Nearly 89% of patients (pdf) drive an average of 8.6 miles to see their doctors. These regional healthcare marketing numbers tell us two things:
- patients value convenience when deciding which healthcare provider to see
- most of them are likely to visit a local provider
Healthcare providers will have the most success marketing their services and treatments to patients who live nearby, but how do you choose a marketing partner who’s clued into your regional healthcare market?
In this guide, we break down the top criteria for selecting a regional healthcare marketing agency that will educate local patients on who you are and how you can help them on their wellness journey.
Why hire a regional healthcare marketing agency
A regional healthcare marketing agency is the most effective way to build a positive brand presence in your regional medical market. A regional agency can leverage tools and resources that national healthcare marketing partners simply can’t do.
At their disposal are local relationships, the history of the region, and other vital factors your patients care about when making decisions about their health.
Here, we outline the biggest reasons why a local healthcare marketing firm is the right choice for your organization.
People in your target audiences are their neighbors
It’s not what you know, it’s who you know, and that adage holds for regional medical marketing partners. The staff at the agency you choose has a close read on the sentiments in the community around healthcare, health providers, and reception of healthcare marketing in the area. This research typically costs national agencies thousands of dollars to collect and analyze.
If you’re comfortable with less stringent methods of research but with great results, you’ll find value in the targeting abilities of a regional healthcare marketing firm.
They have existing relationships with other area vendors
Using commercial vendors for marketing assets is a great option when you’ve been executing a successful marketing campaign for some time. But in the beginning stages of building a healthcare marketing strategy from the ground up, you’ll want to be more hands-on and involved in the process from start to finish.
Your local marketing agency will have existing relationships with vendors in your area and can give you a front-row seat.
You know their work and their clients
Chances are, if you work with a local marketing agency, you’ll either know their past clients or have an easy time getting in touch with them for their feedback. This is invaluable intel you can’t get as easily with a national agency.
Rather than relying on reviews from people you don’t know, you can hear directly from the client about what worked and what didn’t so that you can go into the partnership with reasonable expectations.
They are used to working with local media
Public relations isn’t as simple as publishing a press release and moving on to the next task.
Regarding healthcare marketing, public relations deserves dedicated time and attention to combat potential negative press that may arise while you revamp your marketing efforts.
Working with an agency that has connections with local media can give you an advantage for publishing stories about your practice, earning interviews, and receiving favorable coverage.
A well-connected agency can not only react to negative sentiments toward your marketing efforts but be proactive in changing the perception of your practice’s brand.
You can collaborate in person as needed
Today’s new standard of virtual and remote work is a great way to keep your marketing strategy on track without waiting on the next in-person meeting to make decisions.
However, occasionally you may want to collaborate in person to brainstorm ideas on paper. Working with a local agency is an affordable, convenient way to have these in-person touchpoints more often.
They’re aware of local challenges and opportunities
We’ve covered a lot of the pros of marketing a healthcare practice in a local market, but there will be challenges that arise.
Competition among providers, a population with established opinions on healthcare, or even a lack of vendors or local media can present challenges when working with local marketing agencies. The upside is that they’re keenly aware of these challenges and can preempt them with tried-and-true methods that have worked for their past clients.
Along the same lines, regional marketing firms can surface unique opportunities about the community your practice serves or new trends that your competition hasn’t realized.
Choosing a regional healthcare marketing partner
Working with a regional hospital marketing agency has plenty of advantages that will set your healthcare system up for long-term success. Taking advantage of local connections with vendors and media can give your next marketing campaign a grassroots feel to win over existing and new patients in your region. And while there may be niche challenges that come with a regional marketing agency, be assured that you’ll have a pulse on the majority of patients who take a short drive to your facility for quality care.
The best regional healthcare marketer in the Midwest
We gave you the tips and tools you’ll need to find the right regional healthcare marketing partner, but here’s a head start on your search.