To grow patient volume, start looking outward

In today’s healthcare market, growing patient volume is critical to success.  In recent years, health systems have focused on what might be described as supply-side growth strategies. However, a number of variables, such as aggressive physician recruitment and aggressive M&A consolidations, are taking the wind out of the sails of this inward-facing, supply-side approach. It might be time for your organization to create a fresh patient growth strategy, one that looks outward at potential patient demand and has a strong brand at the center.

Generating Demand

Patient volume growth comes down to demand generation — marketing that drives awareness and creates demand for your services. To have successful demand generation, you need seamless interplay among three drivers of growth: branding, lead generation, and customer engagement.

Branding

Brand recognition is one of the first interactions a potential customer will have with an organization, which is why it is key to implement strategies that allow employees to understand and truly live the brand. Throughout the entire decision-making journey, the brand is the overarching presence. A strong brand can be a huge driver of growth, leading to greater:

  • Advocacy/referrals
  • Awareness
  • Engagement
  • Intent to trial/use
  • Market share
  • Satisfaction
  • Trust

Lead Generation

Running a successful lead generation campaign is dependent on a few factors. First, you must have content compelling enough to prompt an individual to exchange their contact information. This is done through a content strategy that offers prospective patients something informative and, in some cases, interactive — from videos and webinars to testimonials, eZines, and more. Second, you’ll need to have a marketing automation system in place if you don’t already. This simplifies the distribution of your lead generation materials, helping to turn prospects into customers.

Customer Engagement

It is far more likely to sell to an existing customer in the healthcare market than it is to sell to a new prospect (60-70% vs. 5-20%). That means you must engage customers—past and current patients— and deliver an outstanding experience.  Satisfied patients are more likely to return for services and be receptive to cross-selling than patients who had a poor experience, whether that’s a delay, inconvenient processes, a poor office atmosphere or interactions that don’t measure up to your brand’s promises.

What’s more, patients who have had good experiences are more likely to share their opinion with their family and friends and serve as your advocate. Word of mouth is among the best marketing techniques, especially in social media where individuals look to those they trust for recommendations on nearly everything.

Supply-side growth can work in certain cases, but overall, demand-side growth will yield the greatest returns — especially when enacted with a strong, integrated effort. And by integrating branding, lead generation, and customer engagement into your growth strategy, you can help transform your prospects into loyal patients. Need help getting started? Movéo’s vast expertise in the healthcare market can help boost your patient volumes. Contact us to get started.

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