5 Marketing Trends: Learning from Healthcare

Even as healthcare is becoming more and more dependent on digital, print is being used in more varied and creative ways.

Even as healthcare is becoming more and more dependent on digital, from checking in patients with tablets to the rolling computer stations doctors and nurses use, print is being used in more varied and creative ways throughout the industry—and other industries and organizations can take a few tips from their medical-minded cohorts. So how are hospitals, clinics, and doctors' offices using print, and what can all businesses learn from them? Here are a few trends.

Patient comfort – How can print improve patient care? Custom-printed decals can be used to add a bit of fun and personality to the walls and floors of waiting areas, patient rooms and hallways. This departure from the traditional cold, bland aesthetic can help give patients something pleasant to focus on, particularly in practices that treat children or other procedure-adverse patients. Takeaway: Consider using decals as a way to spice up a room without taking up any additional space!

Attention-getters – There's a lot of information your healthcare providers are responsible for giving you, from privacy practices to appointment reminders and more. Eventually, it becomes information overload. So how are providers changing it up and making sure patients get the information they need without handing them yet another piece of paper? Those same floor decals that can perk up a practice can also be a great vehicle for information. Imagine a flu shot reminder in the shape of a bandage or a needle right on the floor as you walk in—it's an easy, unobtrusive way to bring attention to crucial info. Tip: Got something important to say? Putting it underfoot can put it top of mind.

Crucial information – Most people have fallen victim to a common medical mistake: going to the Internet to research and falling down the rabbit hole of misinformation, hypochondria and panic. Healthcare professionals want that even less than you do, and so they know it's important to have reputable, vetted information on-hand that they can provide so you don't have to go looking on your own. Brochures, flyers and other handouts give patients information that they can peruse and digest at their own pace, without leading to disastrous self-diagnoses. Best practice: No matter what your business, your customers come to you for expertise. Arming them with the right info is important.

Better branding – No matter how fast and far technology develops, the branding basics are still a necessity. From signage and window clings to branded promotional items like pens, pill holders, stress balls and more, getting your name and brand out there in a consistent and deliberate manner depends on print. Insight: Keeping your signage, logoed items, business cards and other branding elements fresh creates a strong foundation for your other marketing efforts.

Acquisition and retention – Just like any other business, healthcare providers have to worry about acquiring and retaining their customers… well, patients. It hasn't been that long ago that businesses turned to digital means to cut through the noise and clutter of the world. But now, with people constantly connected via phone, tablet, and computer, cutting through the digital clutter is the challenge. Well-designed direct mail has gone from getting lost in the full snail-mailbox to standing out, and providers are finding success by turning other classic tactics on their head—like providing magnetic appointment reminders instead of a card that's destined to get lost the second it hits your pocket. Advice: Creative design, quality printing and non-traditional delivery methods can cut through the static and create a lasting impression.

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