WILL EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION HELP EMPOWER CONSUMER
DECISION MAKING?

WILL EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION HELP EMPOWER CONSUMER DECISION MAKING?

WILL EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION HELP EMPOWER CONSUMER DECISION MAKING?

As with every aspect of marketing, an understanding of the consumer is central to the success of any efforts surrounding the marketing of an ASC. And particular attention must be paid to the vagaries of healthcare consumerism, which has evolved dramatically with the advent of the Internet, and has several nuances that fluctuate across numerous variables, including demographic factors, insurance and employment dependencies, and the type and degree of surgical procedures sought.

Understanding the healthcare consumer

As with every aspect of marketing, an understanding of the consumer is central to the success of any efforts surrounding the marketing of an ASC. And particular attention must be paid to the vagaries of healthcare consumerism, which has evolved dramatically with the advent of the Internet, and has several nuances that fluctuate across numerous variables, including demographic factors, insurance and employment dependencies, and the type and degree of surgical procedures sought.

Understanding the healthcare consumer

As with every aspect of marketing, an understanding of the consumer is central to the success of any efforts surrounding the marketing of an ASC. And particular attention must be paid to the vagaries of healthcare consumerism, which has evolved dramatically with the advent of the Internet, and has several nuances that fluctuate across numerous variables, including demographic factors, insurance and employment dependencies, and the type and degree of surgical procedures sought.

How you communicate matters

First, it’s important to accurately define what the healthcare consumer is seeking. Many ASC owners/stakeholders might mistake that patients are looking for “hip replacements” or “laparoscopic gastric bypasses.” But they are not. Instead, these consumers are typically looking for groin pain relief or a medical intervention to help them lose weight. In short, it’s important to speak to consumers in the language THEY use, and not the language that medical practitioners use.

Understanding the healthcare consumer
How you communicate matters

First, it’s important to accurately define what the healthcare consumer is seeking. Many ASC owners/stakeholders might mistake that patients are looking for “hip replacements” or “laparoscopic gastric bypasses.” But they are not. Instead, these consumers are typically looking for groin pain relief or a medical intervention to help them lose weight. In short, it’s important to speak to consumers in the language THEY use, and not the language that medical practitioners use.

This type of communication also helps to level-set expectations during the consideration phase: if the ASC speaks to prospective patients in approachable language, it will likely have an advantage over a competitor that’s attempting to speak to them in high-level clinical terms, or one that doesn’t offer any discernible benefits in their language at all. Language management can create a sense of familiarity and cordiality very early on in the relationship that may prove to be the difference between a facility inquiry or continued browsing.

Your online presence

According to the 2016 Consumer Health Insights survey, conducted by McKinsey & Co, 64% of surveyed consumers said they expected their provider to have an online presence. And in a 2017 article titled “Enabling Healthcare Consumerism,” McKinsey also stated, “Providing consumers with accurate, meaningful, and accessible information is the first step in empowering their decision making and enlisting them as partners in managing their health and the cost of their healthcare.”

It should go without saying that any ASC should have a mature, informational website with useful information (like hours, location, procedures offered) that is responsive and tailored to the typical patient. That is to say, a pediatric ENTASC website should be different in tone and content than an orthopedic ASC focused on arthritis-related surgeries such as knee replacement for septuagenarians.

When an ASC is running any kind of marketing campaign, it’s also good practice to create a microsite and/or landing page designed specifically for that campaign. This helps to make additional impressions and deliver more detailed information around the campaign objective (to introduce a new location, or new procedure, for example.) While the “always-on” website can easily handle this function, a campaign microsite affords the marketer some specific measuring opportunities and can help capitalize on timing-specific messaging.

Creating a memorable and enjoyable experience

Another important consumer-related factor in the marketing of ASCs is that consumers are often looking for some kind of experience to elevate their interactions with brands. And healthcare offers remarkable opportunities for consumer experience delivery.

This can start as part of the ASC’s online presence: videos, patient testimonials, a virtual walk-through of the facility can all begin to frame out what the experience will be like for a patient when he or she walks through the doors for the first time. And while it helps to set basic expectations and even generate excitement, it does an even greater service in easing any reservations prospective patients may harbor about having a surgical procedure performed.

Other areas of experience management are centered around personalization. Consider thinking outside the lines of traditional marketing, and finding ways to communicate with patients or prospects about their healthcare journey. This could be in the form of regular text updates, an app for the ASC, or a post-treatment survey. All of these can help to elevate the overall experience, and to yield useful information that can be leveraged later. These kinds of subtle touch points – the more of them and more useful they are – can ultimately lead to higher ratings and positive reviews for any ASC.

This type of communication also helps to level-set expectations during the consideration phase: if the ASC speaks to prospective patients in approachable language, it will likely have an advantage over a competitor that’s attempting to speak to them in high-level clinical terms, or one that doesn’t offer any discernible benefits in their language at all. Language management can create a sense of familiarity and cordiality very early on in the relationship that may prove to be the difference between a facility inquiry or continued browsing.

Your online presence

According to the 2016 Consumer Health Insights survey, conducted by McKinsey & Co, 64% of surveyed consumers said they expected their provider to have an online presence. And in a 2017 article titled “Enabling Healthcare Consumerism,” McKinsey also stated, “Providing consumers with accurate, meaningful, and accessible information is the first step in empowering their decision making and enlisting them as partners in managing their health and the cost of their healthcare.”

It should go without saying that any ASC should have a mature, informational website with useful information (like hours, location, procedures offered) that is responsive and tailored to the typical patient. That is to say, a pediatric ENTASC website should be different in tone and content than an orthopedic ASC focused on arthritis-related surgeries such as knee replacement for septuagenarians.

When an ASC is running any kind of marketing campaign, it’s also good practice to create a microsite and/or landing page designed specifically for that campaign. This helps to make additional impressions and deliver more detailed information around the campaign objective (to introduce a new location, or new procedure, for example.) While the “always-on” website can easily handle this function, a campaign microsite affords the marketer some specific measuring opportunities and can help capitalize on timing-specific messaging.

Creating a memorable and enjoyable experience

Another important consumer-related factor in the marketing of ASCs is that consumers are often looking for some kind of experience to elevate their interactions with brands. And healthcare offers remarkable opportunities for consumer experience delivery.

This can start as part of the ASC’s online presence: videos, patient testimonials, a virtual walk-through of the facility can all begin to frame out what the experience will be like for a patient when he or she walks through the doors for the first time. And while it helps to set basic expectations and even generate excitement, it does an even greater service in easing any reservations prospective patients may harbor about having a surgical procedure performed.

Other areas of experience management are centered around personalization. Consider thinking outside the lines of traditional marketing, and finding ways to communicate with patients or prospects about their healthcare journey. This could be in the form of regular text updates, an app for the ASC, or a post-treatment survey. All of these can help to elevate the overall experience, and to yield useful information that can be leveraged later. These kinds of subtle touch points – the more of them and more useful they are – can ultimately lead to higher ratings and positive reviews for any ASC.

Have questions about ASC marketing?

Have questions about ASC marketing?

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