Marketing to healthcare consumers.

We need to get over this idea that marketing is a predatory practice. A dirty word.

Marketing to healthcare consumers ensures people who really need a service find it. It helps consumers choose a provider that is right for them in culture and approach as well as service type.

As the community and public health and aged care sectors become increasingly competitive, marketing ensures the company remains among the three provider options that target consumers consider. That’s a business outcome that means a stable job in a business with increasing opportunities.

In a community care context marketing is not about exerting undue influence on a client. It is no more than finding opportunities for people to achieve health and wellbeing goals.

And that can take many, many forms: a radio for company, a personal alarm device for personal security, a social program for connecting with others at the same life stage and situation, more appropriate clothing, education programs on video or a telehealth service.

In the health and care context, marketing is not selling. It is presenting options supported with information.

Accustomed to achieving lifestyle goals the Boomers – who, assisted by their informed and tech savvy siblings, are the greatest consumers of health and aged care – are going shopping for the best experience the government’s money, and their own, can buy.

They want choice and a responsive, tailored service beyond the care plan.

39% of Australia’s population is over 50 (7.5 million people). They are either considering care options for themselves, their friends or their parents.

A recent Blaze Boomer Brand Satisfaction survey of 1100 Australian men and women found that, far from eschewing unsolicited approaches, Boomers welcome them.

94% of Boomers think that media and advertising should recognise that “My age group is still interested in buying new things.”  78% agreed that media and advertising should recognise that “I have more financial freedom at my age.”

And let’s remember that superannuation arrived in 1992, 22 years ago. That’s why NAB estimates 60% of people’s income in retirement will be earned after they retire.

If a provider’s nursing and care teams are not looking for opportunities to inform clients of products and services that will improve health and wellbeing – and serve to achieve the company’s mission and purpose – then they are very likely not providing the full consumer experience many clients are seeking.

Think like a consumer. Ask your clients the right questions.

Talk to us about marketing to healthcare consumers and building the competency of your employees to present options to clients.

 Image credit: Justin Taylor via Flickr Creative Commons