Do you know the difference between marketing and advertising? Most in healthcare do not. It took me a long time to truly understand the difference. Most doctors believe marketing and advertising are the same.
Marketing and advertising are NOT synonyms.
Marketing involves research. Marketing requires that you understand the needs, wants or problems of your customer. In the healthcare world, this means we take the time to understand what our patients need…and then provide a solution.
Advertising on the other hand is simply random efforts to draw attention to a product or service. Examples are magazine ads, billboards, radio commercials, etc. It’s spam to most of us.
Why Marketing in Healthcare?
Patients unknowingly expect us to market. They want to find out about their health problems on the Internet.
They are looking for answers to their questions about their own health and they want to learn from a respected and credible source. Respected and credible sources are called “authorities.” Websites you yourself trust, on any subject, are authoritative (at least in your mind).
We, healthcare providers, have an opportunity to satisfy this need. We can provide answers to health related questions on our blogs, websites, social media platforms, etc. By satisfying their need, we bring value to our readers…who may later become our next patient!
Patients also want to find out information about their next doctor. We can provide this, too. As natural authorities we become instantly credible. This provides tremendous value to your reader (i.e. patient) and separates us from the “layman” posing as an authority.
Personal Transparency | Who are You?
If you choose, and I hope that you do, exhibit some degree of personal transparency for your patients. You may choose to include this on your website or social media platform on your “About” page or profile.
Personal transparency means including some elements of you as a person. What do you like to do? Sports? Hobbies, etc.
You don’t have to give away any elements of your identity, but just give your reader who you are as a person. It will resonate with them and put you far ahead of your competition.
As an example,
I love Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, but detest Starbucks. I play competitive tennis and do not like golf. Youth ice hockey is the best sport ever, as Labradors are the best dogs.
Resonates a lot more than telling you about fancy residencies and fellowships, right?
Podcast on Healthcare and Medical Internet Marketing
Russ Faust, M.D and I just launched a podcast on Healthcare and Medical Internet Marketing. I’d love if you tried us out and gave us a review on iTunes.
Thanks for reading, following…and listening.
If you have a comment, question or concern….just leave below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!
To Your Success,
Randall Wong, M.D.
Healthcare and Medical Internet Marketing
Healthcare’s Rx for Web and Social