Medical Inbound Marketing

The role of medical inbound marketing is to work in professional partnership with the medical experts is to help patients to find the right doctors and to help doctors to connect with their patients. The semantic web involves the use of words, content and web publishing as well as video, pictures and images to connect people appropriately.

Search engines are often the closest friend many of us have when we have a problem, and medical problems are no exception. We will always want to find quick answers, but the nature and seriousness of the problem will dictate how much time we will put into re-searching the different potential solutions.

According to Wikipaedia, 'inbound marketing' is how a company promotes itself by sharing content with the outside world. This is as opposed to "buying attention, cold calling, direct mail, radio, TV advertisements, sales fliers, spam, telemarketing and traditional advertising" - which are all forms of 'outbound marketing'. Inbound marketing is for those areas "where prospects are more likely to get informed and hire someone who demonstrates expertise".

Doctors selling themselves can be off-putting (and unhealthy)

inbound marketing is fundamentally about attracting custom as opposed to 'push' promotion. There are some areas of healthcare where active 'push' marketing is commonplace such as cosmetic surgery (boob jobs) and dentistry (smiley teeth), However, when you find yourself diagnosed with something nasty, the last thing you want is doctors selling themselves at you.

How do patients find the right doctors?

The dilemma then is - how do patients find the right specialist doctors, and how do those doctors connect to the right patients? According to Synaptic Medical Marketing, "medical Inbound marketing is about ‘attraction’ rather than ‘promotion’. In essence this means that [consultants] need to be attractive and know how to attract the people who [they] want to attract. Of course, beauty lies in the eye of the beholder and you cannot be attractive to everyone, but you can make yourself attractive and available for those who seek – and this is down to enabling semantic marriages, or a meeting of minds."

You 'Google it' (your diagnosis)

The point is that the appropriate solution is normally defined by the problem. Trainee doctors are advised; "the patient always tells you what's wrong with them", In a way, but without actually saying it a friendly search engine asks the right questions (by getting you to pose the question to yourself). The difference with search engine friends is that the results will only be as good as the search, and as good as the information (content) that it can find as well as the algorithms designed to make the necessary semantic (meaningful) matches. It may take a few goes, and you may wish to do some extended research, but the beauty of modern search engines is that they work - provided that the right content is made available and readily accessible to searches via multiple channels (in the places where people are looking). And that is where the medical inbound marketing has to be effective if the right patients are to find the right choice of doctors within the right choice of hospitals - available at the right time.

Professional Context

Although your doctor is always the first port of call, with Choose and Book, more patients will need to be increasingly 'proactive' when it comes to getting involved in medical decision making, reviewing treatment options, hospital choice and the selection of consultant specialisms. This requires the consultants (who are afterall the experts) to provide the information within an appropriate professional context, such as Consultant Profile as well as in a language that is totally understandable. The role of medical digital inbound marketing working in professional partnership with the medical experts is to help patients to find the right doctors and to help doctors to connect with their patients.

Reference: Synaptic Medical Inbound