An integrated marketing communication (IMC) strategy will allow you to provide current and future patients with relevant information at multiple touchpoints in a cohesive manner. This long-term strategy follows patients through the customer journey, where tailored communication pieces can be provided based on where they currently stand in the decision-making process. Considering the broad categories of marketing, IMC ensures that all the components of a business’ marketing efforts work together to persuade their audience over time, in this case, your future patients.
What is it?
The branches of marketing are functions carried out by different teams, and IMC brings them together to unify the messages sent to the intended audience. This ensures that all communications received to have the same imaging, tone, and concepts to reinforce a brand. While some businesses still use traditional marketing platforms like T.V. print and radio ads, many are focusing their efforts digitally with mobile, search and social media ads, and e-mail marketing. Some companies also use out-of-home tactics like billboards, on-car advertising, and public transit ads. Whichever marketing platform mix is chosen, it is essential to have coherency throughout the selected channels; this reduces the chance of disjointed messaging and misinterpretations in the communication decoding process.
IMC in Healthcare
Children’s Mercy hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, used an integrated marketing approach for their “Love Will” Campaign.” The concept behind the campaign is to show children doing things they enjoy, like playing outside. The messaging communicates that the organization’s core value- love for children drives healthcare providers to work hard and cure ailments quickly. The campaign used a mix of traditional and digital channels. Billboards and print ads were used for a broad reach.
Digital touchpoints, like mobile ads, provided targeted audiences with relevant content based on their segmentation characteristics. Social media was used to launch a two-way communication channel with its “Why Research Matters” campaign. The campaign featured healthcare providers, parents of patients, and industry experts, giving their insights into how medical research impacts their lives. The “Love Will” campaign effectively ties in well to each component of the strategy and is consistent across the board.
A narrowed approach is very beneficial in choosing a specialty, patient groups served, and business strategy; however, your private practices marketing strategy can leave numerous patients on the table if your channels are too limited. Employing IMC as a marketing tool can boost you’re your new patient base through repeated exposure, targeted ads, and customized messages. When devising your marketing strategy, think about your targeted audience and if you can segment them even further based on their behaviors or pre-existing conditions. Plan around the insights gathered to provide the right content topics, offer the hyper-targeted services, or create an online community they’d feel connected with.