, competing demands, the easier it is for them to write up a message and send it out, the more likely they will engage with these marketing tools to great effect. Marketing departments can help doctors by setting up the simple things, such as writing bios and creating templates.
Finally, doctors like to see results. Tracking click-rates and open-rates can engage them.
"Physicians aren't afraid of data," Faust told the news source. "Show them your analytics."
Doctor-curated content can cut costs
As many healthcare organizations are reporting budget constraints, homegrown marketing can help them cut costs and save money, Healthcare Marketing Matters explained. Content created by doctors allows institutions to have a continuous conversation with healthcare consumers to collect more data on their preferences, choices and desires, which can ultimately help shape content and service moving forward.
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