Healthcare Marketing VS Traditional Marketing: What Sets Them Apart?

Trying to boost your communication efforts for your practice? Explore the key difference between healthcare marketing vs traditional marketing before getting started. 

It may seem the same, but healthcare marketing is a unique field that requires a different approach than traditional marketing. Where traditional marketing is more focused on creating demand and making money, healthcare marketing takes a more nurturing approach that focuses on developing relationships and promoting sustainable healthcare for all. 

In this article, we’ll compare healthcare marketing vs traditional marketing, and the key differences that set them apart. 


Why Healthcare Marketing?

It may seem a little strange to connect healthcare and marketing. After all, marketing is all about persuasion, catchy tunes and incessant commercials to create desire, whereas healthcare is an indispensable need.

This is why healthcare marketing has been adapted and redefined to be more of a strategic outreach process. The goal is to attract patients through education and guidance, developing trust across various parts of the healthcare journey. 

By engaging in healthcare marketing, medical practices are proven to: 

  • improve their competitive advantage 
  • increase their visibility
  • boost their reputation
  • increase their patient’s experience with their brand 


Understanding Healthcare Marketing vs Traditional Marketing

Marketing truly plays an important role for healthcare professionals to build a sustainable relationship with their patients. Unfortunately, the philosophy and techniques of traditional healthcare marketing finds itself out of place in healthcare. 

So what is the key driver that necessitates healthcare marketers to find a new approach for the medical industry? The answer: purpose

Unlike traditional marketing, marketing for healthcare puts practices in a unique position—every message disseminated holds a real impact over people’s lives. Patients are now in the driver’s seat when it comes to their healthcare journey, and it is the responsibility of healthcare marketers to ensure that their message helps them make informed choices. 

Achieving this requires a different mindset and approach to marketing that is tailored specifically for healthcare. Here are some key attributes of healthcare marketing:

Outcome Driven: Whether to increase patient satisfaction, drive sales or develop brand loyalty, the outcome for healthcare marketing is always the same: to create better patient experiences. 

Engaged Communication: Healthcare marketing is all about engaging with patients on an emotional level. It’s not just about pushing information at them; it’s about creating a relationship that helps patients feel like they’re part of the process, and that their needs are being respected.

Strategic Outreach: Healthcare marketers must be proactive in their approach to outreach. They need to understand the unique needs of their patients, and take a personalised approach in delivering the right kind of message to them. 


Be Clear On Your Mission 

Before you begin crafting your healthcare marketing strategy, it is important to be clear on your mission. Healthcare marketing should focus on developing trust and relationships with patients, rather than simply creating desire. Additionally, healthcare marketing should be focused on education and guidance, rather than persuasion.

Keep these key differences in mind as you develop your healthcare marketing strategy. By being clear on your mission and objectives, you can ensure that your strategy is effective and aligned with your overall goals. Remember that every message that you craft should be led with purpose and responsibility to your patients, and aligned with your organisation’s values. 


Engage With Your Patients

Healthcare marketing may have started out as a way to address problems within the system, but it has now evolved into a powerful tool that can help medical practices build a more sustainable relationship with their patients.

The key here isn’t to focus on capturing patients, but more towards creating value for them that they wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else. For example, hosting events relevant to patients’ interests can help you foster a sense of community. Additionally, by organising clinics that offer advice and guidance on specific health topics, you can provide valuable resources to your patients.

Interacting with your audiences on a personal level can also give u a better gauge on how you can optimise your marketing strategy further. 

Think For The Long Term

It’s important to think for the long term when it comes to healthcare marketing.  The old mindset of acquisition and retention is a thing of the past. Customers are more empowered than ever before, and they expect to be treated as such.

Every move should be leading to a better outcome for your patients, and not just a short-term increase in sales. 

For example, consider how you can use your marketing channels to keep your brand in the minds of your people, while elevating your brand. Establishing thought leadership in these media can bolster your position, while creating levels of engagement that ripple well beyond your immediate patients. 

The Bottom Line 

Healthcare marketing extends beyond the boundaries of traditional marketing. From start to end, it is anchored in purpose and accountability. Traditional marketing methods might work if you ignore some of the complexities and uniqueness of the healthcare industry. However, without taking these key differences into account, any marketing efforts in the healthcare industry are likely to be unsuccessful.

Interested to hire a professional healthcare marketing and creative communications team to boost your practice? Reach out to us today to find out how we can make the difference for you.