Wednesday, March 14, 2012
In every segment of the health and human service field, management teams are competing for consumers. But, competition in this new web-fueled, social media-intensive environment looks very different from competition in past eras – health care is the number two reason that consumers use the internet (see The Virtual You all members).
As a result, we’re seeing organizations in the field change their marketing strategies – less yellow pages and more web optimization, less magazine advertising and more Facebook advertising (see Meeting Consumer Expectations With Social Media ).
But if you’re thinking about replacing all of your marketing strategies with Google AdWords, think again. Consumers may find you on line, but you still need to build personal relationships with those consumers. In the recently published, The Old Rules Of Marketing Are Dead, author Timothy R. Pearson notes:
For any product or service to succeed in the marketplace, while it may be introduced online, it cannot be sustained over time without creating an intimate and firsthand personal relationship with the audience through the act of acquisition (or purchase). Audience members need ultimately to see it, feel it, taste it, or try it on (if it’s a consumer product) or see and experience its actual benefits to them (if it’s a service).
So think of this as a two-step process. First, you need to have great web tools and web optimization for consumers to find you. Then, you need great consumer experience (in both the referral process and the service process) to create a lasting “relationship” with those consumers. On the web tools side, you are adapting the communication you have with your target consumers to new media – web sites, rating sites, Google searches, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more. For quick read on this area, check out Your Marketing Plan: Thinking Through Social Media Strategy and Times Are Changing for Social Media’s Role in Our Field all members.
But the glue that moves a consumer from being a prospect to a customer is all about the experience. You need to carefully plan that consumer experience from their first e-mail message or telephone call to the time they are seated in your building. And, there are many tools – like mystery shopping – that can help you do just that (see Mystery Shopping Strikes A Nerve all members and A Long (Long) Way to go in Customer Service all members).
When it comes to successful competition with today’s consumers, the “high touch” needs to compliment the “high tech.”
John F. Talbot, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President, OPEN MINDS
For another free resource, see: What Do Fox News & OPEN MINDS Have in Common? all members
This is free for the next sixty days to all registered OPEN MINDS Circle members.