The New Empowered Health Consumer

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People are viscerally upset with the instability in the hospital market. Hospitals are closing down. Doctors have empty waiting rooms.

Why? Healthcare consumerism. 

But it’s not just the new empowered health consumer that’s driving the shift. It’s the way that information flows that is driving the change.

There are two reasons doctors and hospitals are losing patients and health brands are acquiring new customers.

  • The Power of Information

Gone are the days of “doctor knows best.” 

People are immediately searching their symptoms online and, by the time they see a doctor, the physician is giving them a second opinion. Because they’ve already read about it on WebMD, and they’ve already talked to people on social media.

Add to that the increasingly muddy waters of pricing and insurance. Doctors and hospitals are being disintermediated by social media and online resources. And it’s happening faster than you might think — as of June 2019, we’ve seen 11 significant hospital closings year to date thanks to bankruptcy filings. 2018 saw 21 hospitals shutter their doors for good.

Health brands give people a much more simple, direct solution: a distinct offer at a transparent price.

  • The Power of Choice

People have more options than ever, which means doctors and hospitals aren’t automatically positioned as the only source of truth when it comes to diagnosing and treating health issues. Instead, people are crowdsourcing their problems to their network of trusted friends and family. And those of us in business know the value of a direct referral vs. cold prospecting. 

It’s the power behind word-of-mouth gone digital.

Tidal Shifts in Health Brand Marketing

All of this is great news for brands that offer products and services to the health consumer. More and more, people are starting to see the value in the old saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

More people are willing to explore dietary options, supplements and exercise as viable alternatives to medical or pharmacological intervention. The business of getting well and being well is booming.

And direct marketing is the vehicle that can help you grow your customer base more than any other marketing channel.

Digital marketing is simply the most effective way to wage direct response marketing in today’s marketplace. The historical data and projections here make a strong argument that the growth channels are those that are the most measurable and profitable – which cuts to the heart of direct response.

Direct marketing isn’t sexy, but it delivers something that branding alone cannot: measurable results. Don’t get me wrong, you need a brand – and you should market your brand. But make sure you’re also using direct response strategies to sell more products, get new customers and grow your revenue. I’ve been helping companies do this for more than 20 years. I know it works. It’s science.