Digital marketing in health care has lagged behind other industries because of these three things

Health care has been a hot-button issue for years now. Also, health care providers have recently faced challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, robust digital marketing strategies have allowed many health care providers to weather the pandemic storm. 

That being said, health care providers have often lagged behind other businesses in adopting digital marketing techniques. One reason is that there are many unique marketing challenges that health care providers face. Once these are understood, digital marketing teams can develop strategies to overcome these challenges. 

Three reasons why health care providers have lagged behind in digital marketing

It is difficult to consider all the challenges that have caused health care to lag behind other businesses when it comes to digital health care marketing. However, there are some that are more prominent than others. A few of the toughest challenges are: 

1. Industry complexity — Health care is such a broad industry. This means digital marketing strategies that work well for one sector or provider may not work for another. There is an added challenge for health care providers like hospitals: They provide a vast range of services. These complexities can make creating an effective digital health care marketing strategy seem impossible. 

2. The precarious financial position of many health care providers — Health care systems have been rocked by financial burdens. Some of these burdens include: 

  • More expensive drugs. 
  • Rising medical supplies prices.
  • Increased labor costs. 

These burdens have only increased in recent years and will likely continue to do so. 

Even worse, many health care providers are facing significant revenue loss due to the pandemic. A recent American Hospital Association study found that hospitals could face a pandemic-related revenue loss of between $53 billion and $122 billion in 2021. Digital marketing tends to be much less costly than other marketing strategies. Yet health care providers may simply feel they cannot afford a digital marketing package that can make them truly competitive. 

3. Privacy concerns — Health care providers are highly regulated when it comes to patient privacy. This is another reason they have lagged behind in adopting digital marketing strategies. You may have heard about the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or HIPAA. This federal law was passed in 1996. It created a set of national standards designed to protect patients against unauthorized disclosure of sensitive health information. 

Some of the entities that must abide by HIPAA include: 

  • Health care providers.
  • Insurance providers. 
  • Business associates of health care or insurance providers (e.g., claims processors, billing services or data analysis providers).

These tough privacy standards can make it difficult for digital marketers to get the data they need. In turn, this can increase the difficulty of building effective digital marketing plans for health care providers. 

Burg & Co. can help health care providers take advantage of digital marketing

Applying digital marketing strategies to health care providers can be challenging. Many of these challenges can be overcome. However, it’s difficult to overcome them when you don’t know what to do. Fortunately, Burg & Co. has extensive experience creating effective digital marketing plans for health care providers. 

Our team has years of experience in helping these businesses improve their digital presence to attract new leads and retain existing ones. If you’re looking to perform better in search engine results and attract more visitors to your site, we’re ready to talk to you to see how we can help. Contact our team today for more information about digital marketing or to schedule a complimentary consultation.

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