Consumer Insights & Digital Engagement: Using the Patient Perspective to Improve your Marketing Strategy

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02/21/2018 in Blog

Bringing an innovative approach to healthcare marketing can be a difficult challenge. Reaching and engaging consumers requires a unique approach that cuts through the noise and captures attention.  To do so, it’s important to understand what are consumers searching for, and what aspects of a provider are important to them.

To answer these questions, we’ll review the results of the Binary Fountain “Healthcare Consumer Insight and Digital Engagement” survey. Understanding your consumers interests and needs will help identify opportunities to modernize your marketing strategy.  

  1. Online ratings and reviews matter - a lot:  95% of survey respondents regard online ratings and reviews as “somewhat” to “very” reliable, and 75% say these online ratings and reviews have influenced their decision when selecting a physician.  What tools do you have in place to manage your online reputation and highlight your brand?  Taking control of your provider profiles on third-party sites gives you similar advantages to ranking high in search engine results - you’re maximizing your visibility to people who are in need of your services.  In addition, advantages of premium profile listings typically include online appointment scheduling tools and a 24/7 call center.  This benefits not only your reach, but the patient experience as well.  

  2. “Health” and “care” belong together when it comes to consumer expectations:  48% of Americans across all age groups believe a “friendly and caring attitude” is the most important factor when evaluating a physician.  Knowing that almost half of respondents look for this specific attribute, you can tailor your marketing messages to include testimonials or examples of how your practice/health system exemplifies this quality.

  3. Millennials share their own healthcare experiences online:  60% of respondents between the ages of 25-34 say they share their physician/hospital experiences on social media sites or online rating and review sites. For marketing campaigns that target this age group, leverage that connection to the online world.  Imagine ways to inspire engagement on these online platforms, and consider these conversations an opportunity to improve your customer service.

  4. Time is a pain point for patients:  A common theme identified in the survey results is that “time” is the most frustrating issue when visiting the doctor.  Almost 50% of respondents 25 and older selected “wait time” as the most frustrating issue.  41% of respondents between the ages of 18-24 selected “having to schedule an appointment” as the most frustrating thing about seeing a doctor.  This age group is three times more likely to be frustrated with the appointment scheduling process than any other age group. This re-emphasizes the need to improve the patient experience with convenient access. Furthermore, it indicates that a patient’s satisfaction directly correlates to service delivery rather than clinical outcomes.  

In general, the Healthcare Consumer Insight & Digital Engagement survey highlights the importance of the patient experience and the quality of a provider’s online presence.  To truly innovate your marketing strategy and increase patient acquisition and retention, there must be a proactive effort to monitor and actively manage a provider’s online reputation.  

Want to learn more about marketing innovation in the ever-evolving healthcare industry? You may also like our white paper, “Bring Innovation to Your Marketing Strategy” and these Healthgrades blog posts:

Importance and Impact of Physician Profiles

Creating a Model Online Presence

Assessing Online Scheduling as an Emerging Trend in Physician Appointments