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Learn the Essentials of Healthcare Marketing With an MBA Degree

The past two decades have witnessed a remarkable transformation in how patients and healthcare providers connect and engage. The healthcare industry has fully entered the information age, leading consumers to increasingly demand improved information sharing and more satisfying healthcare experiences. However, most healthcare institutions have struggled to meet these evolving expectations.

While healthcare providers now have a wider array of marketing channels, many have opted to cling to traditional options, such as television, radio and billboard advertising, while making only modest advancements in their digital presence. In contrast, healthcare organizations that have successfully adapted to the contemporary consumer landscape are setting themselves apart, establishing distinctive brands and capturing a larger market share.

The online Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Concentration in Health Care Marketing program from East Tennessee State University (ETSU) can prepare you to help achieve these results for your healthcare employers as a marketing professional who integrates communication, analytics and patient care into your role.

What Is Healthcare Marketing?

Healthcare marketing encompasses creating, disseminating and delivering healthcare-related information. This field draws from a variety of disciplines, including communication, marketing, healthcare analytics and patient care. It has evolved into a multidisciplinary practice that combines fundamental marketing principles with evidence-based prevention and health promotion.

Sophisticated healthcare marketing strategies integrate a seamless blend of online and offline efforts, which are highly segmented and targeted across multiple channels. These strategies aim to achieve the following objectives:

  • Build brand awareness.
  • Generate leads.
  • Improve patient acquisition and retention.
  • Get information in the hands of inquiring potential patients.
  • Drive engagement with current, future, and even former patients.
  • Increase revenues and profitability.
  • Fuel business expansion.

The Trending Importance of Marketing in Healthcare

Today, marketing’s role in healthcare continues to increase. It is not merely about attracting patients but demonstrating expertise and establishing a brand people trust. In a world inundated with information, healthcare marketing acts as a compass, guiding patients to the most competent providers.

Demonstrating expertise through digital channels fosters trust and positions healthcare professionals as authorities in their respective fields. Thought leadership is becoming more critical, as 69% of millennials look to the Internet before their primary care physicians for medical advice.

Personalized communications have become the new linchpin in building lasting patient relationships. Because patients now expect tailored experiences, marketing efforts that speak directly to an individual’s evolving needs help to foster a sense of care and consideration, strengthening the patient-provider bond. Many organizations struggle to meet this expectation, and 76% of consumers are reportedly frustrated by a lack of personalized messaging.

Managing reputation and patient reviews is equally critical for healthcare institutions. Online reviews and social media patient interactions have become pivotal factors in patients’ decision-making processes and as drivers of business expansion or contraction.

Approximately 90% of Americans seek health information on social media. Marketing professionals are key in helping organizations maintain a positive online reputation, addressing patient concerns and actively seeking feedback on social media and review platforms to continuously improve services.

Marketing also plays a pivotal role in supporting collaboration among healthcare providers. Holistic healthcare requires seamless communication and coordination among various specialists. Marketing initiatives can facilitate this by promoting interdisciplinary approaches, ensuring that patients receive comprehensive care and easy appointment scheduling across health specialties.

In fact, 94% of patients are willing to switch from a provider that does not offer online appointment scheduling to one that does. In this new ecosystem, marketing is not just a promotional tool but also a driving force behind patient-centered, collaborative healthcare delivery.

Healthcare Marketing Strategies

Effective healthcare marketing today involves several crucial elements:

  • Alignment with organizational objectives: Align marketing strategies with the broader goals of the healthcare institution to ensure resources are deployed efficiently and contribute to growth.
  • Social media engagement: Leverage social media to engage with patients, build trust, disseminate health information and create a sense of community.
  • Mobile-friendly websites: Ensure websites are mobile-friendly to provide a seamless user experience across all devices, enhancing patient satisfaction.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO): Optimize web content and structure for better search engine rankings, increasing online visibility to potential patients.
  • Online referral programs: Encourage satisfied patients to refer others online, leveraging word-of-mouth marketing and building trust.
  • Metrics: Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the return on investment (ROI) of marketing efforts and campaigns and to inform future resource allocation.
  • Analytics and artificial intelligence (AI): Utilize data analytics and AI-driven insights to make data-driven decisions, refine marketing strategies and target the right audience effectively.

Train for Healthcare Marketing Success

In a field where innovation and adaptation are imperative, ETSU’s online MBA with a Concentration in Health Care Marketing prepares students to lead their organizations into the future. With a deep understanding of contemporary healthcare marketing concepts and strategies, graduates can keep their organizations a step ahead in promoting high-quality healthcare services and meeting the evolving needs of patients and communities. This program provides a proven path forward for those seeking to make a lasting impact in healthcare marketing.

Learn more about ETSU’s online MBA with a Concentration in Health Care Marketing program.

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