Why outdated healthcare marketing fails

There can be so many tedious regulations surrounding healthcare marketing that some providers may be tempted to settle for safe solutions that are not likely to attract much negative attention. More often than not, these campaigns fall flat with consumers, as they do not engage with them on any meaningful level. Instead of creating ongoing relationships between clinicians, patients and their conditions, outdated healthcare marketing solutions do the exact opposite.

How can providers avoid crafting inert marketing materials? The secret may lie in identifying where other companies go wrong with their outreach solutions. If organizations can manage to keep these three healthcare marketing mistakes out of their publications, they may see success with patient engagement as well.

What does it feel like for patients when they are not treated like equals?What does it feel like for patients when they are not treated like equals?

Treating patients as statistics
Data is king in the post-electronic health record world of healthcare, but just because statistics and analytics are helping to improve clinical care does not mean that marketing solutions must embrace data in the same way.

Market research firm Points Group noted that providers that fail to see their target patient market as more than a demographic do not produce engaging content. For example, older patients do face certain health issues that must be addressed, but calling this population "seniors" or "the elderly" is a mistake.

The source noted that these terms are only words that someone from outside that demographic group would use, and solutions that make this mistake do not adopt the patient perspective - a fatal flaw for many healthcare marketing solutions. It takes an experienced agency to craft materials that synthesize clinical and accessible information in a format patients are familiar with. Otherwise, providers may find that they have contracted with an advertising partner that can deliver more than the quantity needed, but nowhere near the quality required.

"Consumers expect providers to be authentic in their dealings with them."

Emphasizing medical information
It may seem counterintuitive to limit the amount of rote medical information included in educational materials, but embracing the patient perspective also means that providers must accept that they are interacting with individuals who have never been trained in medicine. As such, they do not process clinical terminology and even diagnoses like professionals.

In a column for LinkedIn, Everett Lawson, marketing and communications manager at United Creations, explained that consumers expect providers to be authentic in their dealings with them, and this may require formatting information in accessible ways. A patient may grow exasperated with a pamphlet that uses obtuse medical jargon, and this slight negativity could harm the relationship between consumer and brand.

How patients learn about a condition or potential treatment could color their perspectives for the rest of their lives, so it is vitally important that providers choose the right partner to facilitate their healthcare marketing solutions. Without the experience required to imbue each educational piece with the patient perspective, advertising campaigns may fall flat with patients across the board.