Increasingly, patients are leveraging the digital medium to access healthcare services; this is true across age groups contrary to conventional marketing thinking. The implication is that healthcare service providers must now understand the patient journey not just from booking/scheduling standpoint, but also from a research perspective. A Pew survey reveals that >1/3rd of patients have gone online to self-diagnose a condition. This increasing interaction with the digital channel across devices often leaves healthcare provider groups confused regarding the correct course of action with respect to digital promotion.
Further, the compliance issues related to reimbursement and patient confidentiality, as well as the desire to be perceived as a high quality medical facility further confound the issue of driving high quality leads that enable sustained growth and exposure to the increasingly digital marketplace.
The economics of online promotion in the healthcare segment are particularly challenging. For example, it is not uncommon to see CPC values of $10 – 20 or more for many segments, with some CPC are a multiple of these amounts. Thus, the competition in online lead generation has validated the investment in the digital channel, however, with costs for acquisition so high, the spoils go to market players that understand how to differentiate themselves and convert traffic into higher numbers of inquiries or booked appointments.
How does A/B testing confer an advantage?
Savvy, aggressive marketers understand the enormous opportunity in leveraging the full gamut of tools and data in order to split test different concepts that address patient concerns regarding booking the initial appointment. By converting more traffic into leads and assessing the quality of converted leads and, eventually, revenue, a site converting 30% better than competitors allows either a growth in profits or a reinvestment into marketing spend to capture additional market share.