The rise of alternative ways to access primary care – namely through the advent of primary care services offered by pharmacies, such as flu shots, medication management, and health/wellness advice – poses a challenge for hospitals that traditionally have relied on the strength of their primary care physicians to attract new patients and leverage family practice marketing tactics.
Now, in today’s digital age, patients are turning to sources outside of hospitals to find primary care providers. They are opting for hospitals either for specialty services or emergencies, creating a void in a facility’s patient acquisition funnel.
This shift poses a hospital marketing challenge: attracting new patients to a system for primary care versus only conducting service-oriented marketing campaigns that emphasize a specialty. While there’s undeniable value in specialty service-oriented hospital marketing, the current landscape underscores the importance of hospital marketing ideas that prioritize primary care.
The Role of a PCP as a Care Manager
These days, patients view PCPs not just as care providers, but as holistic care managers. They expect guidance on everything from prescriptions to specialty care, making the PCP a gateway to various specialty services a hospital offers. The pCP has transitioned into a primary source for referrals to more specialized services – a domain once dominated by hospitals but now shifts towards private practice and non-hospital, non-clinic providers.
The rise of the Internet has also transformed the PCP’s role. These days, patients are accustomed to self-diagnosing online and contacting a PCP only for a referral to a specialist. When viewed in this context, a PCP is no longer the frontline provider but instead is a portal to other services.
Given this changing landscape, it’s imperative for hospital marketing campaigns to portray PCPs as trusted care managers and promote them as reliable health and wellness resources.
Hospital Marketing Campaigns for Primary Care
To stay competitive, hospitals must enhance their primary care marketing efforts. The goal is to position their primary care physicians at the forefront and appeal to potential patients always in search of medical consultation and information.
Paid Search Advertising
A potent strategy to directly engage potential patients is through paid search ads promoting individual physicians. Recent trends indicate a significant portion of marketing budgets being allocated to specialty care, often sidelining individual doctors. However, even PCPs warrant dedicated marketing support. Paid search can facilitate this by directing traffic to individual doctors’ websites from people actively searching for PCPs or related information.
Each PCP should actively partake in content marketing by contributing to bylined blogs and articles. Since patients are searching for this information, having a PCP deliver it in a credible, easy-to-digest format is invaluable. This content should be informative, educational, and engaging – offering advice and consultation for health and wellness that patients find useful.
Social Media Advertising
Promoting PCPs on platforms like Facebook and Instagram can be highly effective, especially when paired with detailed audience targeting – the bread and butter of social media advertising. This approach can spotlight a particular doctor’s content or promote the physicians themselves, emphasizing their role in primary care.
Ultimately, the objective across all channels is to position a hospital’s primary care physicians as primary resources. The advantages of a primary care-centric approach are manifold, yet many hospitals remain hesitant to emphasize primary care in their hospital marketing campaigns.
Contact TotalCom to discover how you can spearhead a new hospital marketing campaign that emphasizes primary care and attracts a broader patient base.