Not so long ago healthcare marketing was seen as being faintly unseemly if not downright unethical. In fact a paper titled, Physicians’ and consumers’ conflicting attitudes toward health care advertising by F.B. Krohn and C. Flynn, published back in 2001 was dedicated to exploring the differing opinion between doctors and patients regarding advertising medical services.
At the time, many medical professionals saw advertising as ‘…potentially unethical, misleading, deceptive and likely to lead to price increases.’ Consumers on the other hand, those potential patients, felt that healthcare advertising led, “…to higher consumer awareness of services, better services, promotes competitive pricing, and lowers rather than raises health care costs.”
One can only hope that those physicians opposed to promotion a decade or so ago were not left swimming against the current when the internet brought a tidal wave of new online healthcare marketing opportunities crashing down upon the healthcare industry. For sure not every medical facility was so coy about marketing their services – even back then. The Mayo Clinic gives a great example of a medical facility which has fully embraced online healthcare marketing and the different channels available via both online and mobile devices.
Online Internet Marketing:
The cornerstone of Mayo Clinic’s online marketing is its website. Mayo Clinic were early adopters of the internet. Their website domain was first purchased back in 1997 which must have set the cat amongst the pigeons with those old naysayers back in the day!
The design has changed quite a lot over the years. Today its main message is that the Mayo Clinic is where real people, find real answers. As you can see if you look at the screensnap below, this is a truly elegant design which enables access to a vast array of information right from the homepage while maintaining a personable image.
Mayo makes good use of social networks with links to Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. There are several Mayo Clinic Twitter accounts including @MayoClinic, @MayoClinicJobs, @MayoClinicNeuro and @MayoClinicME. Just one of them has over 600,000 followers. It is significant that social networking plays such an important role to Mayo Clinic’s healthcare marketing that they have drawn up and published a very clear set of social media guidelines for their employees to follow when participating in online social activites.
This is a wise policy and one that more large employers should consider implementing.
Mayo Clinic on Youtube:
Mayo has maintained an active Youtube channel for the last 5 years. With over 2,600 videos and 12,000 subscribers, it is an effective marketing channel whwere they can share a wide variety of information from health tips and surgical information to marketing messages … like the one for the Patient App shown below.
Mobile and Tablet
The Mayo Patient App:
Not only does Mayo Clinic show digital marketing savvy by offering a patient app for IoS and Android users, they show mastery of online healthcare marketing by using their own channels to push this helpful tool, including their own well-trafficed Youtube channel. tHere is the video which has been viewed over 13,000 times.
It is not necessary to be quite as cutting edge as the folks at UCLA Health who live-tweeted Vine clips of deep brain surgery on a conscious, guiter-playing patient in order to make your mark on the internet. Neither is it necessary to achieve as deep an integration as Mayo Clinic have done – after all they have been marketing online for over 15 years now. But if your healthcare facility or private clinic has so far not made any inroads into online healthcare marketing you have to know that you are being left behind.
According to a study by Pew Internet and American Life Project reported by MNSBC “… 80 percent of Internet users, or about 93 million Americans, have searched for a health-related topic online.” Click here to find out more about how a Webdirexion customized online marketing campaign can help your healthcare marketing.