Traditionally, healthcare marketers have focused on activities such as media placements, direct-mail campaigns, and trade shows to attract new patient referrals. While those approaches remain valid and do generate leads, their results are now reaching a plateau as competition for the available audiences gets intense, and patients become more health-conscious and cost-conscious than ever before.
When we look at historical data, we see that patient personas and behaviour-based profiles were primarily used to find new clients and much of it relied on guesswork as well and gut feelings. Moreover, limited targeting capabilities and lack of customer details were major hindrances when it came to effectively targeting potential clients.
Healthcare marketing has always been governed by influencers. These influencers are actually the doctors who are being paid to promote healthcare services or medical practices. Now, we see an immense shift in people’s behaviours when it comes to healthcare. People are becoming aware of what they need and what is being offered. This is rendering traditional healthcare marketing practices ineffective.
On top of that, the recent iOS14 update has harshly impacted the targeting capabilities of Google and Facebook which means that targeting and reaching out to potential clients has become more difficult.
Historical review shows us that medical marketing has been interest-based and not intent-based but the reason why interest-based targeting does not work is that interest rarely leads to an actual purchase. It is intent that leads to purchases. People go to websites or social media pages with the intent to make a purchase, so a better strategy is to target people on the basis of intent, which has not been the case when it comes to traditional healthcare marketing.
AI in Marketing
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in digital marketing appears to be on the rise. It has applications in almost all realms of digital marketing from customer journey analysis to advanced keyword research and machine learning.
We’ve seen it integrated into various marketing platforms and tools to show everything from predictions of specific behaviours to email open rates, and content performance analysis. AI serves a very real purpose that can help marketers track and optimize their marketing efforts better than ever before.
AI in Healthcare Marketing
AI is already changing the way marketing works in healthcare and it’s not just in terms of increasing efficiency. With the aid of AI, health care firms and medical marketers can easily and more accurately communicate with their customers. Marketing firms use it to reach potential customers and provide services that are tailored specifically to their needs.
As aforementioned, the existing model for marketing healthcare is outdated with little emphasis on consumer understanding or intent. This is where artificial intelligence steps in as a powerful solution for providing patient-centred marketing solutions through data-driven insights, predictive analytics, and human-centred decision-making.
AI enables marketers to track and target potential clients based on their intent and historical data. It does not involve guesswork but is completely data-driven. Rapid and thorough analysis of huge data allows marketers to predict consumer behaviour and target them when it’s most appropriate.
Use of Smart Devices
The use of smart devices and health gadgets has seen an immense rise in recent times. These devices gather and store data that is vital to marketers. This has allowed them to gather vital medical information and predict future health interactions by analyzing this data.
Better Targeting Capabilities
The use of AI has made it possible to analyze huge data sets and hyper-target potential clients with completely customized ads using various platforms. FB AI and Google AI are constantly monitoring our behaviours online.
When people plan on visiting a doctor these days, they tend to do their research before actually going to the doctor. This research allows AI to gather information and use it to target people who are showing intent to visit a doctor in near future.
This has given rise to something called ‘predictive medicine’. AI-based algorithms are monitoring what people search for online and predict the kind of treatment they would look for and showing relevant ads to them. These targeting capabilities are making it easier for healthcare marketers to reach out to clients with a higher potential of converting, eventually increasing ROI.
Future for AI in Medical Marketing
There are three primary areas of medical marketing in which we will see increased use of AI-driven programs.
- Audience profiling.
- Audience targeting.
- Communicating the message.
AI-assisted medical marketing is much more effective than traditional ways of marketing simply because AI has enabled marketers to gather, segregate and analyze large data sets using algorithms and then use this information to find and communicate unlimited potential clients effectively.
We can safely say that AI is indeed the future of medical marketing, and we are going to see increased usage of AI-driven programs in the medical marketing and advertising spectrum. The change is rather new to the industry, but healthcare marketers are getting accustomed to this change and there is no going back to traditional ways.