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Healthcare Marketing Isn’t Magic. Real Science is the Fuel.

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

Magic hat with marketing symbols on colorful blocks coming out of itThe nation’s doctors and hospitals are well acquainted with the unprecedented dynamics of change in healthcare.

The competitive landscape is shifting—seemingly every day. Yesterday’s passive patient is today’s informed (retail-trained and sometimes demanding) healthcare consumer. Insurance considerations—on both the provider- and the patient-side—are shifting sands of reimbursement tables, changing deductables, and out-of-pocket considerations.

Physicians, who once believed that “simply being a good doctor” would guarantee business success, are rudely surprised. It doesn’t matter how great a doctor or hospital you are if the patient isn’t coming to you.

Marketing isn’t magic…

Medical practices and health care institutions that, in the past, were not convinced of the need for marketing or advertising to the new consumer public are struggling to climb a steep learning curve. The insight is that marketing isn’t magic; it doesn’t pop out of a hat or an explosion of smoke and confetti. It is not so much irritating noise about whatever you want to sell today. And it isn’t a glob of half-baked “spaghetti marketing” ideas hurled against the wall “to see if anything sticks.”

The scientific method of successful marketing…

It’s fair to say that professional stage “magic” requires planning, practice, and often, a generous dose of science to create an entertaining (and thus successful) illusion. The magic of marketing is better described as applied science. At our Advanced Healthcare Marketing Strategies Seminars we reveal the scientific method of marketing that includes:[bctt tweet="The magic of consumer healthcare marketing is better described as applied science."]

Using proven strategies from the experience of others. Consumer healthcare marketing can learn from the retail world, for example, were there is a deep track record of refining and evolving methods of interacting with customers and buyers. Corporate America and marketing academia have much to offer. And perhaps most importantly, there are the real-world case studies and practical experience of successful professional practices and practitioners.

A goal-based strategic marketing plan is the foundation of success. There are six (and only six) fundamental ways to market any healthcare organization. Branding, Internal Marketing, Professional Referrals, Internet Marketing, External Marketing, and Public Relations. Admittedly, there are challenges to building and executing a comprehensive mix of these elements. However, recognizing that there are only six basic building blocks demystifies the “illusion of magic,” and sets a science-base course of action.

We’ll continue this discussion in a forthcoming article, but for more immediate answers to your questions about hospital or medical marketing, please reach out to us today. We’re here to help.

Stewart Gandolf, MBA

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