By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
[Second of Two Parts – Series Installment: Current Marketing Trends] The first of these two installments, 4 Top Hospital Marketing Trends to Watch Right Now, examined Customer Relationship Management, and Precision Marketing Audience Segments.
Our list of top hospital marketing trends continues…
The nation’s healthcare delivery system continues to change rapidly. And to keep pace, significant hospital marketing trends emerge and adapt just as quickly.
It’s All About “Near-to-Me” Mobile Marketing – The earliest forms of advertising for professionals amounted to metaphorically “hanging out a shingle.” Symbolically, a simple sign was sufficient for a medical practice—and that was the doctor-marketing state-of-the-art for a few hundred years. For the most part, a “shingle” was local and it was one-to-one.
Some things have come full circle. Consumer behavior patterns for healthcare have, to a great extent, moved online. A significant trend in healthcare marketing is the ability to target one-to-one (individual), and to do so in a specific (local) area. The proliferation of mobile devices is an individual connection opportunity.
In effect, this techno bellwether puts an individually addressable smartphone or mobile device in everyone’s pocket. What’s more, over 60 percent of smartphone owners have used their phone to get health information. [Pew] As for “local,” Google reports, “Mobile makes up 88 percent of all “near me” searches…” Moreover, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques are “mobile first,” are local and personal to the individual.
For hospital marketing professionals, the opportunity in this trend is to effectively exploit location-based and individualized marketing and advertising. Computer-enabled digital tools deliver messages with extreme precision and effectiveness for audiences that are “near you.”
The Talkers vs. Typers: The Voice Search Demand – Voice-driven interfaces in mobile and other Internet devices are rapidly becoming a standard feature. Consumers are eager to use a word or two for fast and easy computer search results. It’s more convenient than typing a few keywords, and voice search provides users with immediate online payoff. Voice searches account for 20 percent of mobile searches, according to Google. And close to half of adults (over 40 percent) use voice search more than once a day.
Several considerations are apparent from a marketing perspective. First, online consumers expect instant gratification, and voice recognition (and interpretation) is here to stay. In addition to the voice-smart device in everyone’s pocket, new appliances are increasingly found in home convenience centers and vehicles, for example.
Marketing professionals and SEO planners are moving beyond simple keywords. To be found online, they are integrating natural language terms, question phrases and long-tail expressions.
No surprises, no regrets…
Most trends—and what to do about them—are not a surprise to healthcare marketing pros. Each of these trends deserve a place in your planning process:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Niche and Precision Audience Segments
- “Near-to-Me” Mobile Marketing
- Talkers vs. Typers: Voice Search Demand
Trends are a moving target that we can anticipate, learn from, and prepare for change right now. Evaluate how each of these four issues can impact you, and bring these concepts into your marketing and advertising plans today.
And if your missed the first part of this article, click through to 4 Top Hospital Marketing Trends to Watch Right Now.