The marketing industry has seen its share of disruptions over time due to events like natural disasters or financial recessions, but many of these events haven’t had such large global impact as the coronavirus.
FACTORS AFFECTING MARKETING DECISIONS
So, what makes this pandemic so much more of a challenge for healthcare facilities trying to still reach and stay connected with their patients and potential patient acquisitions? Many factors of daily operations affect how we market to your patients and need to be considered when reevaluating your marketing efforts. Those factors include:
- Cancellation of events like tradeshows and conferences
- Banned or limited travel of patients
- Banned or limited surgical procedures
- Redirection of staff roles
- Patient expectations and behaviors shifting
- Let’s also face reality as marketers of our facilities and services. When times get tough, marketing budgets are some of the first expenses to be cut overall.
While this sounds dismal and daunting to overcome, all is not lost. While this pandemic is something to take very seriously the marketing industry and world as a whole are bringing new and creative innovation and ideas into our current lives. As marketers we are often faced with constraints that create challenges to overcome. In a typical marketing strategy, those constraints don’t usually include such large global issues, but it now creates the challenge for our minds to really push the boundaries and reach our patients in new and meaningful ways.
Learn more about steps your facility can take to develop a successful public relations strategy in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.
HOW TO POSITION YOUR HEALTHCARE BRAND
Knowing that we are facing a shift in patient behavior, staff changes, and overall life changes how do we keep our brand healthy and vibrant while being cognizant of the challenges around us? While there are many factors to consider, here are a couple areas to focus your brand efforts on.
DON’T GO RADIO SILENT
While some marketing budgets may still be robust, and others may be virtually cut off, it is still very important not to stop communicating with your patients, communities and key stakeholders. According to a recent survey regarding consumer sentiment towards brands during covid-19, 43% of survey respondents said it’s reassuring to hear from brands they know and trust, while 40% want to hear what brands are doing in response to the pandemic. It’s also interesting to note that only 15% said they do not want to hear from brands at this time. This data indicates that consumers have positive attitudes towards brand communication during the coronavirus pandemic and really do want to hear from you. Read more about the survey.
TAYLOR YOUR BRAND MESSAGE
It’s no secret here, staying with the same messaging of your brand during this time may actually have some damaging affects on your brand. As indicated above, patients want to know that you are still relevant, but patients also want to feel secure in the messages you are sending them and don’t want to feel “sold to”. Focus messaging efforts on building deeper relationships with patients rather than focusing on making a sale. Consider the following concepts for adjusting your messaging:
- Echo or amplify the messaging of health organizations and/or CDC
- Encourage patients to participate and donate.
- Educate. Educate. Educate.
- Daily Routine Changes. Communicate how your organization is adjusting to the current situation.
- Make it easily digestible. With all the information coming at us at lightning speed and almost in overload form the key here is keep it simple.
- Focus on the overall brand promise and shared values of your organization
- Now more than ever…be part of the solution
The time is now for grassroots level marketing, creative problem solving and ingenuity. Our overall purchasing habits and interactions with brands will be altered by this pandemic and will continue to adjust the longer we make alterations to our daily lives. Stay current with these changing times and keep your messaging fresh and relevant to your patients. And above all don’t stop communicating!
April 28, 2020
By Becky McElroy | Branding
About the Author:
At her core, Becky, Chief Marketing Officer of PatientX, is a creative, but there’s much more to her than meets the eye. She was formally trained as an artist with an emphasis in graphic design, but her curiosity and passion for learning have had a great influence on her career. Becky claims working in design and marketing has been like an encyclopedia to the world, because she’s learned many things she wouldn’t have picked up elsewhere. She has found her greatest enjoyment in learning about people and ideas, fostering relationships with clients, and creating meaningfully designed campaigns. Thanks to her depth of experience and mastery of design and strategy, PatientX is transforming healthcare by using marketing to improve the patient experience.