Two days ago, my friend complained that he was down with fever and was feeling extremely weak. So, I asked him to go to a doctor, but he refused to do so, he said "I have checked it on Google, I am fine, its just fever!". Well, few years ago this analogy would have led me to a doctor by my parents. This goes to show how things have changed for us, Indian healthcare industry's marketing efforts have often been traditional, newspapers, pamphlets, radio etc. Now, people schedule their appointments, do extensive research about their condition on Google. According to a recent study by Google, around 84% of all patients use both online and offline methods to research and analyse hospitals on their mobile devices to schedule an appointment/ research about the quality of treatment given in the hospital. From blog posts to social media updates like videos, webinars easily available on the internet, the quality of patient care has drastically improved. This goes to show how Digital Marketing and Social Media can effect the way an industry operates.People can now know more about the doctor and his surgery from medical websites than from the doctor himself. Websites like Practo, ZocDoc, DoctorASAP have changed the game forever!
The Indian Healthcare sector is expected to reach around $280 billion in 2018, this boom would only mean that many traditional marketing focused hospital and healthcare service providers have to move only to Digital platforms to acquire new customers. Digital marketing strategies now aim to be more personalized and focused on health related problems.
Some of the strategies that a lot of Healthcare service providers are adopting these days: 1. Increased effort to improve customer service (Best in-house facilities, infrastructure etc.). Customer relationship management databases such as Insightly, Salesmate, etc now providing extensive data on patients and healthcare management.
2. SEO focused: Google is almost like a hospital for many people these days, probably one of the reasons why many Hospitals are taking their SEO game to a new level every day. 3. Mobile first: User experience is a very important aspect of every successful service concept. Setting up appointments and payment options are probably the two biggest pain points for patients, both can be resolved as mobile first approach focuses on providing the high quality information more conveniently. Writings are on the walls now! Digital has been conquering industries that have always been ruled by traditional. Not only are they conquering but they are bringing innovation into a once 2D world. Digital Marketing has almost issued an "Adapt to survive!" challenge to all Healthcare providers...now, How will they respond?!