COVID-19 has no doubt changed patients' healthcare expectations and accelerated the need for a more consumer-first mindset. Healthcare marketers who can adapt and communicate effectively will win over patients and, ultimately, make a lasting impact on consumer health.

Here are four ways you can meet the changing dynamic of consumerism head-on starting today:

1. Be transparent to build trust

Your current and potential patients don't want to dig around your website to find the information they need. When it comes to healthcare, they want clear answers, fast. Consider these strategies for your website:

  • Have the most popular resources front-and-center. Look at your website metrics to determine popular resources and user behavior. Whether it's a "make an appointment" button or a list of the services you offer, don't bury the content patients want most.
  • Use language that's clear and easy to understand. Avoid jargon and complicated medical terms — they can mask your organization's compassion and expertise.
  • Share pricing when possible. Listing prices can make a big difference in building trust with potential patients. It also reduces a barrier for patients looking for quick care.
  • Add ratings and reviews to provider profiles. A 2020 survey done by Software Advice showed that more than 70% of the respondents said reading a review is their first step in finding a new provider.

2. Promote convenience

Make sure your marketing focuses on ease of getting care, such as:

  • Telemedicine and virtual visits Telemedicine saw a surge during COVID-19, but consumers are now seeing it as a standard care option. Forrester Research predicts that telemedicine visits will reach 1 billion by the end of 2020.
  • Community clinics — Patients are growing weary of navigating large hospital campuses. Find ways to showcase your community outpatient clinics to offer more personalized care close to home.
  • Patient portal communications — Let patients know that they can ask non-emergency medical questions and communicate with their care team through a patient portal. Patients may be more likely to engage in their care if they know it won't require a clinic visit.

3. Make communication easy

Thinking outside the box and looking beyond healthcare can be a great source of inspiration. Other industries — such as airlines, banking and retail — have developed tools that make it easy for their customers to ask questions and get a timely response.

Make sure your patients understand that your organization can offer the same level of communication by promoting mobile apps, website chatbots, screening tools and your patient portal.

4. Focus on well care

Patients are seeking advice from physicians on how to stay healthy. Rather than focusing solely on sick care, find ways to promote your organization as a partner in wellness, especially as the lingering effects of COVID continue. Offer resources for healthy lifestyle tips, such as blog posts or wellness apps. Keep consumers engaged and active in their care, emphasizing that you can help them through any life stage or health challenge.

At CMG Health Marketing, we're experts at understanding consumers, and we're here to make sure you know the right way to connect with them. Call us today to learn how we can help you craft the most effective marketing plan.