Updated: Aug 22, 2019
If you ever took a marketing class in college or read a book on the subject, you’ve probably heard of Philip Kotler, the father of modern marketing, and his four P’s (aka principles) of marketing.
These P’s have rung true since Kotler’s book, Principles of Marketing, came out in 1957: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion.
But we live in a changing world. So I propose we add one more P to the marketing mix: Presence.
Let’s dive a little deeper into these principles and apply them to the healthcare industry.
The first thing that you need to do is define your product and/or services and develop your brand. This includes the appearance of your website, the text or copy you use to describe your services, and the atmosphere of your physical clinic.
Think about who your client is. Are they a patient or a healthcare professional?
If you are trying to attract patients, make sure that your website is easy to navigate and the language is down-to-earth. If you are trying to attract physicians, you can use more complex language and go for a more cultured look while maintaining ease-of-use.
How do you want your client to feel when they encounter your brand or purchase your healthcare services?
Once you have that answer in mind, how can you convey this feeling in your images, messaging, and online presentation?
Knowing the answers to these questions is essential for the success of every healthcare business. Until you know who you want to attract and start targeting them directly, you’re fishing without a hook.
This one is pretty simple: My advice is to be competitive but not cheap.
Research what your competitors are charging. That’s what your clients or patients will be doing—you can be sure of that.
We all know the battle that wages between the patient and insurance companies and healthcare companies these days. Make sure your pricing is accessible and reasonable.
At the end of the day, give exceptional value for the price your customer is paying.
*THE BONUS P: PRESENCE*
Healthcare marketing today is just like any other marketing—it’s all about being present on a company website and active on social media.
Your website is your healthcare company’s HQ.
It’s where your clients will find you, where they will check you out, and where they will decide whether to book an appointment. That being said, it’s worth investing your dollars in a custom website design.
Your social media, emails, and any networking you do should all send people to your website, where you have the option to call or book an appointment online.
Keep your website up to date, keep it clean, and keep it easy-to-use. And don’t forget to utilize Search Engine Optimization. If you need help with this, find it. It’s worth it for the Google hits!
There is also your physical office. This is where you show up in person, prove that you are real, and provide the care and support your clients need. Your office should be clean, inviting, and feel much homier that a hospital.
Make sure your office leaves a positive impression. Think about the interior decorations and ensure they align with your brand.
Above all, be warm and welcoming!
You have a website and social media for a reason. Don’t just share what you had for lunch or even the latest research article. Talk about real life application. Promote your products and services by speaking to your client’s needs.
If what you’re promoting (your product or service) is effective, the great thing is that it will start to sell itself through the people who’ve already benefited.
Once those individuals start spreading the word, organic buzz starts to flow and that is incredibly valuable to a growing business.
Be sure to engage with any comments or replies that you get on your blog or social media, especially if a question is asked. This gives an excellent impression of your care for your customers.
Lastly, I want to leave you with the simple statement that healthcare marketing can truly influence a buyer’s response. Start by applying Kotler’s 4 P’s (plus one!) in your marketing strategies in your healthcare business today.
Let me know what questions you have about healthcare marketing in the comments below.