At the core of every industry, lies a marketing strategy that not only keeps businesses competitive but also helps them stay relevant amongst their consumers. The healthcare sector, in particular, has been developing and utilizing marketing strategies since the word “marketing” began to replace the word “sales” in everyday business conversations. Here is a brief history of healthcare marketing and how it helped this sector evolve to become a powerhouse, helping patients receive the care they deserve for their needs while also supporting business growth and sustainability.
Staying Competitive While Making a Profit
This historical account of healthcare marketing will begin in the 1970s, a time when services from healthcare providers were rising in demand due to a shortage, particularly in rural areas. Due to the lack of healthcare services available, the healthcare sector began aggressively building hospitals to offer and provide quality healthcare services, and so the popularity of for-profit hospitals began using marketing strategies to attract patients to their healthcare institutions by showcasing a variety of services through public relation functions.
Technological advances in medicine drove the demand for healthcare services even further in the 1980s, transforming the sector into a highly profitable business. Private medical practices along with nursing homes began to compete with hospitals, as specialty physicians avoided referring their patients to hospitals to keep services and profits in-house. This meant that healthcare marketing strategies were no longer exclusively developed to support hospitals but to also encourage private medical practices to market their brand of quality healthcare services to help support business growth while satisfying consumer demand.
From the 1990s to the present, the healthcare industry had set its focus heavily towards new marketing strategies from past experiences that dictated that it is the most effective method to not only stay competitive but to also stay relevant in the ever-evolving and advancing world of healthcare. One such healthcare marketing strategy that has now become the new normal is offering quality care through telemedicine, where patients can stay connected with their healthcare providers without leaving the comforts of their homes.
As you can see, healthcare marketing has played a significant role in the rapid growth and expansion of the healthcare industry. It has provided an effective and efficient way for health and medical institutions throughout the nation, whether public or private, to offer the highest quality care to their patients while ensuring sustainability and profitability.