Health care organizations rely on marketing to increase sales just like other companies, but when it comes to targeting consumers directly, they often lag behind other industries. By focusing on campaign performance and patient satisfaction, they can learn to improve their overall marketing efforts, making them more cost-effective and successful.
DTC Strategies to Optimize Marketing Campaigns
There are a variety of reasons why healthcare organizations often fall short in their direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing campaign efforts. For starters, competition has traditionally been light and reimbursement levels have remained steady for a long time. However, with the cost of health care skyrocketing, many payers have negotiated lower in-network reimbursement rates or denied claims, leading to financial losses for a lot of providers. And with an increase in the number of costly chronic conditions that require treatment, reimbursements continue to fall. Add to this advances in medical treatment that have extended lifespans and you’ve got higher long-term costs.
In order to counter these trends, providers need to find new patients. Many are turning to DTC campaigns, but without much prior experience, many of these amount to shots in the dark with little forethought and strategy. A successful DTC campaign requires more than a website and a bit of search engine marketing and a few local ads—even when these efforts do yield leads, it’s almost impossible to determine where they originated, especially when all information is sent to the same phone number or web form. This makes it difficult to determine where marketing dollars are being spent most effectively.
You can improve your DTC marketing efforts by utilizing marketing tools that track activity through all stages of the campaign. Software has the ability to link every phone call or web form to specific ads and individual keywords, leading to a higher percentage of profitable patients based on their conditions, treatment, and insurance reimbursement. Third-party providers do offer this technology, but it’s too cost-prohibitive for many practices (which defeats the purpose of trying to reduce costs). However, cloud-based technology can be used to build a virtual data warehouse and sort information from various marketing campaigns and electronic medical records, allowing practices to gain valuable insight easily and efficiently.
With a little research and creativity, health care providers can catch up with the rest of the industry and develop better, more efficient DTC campaigns.