Successful and savvy professionals will always look for “win-win” solutions, but cosmeceutical and medical device vendors who become more conversant in digital marketing have real opportunity to create a win-win-win-win situation:
- Patients – Effective digital marketing educates and informs interested patients with valuable knowledge to make better medical choices.
- Practices – Trusted coaching from vendors about effective digital marketing supports successful digital campaigns which produce more and better-quality patient inquiries.
- Medical Vendors – When these providers contribute to the success of their most loyal practices by sharing productive digital marketing tactics, the practices achieve success and buy more product/services. By contributing more broadly to the practices’ digital acumen, those vendors also develop deeper relationships as professional consultants.
- Digital Marketing Agencies – By spreading digital marketing fluency across a larger audience, ethical and effective Web vendors earn more clients of longer retention and more long-term success.
Here’s the rub. Healthcare practices invariably compete in markets that are constantly changing, but they know intuitively that digital marketing is key to successfully responding to those changes in competition. However, digital marketing—when done correctly to drive significant, proven ROI—is complex and also constantly changing. It can all be overwhelming initially and become more sophisticated and powerful with each passing day at a rate that far exceeds any other traditional marketing channel.
Now, the good news: When practices find and follow proven, trusted guidance in digital marketing, not only will they become more financially successful, but they also establish a solid foundation of marketing to confidently build upon. In other words, once practices develop sufficient digital marketing fluency to effectively have initial conversations and campaigns in successful online promotion, they gain growing confidence in themselves and their vendors to engage more fully. As they do so, the barrier protecting them against the failing efforts of lesser competitors becomes easier to support and tougher and tougher for competitors to ascend.
How do medical vendors help encourage this positive inertia for their most loyal clients? They become conversant in digital marketing concepts such as SEO, PPC, social media, and reputation management. General medical vendors shouldn’t set out to become experts in digital marketing, given the ever-changing nature, but by their having general knowledge of the subject, they can guide practices to avoid fatal mistakes and connect practice professionals with trustworthy providers that use data and proven expertise to drive informed decisions.
Effective medical providers that gain conversational fluency in digital marketing also gain more than the successful outcome of any one interaction. Ambitious practice professionals competing in tough markets are starving for quality digital marketing guidance and resources, so the most-informed vendors earn better and longer-term interactions with the clients who are most likely to succeed. The vendor goes from being perceived as a medical peddler to a trusted professional consultant. This translates quickly to more meetings of more substance, with more influential decision makers.
Brent Cavender is a co-founder of MetaMed Marketing. He heads up business development and marketing for MetaMed where he is the organization's chief practice educator and primary point of contact.