Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Shopping for healthcare is not like shopping for shoes or food – not yet anyway – but it’s getting there.

Today, television commercials for prescription medications put the decision-making power squarely in the hands of the consumer, who then can request a drug by name. Informational sites, such as www.webmd.com, allow visitors to make an initial diagnosis, while data- and survey-driven sites (www.HospitalCompare.hhs.gov) let customers choose their hospitals, based on what previous customers had to say. That’s right – customers – not patients. They are browsing before they buy.

The traditional “clinical” way of marketing healthcare services, doctors, clinics and hospitals has given way to a more personalized, interactive approach, one that assumes the consumer is educated, curious and engaged in his or her own care. Even insurance companies are becoming more approachable and friendly to appeal to the “shopper” in us all, employing the use of storefronts once reserved for buying fun, retail-y stuff, like clothes and furniture." Diana Brooks was quoted in a recent Miami Herald Business Monday Article saying that, "Some of them are doing kiosks in malls, and those are geared more to the individuals. What I see, though, is that right now, they’re having to advertise a lot more aggressively and go out there and find the people. The people aren’t necessarily walking in so much. And that’s just a function of the economy."

How do we know all this? VSBrooks Advertising has more than 15 years of experience in healthcare marketing and advertising. We know the consumer and their mindset, and we know the tools at their disposal are changing. We help our clients keep up and get in front of the curve.

What are you doing to help your potential customers make an informed decision?

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