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The Much-Neglected Secret to Beating Your Healthcare Competition Online

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

football on grassAs long as everyone's preoccupied with the big game this weekend: Remember, you don’t win football games by getting the football as far as the Red Zone. It’s crossing the goal line that makes you a winner. There’s a much-neglected technique in online advertising that you can use to push across the goal line, bring in new patients, and beat the stuffing out of your competition.

If you’re not familiar with “remarketing,” here a brief and non-technical overview of this powerful tool. The odds are that your competition is probably not using remarketing, so your Internet advertising has an immediate advantage.

Many physicians believe that new patients find them via online search…over 20 percent by one survey. (More about that in an upcoming post.) But the sad fact is that well over 90 percent of online shoppers do not make a purchase decision (touchdown) the first time they visit your website (Red Zone).

OK, enough of the game day talk. No matter how you do the math, the new business loss is an enormous gap. This is why it is sound business, and a significant revenue opportunity, to following up on (unconverted) Internet visitors. The marketing concept is that these visitors are prequalified and predisposed to take an action step, such as making an appointment.

In online advertising lingo, remarketing specifically targets (also called retargeting) people who have demonstrated an interest in our practice, hospital or healthcare services by having visited your website. Remarketing tags the visitor with a tiny bit of code to stay engaged and shows them related or relevant ad (for you) while they browse other websites.

Google Support provides with this example:

“Let's say you sell pajamas for dogs and cats. Using remarketing, you can show ads about dog pajamas to those people who visited the dog pajama section of your site. To do this, you'd place a tag across your entire site and then create a remarketing list for the "dog pajama" pages of your site.”

Don’t be put off by the techno-details; the various Internet advertising platforms handle the code business seamlessly. The challenge for healthcare advertisers is in creating a remarketing plan and remarketing list for your site. (We can help with that, by the way.)

Remarketing is an advanced technique that provides a competitive edge and a higher conversion rate and better Return-On-Investment for Internet advertisers. In short, you are matching the right message with the right audience.

There’s a related post here: Real-Time Bidding: The Budget-Stretching Online Advertising Revolution.

Stewart Gandolf, MBA

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