At the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, HHK Healthcare Marketing wrote the blog Planning Forward for the Coronavirus Impact recommending that healthcare organizations take a long view for their novel COVID-19 strategy. This still holds true today. With cases of COVID-19 spiking and red, angry hot spot circles are drawn around much of the South and North Carolinas, here are three critical “current state” recommendations.
- Time For Marketing. It is time to do marketing. In March, April, and early May, we operated in real-time. Client communication focused solely on COVID-19. We fine-tuned our plans for post quarantine in April with fingers crossed for a more normal May. Sheltering in has moved to distancing with cautious openings. Your patients and your community need you. Find that tone, build trust, and outline your strategies to drive volume responsibly. This will take some innovative thinking. Make time to set goals and refine budgets. Bring in a third party to strike the right cord and do a lot with a lean budget. Hint: Our HHK team is here to help map out your 3-6 month strategy.
- Expand Your Digital Footprint. Embrace electronic marketing of all kinds. Operationalize telehealth. You put the work into it. Make it work for you beyond quarantine. Focus media buys on digital marketing. Now more than ever, our eHHK Google Suite is a critical part of marketing efficiently for people as they turn to devices of all kinds. Look beyond ad words. Our digital queens lean on performance-based video, native, geofencing, OTT, and other in-house managed strategies. More than just Google, web, and social media, we employ a myriad of integrated digital marketing strategies that all work together.
- Relationship Build. Often forgotten and harder to do with social distancing, relationship building should be a priority for your healthcare organization. Touch base with your partners. Schedule frequent zoom meetings with those working remotely. Expand your circle of peer-to-peer engagement. Learning what other leaders in the field are doing can spark ideas for your growth.
- Don’t Forget About Referral Development. Just because you may have to navigate referral marketing differently, doesn’t make it any less important. HHK is using this opportunity to dive into the analytics. We are rising above what was a very “noisy” referral development market pre-COVID with innovative strategies. Cue the cheers when you can actually show upticks in volume from initiatives in the field.
What will COVID do next? No one knows. Focus on what you can control; your organization’s sustainability and growth. Embrace the Girl Scout motto, “Be prepared.” Established in 1947, the Girl Scout handbook expounded upon the motto, “Willingness to serve is not enough; you must know how to do the job well, even in an emergency.” 2020 has no shortage of emergent issues. Be prepared to handle it well.