There's a dearth of information available on how to develop your brand; you want to be unique, memorable, engaging, distinguished and associated with positive recognition. Those are certainly goals worth striving for.
However, healthcare marketing is doubly successful when brand development flips upside down. Instead of focusing on the effect you want your brand to have on others, direct intentions towards deciphering what others want from your brand.
Create a Brand Based on What Your Patients Want
To do that, use patient personas and ask deeper-level questions. Ideally, you would do this in person, with real live patients who feel safe enough to express themselves openly and honestly. If you were to facilitate that, we assure you aspects of the following themes would repeat over and over again.
"We want successful outcomes"
Question: Why does anyone visit a healthcare practitioner?
Answer: To be well, stay well and/or be cured.
If you're proactive about maintaining patients' health, provide earlier and/or more accurate diagnosis for terminal conditions/diseases, or you simply treat life-threatening conditions with expertise and grace - patients will love you.
Believe it or not, healthcare marketing teams have more to do with successful outcomes than you might think.
Successful healthcare brands are magnets for accomplished experts. The more successful brand marketing is, the more you can expect to hook high-quality physicians and staff. These experts generate improved preventative and treatment-based care, which results in better overall outcomes.
Your marketing team can support better facility outcomes by:
- Getting both patients and physicians active on patient portals
- Focusing on early-admissions care
- Reducing re-admissions rates
If you can support your healthcare facility in those three areas, your brand will be in fantastic shape.
"We want to be seen and heard"
In an effort to remain profitable, physicians have had to minimize face time with patients and herd more bill-paying potential through their doors. This has not had a positive effect in terms of patient satisfaction and engagement - not to mention favorable brand recognition.
For most patients, the medical arena is foreign territory - rife with language they don't understand, rich with grandiose power-plays, and a source of significant anxiety. Patients may also have a history of medically-induced pain or trauma.
With that in mind, it's imperative that patients feel seen and heard - not just on the surface, but on the multi-faceted and intuitive levels. Revisiting your patient personas is one way to do this, fleshing them out in even more detail. Do you appeal to Generation Z? Are you finding those niche personas that will reinvigorate or expand your current services niche(s)?
Another way for patients to be seen and heard - literally - is to get them engaged with patient portals. Now they feel like their doctor is rooting for them, even if the physician only had a rushed 15-minutes to spend with them during the office visit.
"We need a go-to resource for up-to-date information"
Finally, your brand should be the go-to source for up-to-date information, research findings and treatment options. Google searches only go so far because SERPs provide endless pages patients have to wade through. Instead, use a combination of relevant, high-quality content paired with healthcare CRM to get the right information into the right hands - or eyes - at the right time.
All that posted content will also show up when patients use the search box on your website or portal to find the information they're looking for. Now, they're searching - and trusting, you - rather than Google- and that's a huge brand boost.
What else are patients trying to tell you through words and actions? Pay close attention and develop your brand accordingly.