Physician Practice Marketing in the Age of Digital Media

As with traditional marketing, digital marketing also relies heavily on knowing who your target market is.   So in today’s marketing environment, who is the target patient for a physician practice?

The explosion of mobile, social networking and all the other digital forms of communications have ushered is into a world of constant connectivity that offers more selection, more information, and more options. So, how do you ensure your patients are receiving the correct healthcare information?  You access the markets and platforms where your patients are.  Today is the era of participatory health. Today is the era of the E-Patient.   Defined by Nicole Ziady as “e-patients are health consumers who use the web to find information about certain medical conditions, e-patients are starving for information.

According to A Pew Research report, 47% of adults have used the internet to get information about doctors or other health care professionals.  Additionally, 41% of adults have read someone else commentary or experience about health or medical issues on an online new group or blog.  These numbers are clearly important.  Our patients are now educated, equipped, empowered and experts in their own healthcare.  Let’s face it, today is a world of “participatory health.”  Patients research their own symptoms and then report back to their physicians.

Marketing is shifting from the traditional method of promoting yourself, your services, and your products. Instead, digital marketing is becoming more about educating your patients with the correct healthcare information.  Did you know that 14% of people trust advertisements, while 78% of people trust what others say?  Why not write down the answer to that question you received 40 times today in your 7 minute patient visits?  Post it on a blog that links to your website.  Those e – patients will listen.  They will follow and they will be happy.  Positive patients = positive things said about your services = more prospective patients will listen and follow = positive return on investment.

Isn’t that what we all want?