What would happen if healthcare professionals and medical practices applied some of the globally used principles of large retail chains in their local communication?
Too often, erroneously, we tend to think that the Marketing and Communication strategies used by the big brands cannot work for our business that cannot be applied to healthcare marketing. Today the new trends of Google seem to definitively deny this assertion.
Let’s see why both Google and your patients have the same goal.
Let’s try to imagine the conversation with one of our patients immediately after a visit. The treatment went well, the patient has a sense of relief and, given our ability to generate an empathic relationship (see the article on how many people are willing to change medical practice or physiotherapy), he feels free to share with us some important considerations.
Listening carefully to criticism and suggestions helps us to level the hierarchical gap that naturally arises in the relationship between doctor and patient. The latter will feel understood, and the mere fact that a trained and trained professional is willing to listen to him will greatly increase the confidence he pours into us.
What would happen if, as healthcare professionals, we decided to start giving our patients little tips to increase their well-being?
A MATTER OF TRUST!
A patient who performs a course of treatment in our study clearly shows that he trusts us. But in his mail, he continues to find only suggestions from the big brands. What would happen if, on a scheduled basis, he found health pills dispensed directly by his therapist?
How the two main causes for which our patients would be willing to change therapists are two: a not very transparent pricing policy and the lack of empathy on the part of the therapist himself. The direct corollary of this second motivation is the belief that the professional actually has little interest in the patient’s health except in the short interval in which he performs a visit or treatment.
Warning! A recent survey by an American agency tells us that:
- 40% of those interviewed would like their doctor/therapist to help them, also through advice and suggestions, to gain a better state of health.
- 73% also state that the most reliable source for information about health is neither the internet nor friends and family, but rather your trusted doctor/therapist.
David A. Shore, the founder of the Trust Initiative of Harvard School of Public Health and author of The Trust Prescription for Healthcare, Building Your Reputation with Consumers, is convinced that “ having a reputation as a reliable professional is essential for both good medicine and good medicine business “, practically the triumph of health marketing.
So why not convert the esteem won over years of study and practice into a greater number of happier patients?
WHY DOES GOOGLE AND OUR PATIENTS WANT THE SAME THING FROM US EXACTLY?
Google invests time and money in making its algorithms more sensitive to the quality of content published on a website. This is because the Mountain View brand, just like us healthcare professionals, has established a relationship of deep trust with its users.
A given search must always match pages that can return important information with respect to the desired topic.
Today, Google asks us to create quality content that can increase the global level of information.
As seen in the previous paragraph, today our patients need more information in the medical/health field.
Ultimately, therefore, both Google and our patients ask us the exact same thing: to produce quality material.
HOW CAN WE MEET THESE DEMANDS?
The first step necessary to meet the needs of Google and our patients is the most difficult to accomplish: the long initial step without which all subsequent steps would be completely useless. It is a difficult and complicated path, full of obstacles scattered everywhere.
But here’s the good news: if you’re obviously the first step here, you’ve already done it!
It consists of your medical/scientific competence. This is the source from which to draw all the information that is just waiting to be read by patients and appreciated by Google.
The second step is to have a structure able to be present on the web and to be managed with ease. A blog, for example, or a Facebook page.
The third step is to listen to the requests and doubts of your patients. Collecting a complete database of concrete problems will allow us not to waste time writing interesting articles for our patients.
The fourth and final step corresponds to the fifth point of the Build system devised by Daniel Vettori: Do It! That is: do it!
Begin to write articles with an informative flavor on a regular basis, but with scientific rigor. Publish them on your Blog, share them through your Facebook professional page and send them regularly by email to all those patients who agree to receive communications from you.
Your patients will have more and more confidence in you, they will talk about you with friends and relatives at home and on social networks and, last but not least, Google will thank you helping to increase your prestige on the web.