One of the great benefits of my job is that I get to attend several conferences each year – talking with and learning from some of the best in the industry. Yesterday I sat in a presentation that asked how we as marketing professionals can move potential patients through the buyer decision process more efficiently and effectively. Because Geonetric’s focus is on the Internet, I found myself thinking specifically about how a hospital’s Web initiatives can help with that goal.
Historically, Web sites have been expected to assist with awareness, interest, and attitude. But when it comes to “trial use,” we don’t traditionally think of the Web as playing a part. Especially for those sites that are largely brochure-ware, the Web site’s common calls-to-action take the activity offline, e.g. a phone number to register for a class, or a print-and-mail form for pre-registration. And unfortunately, what that does is add one more step to moving someone from a site visitor to a patient, rather than allowing them to take that step while they are already engaged online.
More forward-thinking hospitals are increasingly figuring out ways to “deliver” their services online – or at the very least, make it easier for the online patient to request services through the medium and begin a positive interaction with the hospital while in the .com world.
Here are some simple things to add to a hospital site to meet the goals of each step. I’d love to hear things other organization are doing online to successfully engage patients and move market share.
Thanks to the Forum for Healthcare Strategists for an excellent conference, and to the presenters (Patricia Cluff, Chief Marketing and Strategic Relations Officer, University of Virginia Health System, and Terri Goren, Principal, Goren and Associates) for an outstanding presentation that sent my brain down an interesting path.