While living in US many years back, had seen the competition between pharma companies, with the intense commercials that ran on TV and radio. And yes, the Providers also used to advertize, but they generally used to be the big names/ brands. The marketing dollars are now getting spread to smaller clinical practices, away from print and TV, to social media. The neighborhood clinics are now vying for the same patient, who might have earlier gone to a large health system, as same/ equivalent services are offered by smaller neighbourhood clinics. More so, now that patients do proper research online, before choosing their care-giver, as there are choices available. And the neighborhood care-givers, understanding the power of online advertising, are now going full-steam, allocating marketing dollars, for both awareness and foot-falls.
The campaigns need to be well-crafted and understood. While care-givers understand their market and patients, they need to work with digital marketing agencies/ teams, who can help them position their clinical expertize properly, on social media. And while care-givers focus on what they are good at, i.e. providing best care to their patients, digital marketing professionals work at the background, evolving the campaigns, so as to create maximum eye-ball impressions. This is an important symbiotic relationship that needs to be well understood by care-givers and the digital marketers.
Return of doctor house call (and their online campaigns)
While managing Google Ad campaigns for US clinical practices, am seeing a trend that is coming back – return of doctor house call. There are many entities advertising doctor house calls. A few start-ups (which are now more than start-ups now) like Heal in CA that has raised over $69 million, promotes the use of its smartphone apps to ‘connect the dots’ between patients and doctors. The patients who use Heal, find it convenient, as it avoids them to go to ED. And there is Pager in NY, that has raised over $29 million, uses a combination of video consult and house call. The big appeal for house call is flat-fee and convenience. Then there is Mend in Dallas that costs between $50 and $199 per visit. There is considerable $ spend on online campaigns, by these entities.
Advertising $ spend
The $ spend on online marketing is not just confined to few start-ups that get millions of dollars, in various rounds of funding and gotta use those dollars to promote themselves, but also from traditional brick-n-mortar neighborhood clinics, who want foot-falls to their clinics. In both cases, patients are benefitted, as there is convenience and less outflow from patient’s pocket and Google’s cash registers are ringing!!