The Power Of Marketing Transparency

Marketing healthcare can be challenging in today’s environment because according to a Gallup study in 2015, only 39% of consumers have a positive view of the industry, compared to 45% that have a negative one. That leaves the industry with a net 6% deficit. This is shockingly low when compared to another industry like the computer industry that has a 59% net positive score. 

The negative consumer perceptions of the healthcare industry can be linked to a number of things but one of them is the lack of trust caused by the industry’s failure to be transparent. Fortunately, this is starting to change. Healthcare professionals and organizations that embrace transparency have a huge opportunity to connect with patients on a whole new level, especially when it comes to marketing relevance. 

Healthcare marketing has tended to frequently fall into either the emotional or rational camp. The emotional is aimed at inserting the brand into the lives of the patient at a high level as this ad from Blue Cross Blue Shield illustrates: Blue Cross Blue Shield Commercial. The rational is more focused on reassuring patients as to the credentials of the provider. Like this one for Georgia Medical Center Commercial



The move towards greater transparency in the healthcare industry offers a chance for organizations to make deeper and more meaningful connections with their audiences through marketing messages that are built on answering immediate and real patient needs. Here are some thoughts on three messaging platforms that healthcare can tap into and translate across multiple channels to bring more openness to the communication process:

  • Information Sharing: The lack of information sharing between different healthcare professionals can often result in a patient being asked for the same information multiple times. Not only can this frustrate the patient, it can mistakenly communicate the message that no one really knows what is going on. Healthcare professionals that embrace information sharing can use it as the basis of a marketing platform around the higher level of knowledge that exists around the patient, their personal needs and their medical condition. This has to be a strong route to making meaningful connections with future patients.
  • We Believe In Giving You Value For Money: Without transparency, the closest most patients get to being able to asses the value of the healthcare services that they receive, has been to determine whether or not they can afford to pay the bill, and this can erode trust between the provider and the patient. Consider following the lead of a hospital like Oklahoma City Hospital that actually publishes its surgery prices on their website Oklahoma City Hospital Pricing Page, and welcomes patients doing a price comparison with competitors. Truly a compelling messaging platform around value and one consumers would welcome. 
  • We Give You Control Over Your Health: The lack of information sharing with the patients themselves can frustrate the patient and leave them feeling out of control. No one likes the feeling of sitting helplessly in a hospital cubicle without a clue as to what is happening. The more that healthcare providers can reassure patients that they will be involved in decision making, the more positive will be patient perceptions. This move to greater patient/provider partnership can form the basis of a powerful marketing platform around the idea of giving patients more control over their own health.

So when it comes to marketing healthcare, there is no doubt that greater transparency will not only improve the overall quality of care that patients are provided with but will also provide healthcare providers an opportunity to market to them in ways that will can form more meaningful and lasting connections.

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