What Digital Marketing and Hospitals Have in Common

11 Point Digital Marketing Checklist

Being a digital marketer colors how I view the world. After a recent hospital visit, I realized that a well run hospital has a lot in common with digital marketing. Here’s an eleven points checklist for your digital marketing processes.

  1. Hospitals offer different levels of care based on patients’ health needs, from emergency rooms to ICUs to outpatient care As a marketer, assess your offering to understand what category of marketing care your different target markets need in their current condition.
  2. Hospitals control the timing based on factors beyond patients’ control. Doctors, nurses and other technicians see patients based on their schedules not those of the patient.  Your prospects and customers control the timing of their search for products and related information and make purchase based on their needs and timing, not yours.
  3. Hospitals give everyone a standard form of identification including doctors, nurses, technicians, patients and visitors. Similarly, marketers need to identify and segment their customer base to give each one a targeted strategy.
  4. Hospitals test different treatments and therapies. Digital marketers should test different approaches, offers, pricing, media, creative and other aspects of their marketing mix to determine the optimal one for each segment.
  5. Hospitals can’t rush healing process since every person is different and may heal at a different rate. Digital marketing needs time to work. Consistency is important to ensure that your message is remembered.
  6. Hospitals wait for the cumulative effect of medicines and treatments. Similarly prospects and customers may need to receive a message several times before it sinks in.
  7. Hospitals provide limited media exposure. While television may be available, patients mainly receive information via word of mouth and phone calls. From a marketing perspective, is your message’s reach enhanced by word of mouth? If not, what can you do to encourage it?
  8. Hospital personnel often welcome additional support from friends and family providing care giving and special treats for patients. Similarly, your loyal customers welcome special treatment, which can vary but could include special offers, samples or unexpected services.
  9. Hospital patients want to know that help is available quickly when they need it. Similarly, customers want to know that if they need help with any aspect of your product, you’ll be there to answer their questions.
  10. Hospital volunteers provide non-medical support to make patients’ visits more friendly. Similarly, your advocates can help your organization by providing information that helps your customers.
  11. Hospitals track patient care over time. Every doctor visit, procedure and pill is tracked to ensure patients receive the care that’s needed. Similarly, marketers must measure the results of their efforts.

As you go through your marketing process, approach it with a new set of eyes to ensure that you’re not in a rut. Are there new ways that you can engage with your prospects and customers and help them satisfy their needs?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Photo credit: A Nice Move by mtsofan via Flickr

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