The Rise Of The E-Patient And Their Impact On Patient Focused Marketing

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Patients are evolving, and medical marketing needs to evolve with them.  That huge generation born between the end of the Second World War and 1965 are today’s middle aged and ‘younger’ elderly generation.  According to Pew studies, people aged between 50 and 64, which are the youngest Baby Boomers and oldest Gen X’ers, are only a few percentage points behind younger age groups when it comes to searching online for medical information.  Where they typically differ is in what they’re searching for.  For example, middle-aged people and those over 65 years of age are more likely to be searching for information about particular health conditions and diseases, or looking up specific treatments and procedures.  This is significant information for health care practitioners looking for more effective ways of marketing to these age groups.

Changing the way middle-aged people need to be marketed to….

‘Middle agers’ are clearly armed with enough computer know-how to equip themselves with knowledge.  They can in all likelihood intelligently discuss their condition and possible treatments with their doctor.  Equally as importantly, this access to online information allows them to be a lot more picky about selecting a health care practitioner that fits in with their idea of what they require in the way of health care.  They no longer have to ‘make do’ because they don’t know any better.

To that end, this is a group of people increasingly looking for more than just a list of services.  They also want to know what these services entail, how they will benefit them, and do they actually need them.  Remember, they’re now able to get a very good idea both of what they have, and what their treatment options are without having to go anywhere near a medical facility to find out.

"Health care businesses that recognize today’s patients are a distinctly different bunch to what they were a generation ago and adapt their marketing practices accordingly, are the ones that will survive."

Baby Boomers Are A Very Savvy Bunch

These people haven’t gotten where they are in life without developing some street smarts either.  They’re pretty cluey when it comes to knowing when they’re being taken for a ride or when someone is trying to con them out of their hard-earned cash.  They can spot dishonest, dodgy marketing and they’ll make you work to earn their trust and respect.  Simply putting up a website with a few sketchy details around what you’re about won’t cut it with these guys whatsoever. 

They are on the look out for a health care provider that imbues them with a sense of trust.  They want a practitioner they feel they can comfortably develop a close relationship with and who will, above all, co-operate with them in helping improve their health.  In other words, they are on the hunt for a list of what a health care professional can do for them in particular, not what they can do for their next-door neighbour or the general population!  At this point in their research that’s something that can only be determined through your marketing efforts. 

Indeed, any provider that makes their shortlist will ultimately do so courtesy of how patient focused their marketing is, and how much this group feels they can trust that marketing.  Any hint of exaggerated claims, dodginess, or dishonesty for instance will have them leaving your site as quickly as they landed there, a phenomenon officially referred to as ‘bouncing’.

Baby boomers and older X gens may be new to much of the information and communication technology thing but they still know how to search out customer feed back sites and scour social media pages.  They’ll be looking for any information about their chosen few finalists.  What they find there will undoubtedly put the final seal on their ultimate choice.

As A Health Care Service Provider, Is Your Marketing strategy Patient Focused Enough For These Potential Patients?

Health care businesses that recognize today’s patients are a distinctly different bunch to what they were a generation ago and adapt their marketing practices accordingly, are the ones that will survive.  These patients are well informed courtesy of their ability to access online information services.  They’re looking for proof that you can help them but unlike previous generations, they’re also more keenly interested in how you intend to do that.  This requires highly patient focused marketing, and marketing that tells them they can trust you to fulfill their expectations.  Implicitly.

Is Your Marketing Trustworthy?

Does it engender the trust they need before they’ll commit to booking an appointment with you?

In today’s world where insincere marketing hype, rip off schemes, and dodgy claims abound, your medical marketing needs to be relevant, genuine, fact driven, and all about how you can help your readers achieve their health goals.  A specialist medical marketing agency such as TopEngage can help you with credible and professional online medical marketing.  It’s marketing that counts where you need it to count most – with your potential patients.