The Art of Marketing Healthcare

In a recent article I have read published by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) dated May 20, 2006 the word “social marketing” struck me as something worth looking into most specially in the field of healthcare. Are we to “market” for it, beef up the public relations for it or simply promote and advocate for it?

A mix-up of terms yet seems so intertwined. Heidi Cohen in her website published at least 72 definitions of marketing. And so the question is presented — How are we to conduct social marketing in the field of healthcare? In today’s times of big data, marketers have the edge to use such data to deliver targeted, highly personalized experiences to the right audience at the right time. Bart Foster, in a post he made at Media Post says that the top trends for healthcare and wellness and marketers for 2014 are as follows: Marketing Personalization expands, online and offline worlds continue to blur, mobile experience becomes priority number one, multichannel attribution models develop and transparency a necessity. All these makes sense in the dawn of digital health.

But just how is social marketing applied to health and its promotion? In the British Medical Journal it was indicated that social marketing is widely used to influence health behavior. Social marketers use a wide range of health communication tools that assist in such majority of which fall under the domain of social media and its various platforms. A vital consideration that comes along with social marketing in the domain of healthcare is communicating to a general or a “targeted” audience. An example cited in the BMJ was that of the National Cancer Institute’s “five a day for better health” campaign which developed specific messages aimed at Hispanic people since national data indicate that they consume fewer fruits and vegetables and may have cultural reasons that discourage them from eating locally available produce. A challenge isn’t it?

We are cordially inviting you to join in and share your valuable inputs to the following discussion points:

1- How do you “sell” the promotion of healthy lifestyle?
2- What is your definition of social marketing and/or branding in the field of healthcare? Any difference?
3- How can you tell if your social marketing is effective in health promotion? Any parameters we can use?

Closing thought- What is your take-home message to the community in furthering the reach of health promotion and advocacy?

Join us for another #HealthXPh chat on June 7, Saturday at 9 pm Manila time and 9 am EST. We look forward to seeing and hearing from you! See you!

Social media Marketing

Image courtesy of medcitynews.com

References:

1- How Social Marketing works in Health Care- British Medical Journal May 20, 2006; 332(7551): 1207-1210 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1463924
2- Top Trends for Healthcare and Wellness Marketers in 2014 by Bart Foster, Dec. 3, 2013 http://mediapost.com/publications/article/214610/top-trends-for-healthcare-wellness-marketers-in.html
3- 72 Definitions of Marketing by Heidi Cohen heidicohen.com/marketing-definition/