Healthgrades CEO Roger Holstein has been continuously involved with innovation on the consumer health internet since 1996. But his passion for
providing consumers with access to transparent health information dates back to 1986 when he helped to invent the notion of physician directories and referral services.
Roger has also spent a considerable amount of time reimagining the role of marketing within the health system. At the 2012 HealthShare Symposium, he shared his perspective on the five key ways to strengthen a hospital’s digital marketing strategy, right now:
1) Find consumers where they’re looking for you.
This sounds so obvious, but it makes sense to review the numbers. More than 80 percent of people online are searching for health information. And yet hospital marketers continue to spend a disproportionate amount of their budgets in traditional media – 7 percent is spent on digital media; 44 percent is spent on TV. Look to the health internet, which affords even local marketers with broadcast-size scale at a local level – millions of qualified visitors, not thousands, seeking information which can lead to your doorsteps.
2) Drive consumers to take actions, and measure those actions.
Shift to web, where you can identify and segment your audience, educate, and drive measurable actions. And don’t merely advertise; engage consumers where they’re looking for information and build a relationship. Programmatic solutions like CRM campaigns drive registrations, screenings, appointments, and downstream ROI that’s measureable.
3) Physicians are the entry point to your system. Differentiate your doctors as you would your hospital.
Finding patients where they’re looking for a physician is an ideal place to engage and build relationships. Online, dimensionalize your doctors just as you dimensionalize your hospitals – after all, not all doctors in one specialty are the same. You can differentiate your doctors across the 5 P’s: Personal, practice, professional, procedural and performance criteria. This will cost a lot less than differentiating your hospitals and get you a lot more.
4) Leverage your quality and patient satisfaction data to differentiate your physicians.
Conjoint research conducted this spring suggests that hospital quality and patient satisfaction scores are more important to consumer preference than broader claims of overall hospital reputation, let alone recommendations for family members or friends. Put simply, patient satisfaction and quality data increase a person’s likelihood to book an appointment with your physician.
5) Position yourselves as health information experts within your community.
As the health model evolves into a new world where health systems are more like payers than they have been in the past – a business focusing on attracting patients – you’ll need to think about your branding and positioning differently. In this world, you’ll need to engage with patients way before they need hospitalization by fulfilling their need for information. Become a brand people in your community turn to when they have a new diagnosis, prescription or condition. You’re not merely the local care provider, you’re a trusted advisor.