Instead of ‘covering all the bases,’ do a dive into your patient database to determine the most effective marketing collateral to hit your targets
Browse through any number of marketing websites, and you will find that they all have one thing in common. They will urge you to ditch the old standby of print marketing in favor of an all-digital marketing campaign. Advocating for such changes is all well and good from the perspective of marketing gurus and the marketing collateral they produce, but is it really the best move for your practice? Does all-digital fit your patient demographic or community?
While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, your best bet may be to consider how your patients respond to digital versus print marketing. Not all of your patients will be happy with simple only one or the other option.
When low tech is the better choice for marketing collateral
Older patients may prefer getting print newsletters mailed, appointment reminders, promotional offers, and other print material via regular mail. They may not have a computer at all or may not be fully computer savvy, even if they do have one.
Additionally, they may have difficulty with bright or flashing images, or reading text on a computer screen. On the other hand, younger adults are usually very tech-friendly and more receptive to digital marketing collateral or material. These patients are most comfortable with a fully digital interaction.
Patients are balancing work and home life
Adults with a full work schedule and home life may find it easier to receive your marketing materials via email. Those who work full time and have children often do not have a great deal of spare time. As a result, regular mail that is not a bill or something that requires action often gets set aside to be dealt with later, which means that it simply gets buried in a pile on the kitchen table.
Digital marketing collateral is far less likely to get misplaced and then forgotten. Your patients will know that your newsletter is in their email inbox, rather than accidentally swept into their kid’s backpack along with math homework.
Time-sensitive or ‘evergreen’ material?
In other cases, time-sensitivity may play a role in whether your patients prefer receiving print or digital communications. For example, I like having the physical presence of an appointment card sent through the mail. I will tape it up next to my computer to remind me to call to make an appointment.
I prefer to receive less time-sensitive items, such as promotional material or newsletters, via email. I can keep them in my inbox until I have time to properly open them up and read through them.
Survey your patients
Regardless of scenario, the key takeaway when considering going to an all-digital marketing format is that some patients will still want all print material, while others may want some print and some digital.
It is well worth your time to survey your patients as to which format they prefer. Furthermore, you might also consider a digital feature to let your patients customize not only how often they receive marketing messages via email, but which type they prefer to receive. This will help you further refine and target your marketing campaign.
You’ll likely be surprised by the survey results.
Regardless of how digital you choose to take your marketing and communications efforts, the main focus should be on serving your patients. Let them tell you how you can best serve their needs.