The Healthcare Environment with the Empowered Patient

Gone are the days of the cold and sterile healthcare model. Today’s patients are informed and pro-active. The information age has catapulted a generation of informed and empowered patients. With this knowledge in hand, patients are expecting and demanding more. To stay relevant in today’s market, healthcare brands need to infuse their product with a sense of community.

Lindsey Weintraub, a social media strategist for healthcare brand, wrote an informative and actionable article with eight tips on how healthcare brands can put this thought to practice:

8 Ways Sterilized Healthcare Brands Can Bring Back the Human Touch
Read more here. 

1. Tell Your Story

Why does your healthcare brand exist? Give people a background about who you are and what matters most to you. Communicate your mission and vision. Bring your brand story to life in a creative and authentic way for people to get to know you. Think about how filmmakers introduce the audience to the main character and do character development. When you know the essential humanness of a person you feel empathy. You have a reason to root for the hero/heroine. Even when you don’t even like the hero/heroine you find yourself supporting them. See how far humanity can take you?

2. Work With the Persona In Mind

Create all patient facing content with personas in mind. This helps the brand stay focused on the target audience. It also helps align marketing with overall company goals and keeps messaging relevant, meaningful, and valuable. For example, if you are trying to reach people who are between 50 and 60 years of age, you can safely assume rap musicians aren’t likely to resonate with them.

3. Speak the Patient’s Language

If you don’t speak specifically to the patient, you risk creating an unreadable patient website or blog. Leave out the jargon and technical speak. By speaking the language of the patient, you are showing you understand and care about the patient. When it comes to understanding, a picture is worth a thousand words. Infographics, videos, animations, and other visual mediums are perfect for communicating complex information in an easily digestible format.

4. Invite Patients To Be Part Of Your Brand

Let consumers contribute to the brand story by giving them the opportunity to share their personal stories and experiences with your product or service. This can be done through a brand-owned landing page where necessary steps are taken to ensure compliance. Personal stories are inspirational and provide powerful social proof. It shows the brand cares about the people who use their products/services.

5. Avoid Stock Imagery

Stock photos can be generic and are usually not the best representation of the brand. When possible try to use original imagery. This yields exclusive rights to the visuals and prevents other brands (especially in your space) from having the same look. Original photography also lends credibility and gives a feeling of authenticity. If you faked the main pictures on your website with stock photography, what else are you faking?

6. Listen

Respond to consumers in offline and online communications whenever possible. It’s not always easy, but it’s imperative for healthy customer relationships. And ignoring consumers doesn’t solve the problem either; it just means they’ll go somewhere else to vent their grievances. This creates bad word of mouth and negative brand associations. Social listening and other methods of consumer research can help you better understand your customers and how to serve them.

7. Support Patients Beyond The Product and Product Support

Engage patients in a total care approach with valuable content designed for all stages of the patient life cycle. The digital medium provides ample opportunity to create meaningful experiences at multiple brand touch points. You can provide valuable patient education and inspire patients to live a healthier life. Create brand and product awareness, generate interest, and equip patients with the knowledge and confidence they need to make decisions about their health care.

8. Make The Benefit Abundantly Clear

The brand value proposition should be obvious. People shouldn’t have to dig around to figure out what they’re looking at. Try this exercise: imagine your current website without any of the text on it. Would anyone have a clue what you’re selling? If not, you may want to make it more clear what business you’re in. Hint: think benefits. The product may be a medical device, but what you’re really selling is quality of life, healing, peace of mind, comfort, restored ability, etc.

This new healthcare economy requires that the brands show their human side. These very simple steps are the starting point for stripping the corporate suit off and making communication with the consumer genuine.

BeaconFey Marketing & Communications has more than 30 years of experience in translating complex data into actionable marketing programs that create true value and content and drive future growth for our clients. Our award-winning team is skilled in a variety of disciplines to ensure your marketing dollars are well spent and your message reaches the right audience at the right time.

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