476: 5 Advantages of Patient-Centered Marketing
Understanding what patients like and do not like, what their needs are, and their behaviors is all a part of patient-centered marketing. Healthcare companies have to focus on being patient-centered in everything they do. In episode 476, Dave Mastovich discusses five major advantages to committing to patient-centered marketing.
It’s the No Bullshit Marketing Show. I’m Dave Mastovich, CEO and founder of MASSolutions, the world’s only no bullshit marketing consultants. Healthcare companies, healthcare leaders, healthcare marketers, how committed are you to patient-centered marketing? Patient-centered marketing is about transforming the relationship between companies, providers, and patients from the traditional way where one size fits all – people with similar illnesses, similar conditions were treated in similar fashion and communicated in the same way – to the newer model of individualized care, but also individualized communication. Patient-centered marketing is about making a commitment, and being intentional about making it about them – patients and their families. It’s about understanding not only what the patient’s needs are, but how they want to communicate. How do they consume content?
So how will you do this? When you systematically gather insights from your patients, by asking some open-ended questions and tracking what you hear, this begins to take a step to another level on patient-centered marketing and communication. Healthcare providers, anyone working in healthcare, knows that building that relationship with their patients is important. I want you to continue doing that. But I want your marketing aspect to be more patient-centered with systematically gathering insights, add certain questions about how they communicate, what they liked the most about you and your company, and why they continue to come there, and what they liked the least, what’s one thing they would change. Incorporate these types of customer experience questions as you systematically gather insights. Track what you hear, make adjustments, and let them know that you heard and you changed.
So that’s one way to be patient-centered marketers, but another is to do the real drill down of your patient segments, not just two or three variables. Four, five, six meaningful variables of drilling down so that you’re better able to understand what these segments of patients are thinking, feeling, wanting and how they communicate. Just came from a meeting where my team was breaking down the systematically gathered insights and the target drill down that they had done for a client. They were able to come back and look at those segments and bring interesting, meaningful trends of how that client, that company, that healthcare company can communicate better and more frequently with their patients in a manner those patients in each of those segments want to communicate. So that’s another way that you can be patient-centered marketing.
But a third is to do your storytelling opportunity inventory. Your storytelling opportunity inventory. This is when you look at the different channels, times of day, when, where, how you’re going to communicate with them. Do that inventory to see how much you are communicating today with current patients, and other places where you could communicate with them. Do the same for prospective patients. And then of course, leveraging the science of storytelling is vital to patient-centered marketing. We all consume stories differently. We all tend to go through a process that the cognitive scientists say that we go through, and they’ve got decades of experience analyzing this and they see that we begin to look at that person that we’re talking to. And we need to understand the goal that they have, the target market that they’re trying to reach, and the behaviors they are trying to change, the mindsets they’re trying to change. We begin to think about the struggles, the barriers that were overcome, the lessons that were learned, we begin to wonder who helped and how. So when you build your storytelling that way, and you use your storytelling opportunity inventory to know the channels that your patients want to be communicated with, and when you drill down those segments so much that you can be like Starbucks, Dunkin, and your local coffee shop and tailor that communication, tailor that marketing, tailor that experience to that individual as much as possible. That’s on the way to patient-centered marketing.
Why do we need to be doing this? I’m going to give you five advantages to patient-centered marketing. The first is increased engagement. Patients, all of us when we are patients, begin our journey online. We might look at the website, we look at reviews, we look at what we can learn about that person, we often book online. Most of our appointments are booked online. Each step of that journey, we’re going through that on our online standpoint. And then sometimes there’s phone calls, sometimes there’s in-person. But if each step of that journey, we can make that patient-centered, we will increase engagement. And increasing that engagement impacts that patient experience. So the first benefit of the five benefits of patient-centered marketing is increased engagement.
The second is building trust. As we go through that journey, and as engagement is increased, we’re beginning to build trust. But we also build trust by being relatable, and we become relatable through storytelling. As we relate to each other through stories, we begin to build a relationship. And when we build a relationship, we continue to engage each other in stories, and that builds trust. So when you have patient-centered marketing, you’ve got the patient-centered care, patients-centered communication, patient-centered marketing, you’re communicating in a way that is making your organization, your provider, your employees relatable. And the more relatable you are, the stronger the relationship becomes. And you build more trust. So that’s the second of the five advantages of patient-centered marketing.
The third is more referrals. Good news! 70% of patients will share a good experience with others. 70% will share a good experience with others. Not so good news! 76% of patients will share a negative experience with others. The reality is we are sharing our experiences with others in the healthcare realm. We’re willing to share positive and negative experiences. When you have patient-centered care, patient-centered communication, patient-centered marketing, all three, that’s when the positive experiences are more frequent. Because when we are patient-centered with all that we do, including communication, including marketing, we’re able to have better experiences. So now, that’s going to lead to more positive shared experiences, which is going to inevitably lead to more referrals. That’s the third of the five benefits of patient-centered marking.
The fourth is it creates loyalty. It creates loyalty and all these four and the fifth play off of each other and creates loyalty. Because we want to be heard, plain and simple. That’s part of the human condition. We want to be heard. When you think about the most frustrating times you’ve had in a relationship, whether it’s a boss, whether it’s a peer, whether it’s a family member, you wanted to be heard. You thought they were ignoring you, thought they weren’t listening, you thought they were doing something different than what you had talked about. Same when we are patients, we want to be heard. And so the loyalty comes from when we are patient-centered marketing and patient-centered storytelling and patient-centered communication that’s individualized. That creates loyalty.
The fifth benefit of patient centered marketing is it helps with employee retention and recruitment. Why? Because if you have this environment I’ve described – the first four of increased engagement, building trust, more referrals, creating loyalty – it is going to help the environment. Your employees are going to have a better environment. They’re going to communicate more with the patients, the patients are going to be more positive, the entire culture is going to shift. And so you’ll keep employees longer, but they’ll also share their positive experience with potential employees. They’ll share the culture stories with potential employees. So a patient-centered marketing approach also helps with recruiting and retention. So those are five major benefits of patient-centered marketing that you can take advantage of at your organization if you’re intentional and committed to patient-centered marketing.
If you’d like to learn more about how your healthcare organization can benefit from patient-centered marketing, go to MASSolutions.biz/patientcentered. Thanks for listening to another episode of the No Bullshit Marketing Show recorded here in MASSolutions studio in bold, beautiful, downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Remember, ask yourself, what’s the big idea? And build your story around the answer. It’s all about bold solutions. No BS.
No-BS Patient-Centered Marketing