By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
Private equity deal activity has dropped by about 19% in the last 4 years—but healthcare-specific deals continue to grow at a steady rate year after year. That’s because healthcare organizations are a strong investment, with high margins and a product that will always be in demand, whether in biotechnology, medical devices, or private practice.
However, active investors face new challenges when it comes to providing the operational support a healthcare organization needs to yield a positive ROI. Just a decade ago, most healthcare organizations needed only some expensive print ads and mailers to thrive. Private practices survived simply by having a convenient location. But today, when patient choice is more prominent than ever before, private equity groups need a smart healthcare marketing partner to make data-driven marketing decisions.
How changes in retail healthcare today affect private equity investments
Patients of the past were willing to put up with long wait times, rude front desk employees, and outdated technology at the doctor’s office because it was difficult to find a convenient alternative. Today, however, prospective patients know they have options. They use services like Yelp and Google reviews to find a doctor they can trust. This is especially true of younger generations, who are unlikely to see a doctor before doing independent research of available options—at least in the form of a quick Google search.
Private equity firms may make shifts in management and recruiting that help to create a better overall in-office experience. They can also provide the capital needed to update IT systems and technologies. But it takes results-driven marketing techniques to bring these independent researchers into the office to experience these positive changes in the first place—and keep patients coming back.
A smart healthcare marketing partnership makes the difference
When private equity firms partner with a smart healthcare marketing agency to manage portfolio companies, everyone’s goals align. The portfolio company wants to see more patients. Private equity firms want to create a portfolio that’s consistently profitable. The right marketing agency has the tools to achieve these goals.
Private equity firms should invest in agencies that know how to spend their advertising dollars to increase brand awareness. More importantly, a qualified agency knows how to drive more consumers or prospective patients. A combination of marketing strategies helps make this happen.
- SEO – Search engine optimization involves using targeted, scientific strategies to get a website ranking at the top of Google’s organic search results (or Bing’s, Yahoo’s, etc.).
- PPC – Pay-per-click advertising (PPC, or paid search) takes advantage of the paid advertisements at the top of the search results. Keyword targeting and negative keywords allows qualified leads to find your healthcare organization.
- Retargeting – Retargeting is a way to re-engage people who have already visited your website. This is especially tricky in healthcare, since Google does not allow for remarketing ads in fear of potential HIPAA violations. However, your marketing agency can use social media ads and other search engines to retarget prospective patients.
- Branding – The right agency is a complete marketing partner. They can work with you to refine your brand or completely rebrand across your website and traditional marketing.
- Web Design – Ideally, your current website would be ready to market. But in our experience, most websites need a little bit of work before a marketing strategy can take off. And in some cases, a complete redesign is necessary to increase conversions and get prospective patients to make the call.
- Traditional Media – While digital marketing reaches patients at the research stage, traditional media is not dead. The right marketing agency can handle both the digital media that helps patients find you, and your television, print, and outdoor ads.
Each of these specialties requires expertise—something you won’t find from one person in the office. Recruiting efforts simply cannot match the expertise of a full-scale marketing agency. Our marketing agency, for example, has a paid search (PPC and display) specialist, a social media advertising specialist, an SEO expert, copywriter, designer, developer, media buyer and more—all working on the same account.
In healthcare marketing, expertise is everything
At some point, it’s vital to do a complete assessment of a portfolio company’s branding and marketing to find out whether these efforts are aligned with an overall goal of growth. But if you don’t work with an agency that specializes in Healthcare Marketing, you cannot expect marketing efforts to yield ROI.
The world of healthcare is changing every day. New technologies and resources allow patients to take more ownership over their health. They research practices and treatments before walking into the office. And once they leave, there’s no guarantee a patient will return. Without healthcare marketing expertise, an agency won’t have the resources and the background necessary to target a younger, more educated demographic. They cannot take advantage of these changes in healthcare and optimize a strategy to keep patients coming back.
In addition, different types of practices require targeted strategies. Cash-pay practices require a direct-to-consumer approach that reaches prospective patients at every part of the decision making process. Otherwise, marketing primary care and most medical specialties requires a deep understanding of what patients need as well as the local competition.
Our healthcare marketing partnerships for private equity firms
All in all, you need to work with an agency that’s aligned with your goals and committed to growth.
Healthcare Success is a leading healthcare marketing agency serving clients nationwide. We offer healthcare marketing partnerships with private equity firms to manage portfolio practices of all specialties and other types of healthcare organizations. You won’t find our expertise anywhere else. Our principals have over 20 years of experience marketing nearly any specialty you can imagine.
Looking for a partner whose goals align with yours? Call our advertising agency at 800-656-0907 or email email@example.com.