Helping Physician Clients Understand
Why Marketing Is Important
September 8, 2016
As more and more patients search online for information about medical conditions and treatments, direct-to-patient marketing is becoming increasingly important for medical device companies.
However, many patients still rely on physicians to provide information about conditions and treatments. Physicians may also want to focus on particular procedures and conditions in their practices. The right marketing materials can help physicians connect with the right patients, which in turn improves their practices and ultimately helps with the sale of medical devices and prescriptions. When your physician clients position themselves correctly, you have the opportunity to help more patients.
Why Physicians Should Market Their Practices
Most physicians have particular procedures or conditions that they want to focus on. Marketing helps physicians connect with the right patients. Physicians may see the benefit of your medication or device, but if they aren’t positioning themselves correctly, they may not be seeing as many of the patients who could benefit from your device or medication. With the right marketing, everyone benefits--your company, the practice, and most importantly, the patient.
The medical landscape is changing, and patients now have more options when it comes to choosing a physician. The popularity of mobile devices also allows us to have a wealth of information quite literally at our fingertips. Physicians, medical device companies, and pharmaceutical companies have an opportunity to provide educational materials to patients to ensure that they are getting valid information. The right marketing strategy can also help a practice’s ranking in search results, which can help practices attract more of the right types of patients.
Marketing for Medical Practices
There are definitely some differences between direct-to-patient marketing and medical practice marketing. However, the main idea is the same: giving patients the information they need to be able to make a decision. That information will certainly differ when comparing medical device and pharma marketing materials with medical practice marketing materials, simply because patients are looking for different things.
When patients look at a physician’s website, they may be looking for information about a particular condition, but they are also looking for additional information. They want to know how the practice handles treatment for that condition. They will also look at information about the practice, including location and hours of operation. They may also look at patient reviews on sites like Healthgrades and Vitals before making a decision to book an appointment. It’s important for physicians to address all of these things to effectively market themselves.
To help patients get all of the information they need, practices need to make sure that their sites are easy to navigate so that patients can easily find that information. They should also create custom content to help patients learn more about how the practice handles particular procedures and conditions. Medical device and pharmaceutical companies can provide some educational content for practices, but it’s important for practices to have their own unique content to stand out online and provide patients with more detailed information.
Practices also need to focus on patient reviews. When patients search for a physician or practice online, they’ll likely see a number of review sites among the results. Practices that only have a few reviews could end up with a low overall score if they have just one negative review. For this reason, practices should include reputation management as part of their marketing strategy.
As I’ve discussed in a previous post, medical device and pharma reps who can help physicians understand why they need to market themselves and point them in the right direction can improve trust with their physician clients. The bottom line is that when patients are informed, everyone wins--most importantly, the patients who benefit from the right medical care.