There will be several advances in medical technology this year. More than ever before, doctors will need to utilize marketing strategies to stay in high demand in 2016. With advances in technology, consumers now have access to more information than they ever had before. This means that choosing a doctor is no longer a random or arbitrary choice. When choosing a physician, rather than going with a friend or family member’s recommendation, patients now have the luxury of looking up information about the doctor online. Thus, a doctor’s online presence will carry a lot of weight in determining whether a patient chooses him as his physician. According to Wizmotions CEO John Socratous, “One of the biggest consumer segments we see moving to aggressive advertising are doctors. Explainer videos, SEO and online reviews seemed secondary in the medical field for many years. Today, that is no longer the case.”
Getting and posting reviews will be particularly powerful. Especially for matters involving healthcare, patients put a lot of emphasis and consideration on the opinions of other patients. The power of an unbiased review or opinion from another patient has credibility and significance for patients who are choosing between doctors. As technology continues to evolve, doctors have additional advantages in terms of actual practicing and in regards to marketing. When planning your marketing strategies for 2016, here are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Consumers can research doctor reviews on Yelp before picking
It has become increasingly evident that marketing efforts, when successful, can dramatically increase the amount of business and customers a doctor receives. Only a few years ago, choosing a doctor was a fairly unorganized, random process. People would ask their friends for recommendations, and check in with family members to see whom their primary care physician is. Now, however, with the assistance from online platforms like Yelp, patients have access to a wealth of information right at their fingertips. Yelp offers clients the ability to find doctors in their location and filter by price, neighborhood, ranking, and more. This takes care of the guesswork, and means that patients no longer have to choose based off of a gut instinct. For doctors, this is good news and bad news, depending on how they react to this information. For doctors that are accustomed to getting new patients simply from referrals and convenience, it wont be as easy in 2016. Now that patients are flocking to the Internet, doctors who don’t market themselves will be at a serious disadvantage. If your online presence is weak, you will easily be lost among sea of doctors who advertises heavily online. For better or worse, Yelp is a trusted source for customers. Especially when there are few other resources and outlets that customers know about, Yelp provides an excellent tool for searching for and evaluating prospective doctors. The different of just one star in a yelp rating can be the different of a significant amount of customers for doctors.
2. Natural remedies are becoming more popular
In 2016, health care as a whole is focusing more on the customer than ever before. In doing so, it looks more deeply into customer’s personal needs. As a result, Yerba Mate, Green Tea, and other natural herbal remedies are increasing in popularity. As the millennial population is growing and commanding more power over various industries in the market, businesses are seeing changes resulting from the new philosophies these millennial are introducing. There is a bigger emphasis on healthy eating and exercise, and people are becoming more interested natural remedies. Like many of the other changes in 2016, this presents a good-and-bad scenario for doctors. It’s all about how you embrace the situation. Doctors can benefit from the increased attention on natural remedies by embracing and supporting it. If patients think that you are a believer and advocate for natural remedies, they are more likely to choose you as a doctor. Make sure to stay up to date on the current health and nutrition trends so that you can make sure that your voice matches the views of your potential clients. On the flip side, the surge in natural remedies can be damaging for doctors who aren’t aware of it or don’t take steps to embrace it. By neglecting or otherwise distancing yourself from this new trend, you will be alienating yourself from customers who are supporters of natural remedies. David Legin from Bed Bug Guide mentioned, “Consumers need to understand what’s going into their medicine. From things like bed bugs, to their every day nutrition and well-being – the American consumer cares so much more today about the ingredients of the remedies they use.”
In the past, people would need to go to the doctor for practically everything. Even the smallest headache or stuffy nose would cause people to jump in the car and rush off to their physician. The reason why? It was the only solution. With a lack of publicly available information, people felt more compelled when they had a medical issue or question. Now, however, with easily accessible and informative sites like WebMD, people don’t necessarily need to book an appointment for simple diagnoses. Patients are now empowered with the huge amount of data and information they can pore over online. For some doctors this can be good; if they can market themselves in such a way that appeals to followers of WebMD. On the other hand, the elevated presence of this new platform can be damaging if patients are choosing to spend their time on the site rather than scheduling an appointment with their doctor. This can be especially damaging for patients if they are not meticulous enough and wrongly diagnose themselves. Despite any advances in information and technology, there is no replacement for a face-to-face meeting with a doctor. In fact, Waqaas Al-Siddiq of Biotricity said, “The advances in technology are providing to be helpful for both patients and doctors, generally speaking. However – it is still important for patients to put their trust in their physician and not merely on what they gather from the Internet. It is always important to remember that while technology can never replace doctors, it can provide a helpful supplement to them.”