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Clinic Marketing in 2012

2011 was an exciting year in the world of healthcare marketing and clinic marketing. 2012 will prove to be a year when many of the same trends continue and gain wider acceptance as we see more and more healthcare providers discover where they fit in this new era of marketing. So let’s dive into some of the biggest trends in healthcare and clinic marketing for 2012.

Medical Social Sharing

2011 could be seen as the year of social sharing and much of this sharing can be directly attributed to the mobile explosion. Some notable social sharing stats from the year are:

  • 50% of the world’s population is under the age of 30 with 96% of them belonging to some kind of social network Tweet This
  • Women between the ages of 55 and 65 make up the fastest growing segment of Facebook users. Tweet This
  • 14% of consumers say they trust advertisements. 78% say they trust the recommendations of friends on Facebook and Twitter. Tweet This
  • In 2011 social sharing via mobile devices grew by 600% Tweet This
  • In 2011 the top hashtag on Twitter was #egypt Tweet This
  • In 2011 Facebook made up 52% of sharing on the web Tweet This
  • Twitter grew by 576% to make up 13.5% of sharing on the web Tweet This

Pew Internet’s May 2011 survey reveals

  • 78% of American adults use the Internet Tweet This
  • 92% of them send or read email Tweet This
  • 92% use a search engine to find information Tweet This
  • 83% use a search engine to find health/medical information Tweet This
  • 78% look online for a product or service they are thinking of buying Tweet This

Rise of the ePatient

2011 also saw the rise of the epatient. The epatient is the empowered patient who scours every available resources to be informed about their health.

  • 18% of Internet users say they have gone online to find others who might have health concerns similar to theirs Tweet This

More and more Americans are turning to the Internet when they or a loved one has a health concern.  They turn to the Internet for education, advice and support.  And in some cases, the information they are finding can save their lives.  Dave deBronkart has become a leading voice for the rise in epatients .  He tells his story in the video below.

You can follow Dave on Twitter @ePatientDave.  In 2012 we will see more growth in epatient communities and with it increases in search volume for these sources of information.

The Rise of Actionable Data

A 2011 Marketing Sherpa study noted that while 64% of US consultancies  report their clients are confident social media will eventually have a measurable return, only 20% thought social media was producing measurable results.

  • 64% say social media is a promising tactic that will eventually produce ROI; Let’s conservatively invest
  • 20% Social marketing is producing a measurable ROI
  • 6% Social marketing is unlikely to produce ROI

For clinic marketing in 2012, we will see a drastic shift in these numbers as metrics and key performance indicators for measuring social media ROI become more common.  Gone are the days of feel good marketing.  In 2012 there will be no excuse for not measuring true ROI in clinic and healthcare marketing.

The Rise of the Connected Doctor

A June 2011 report by QuantiaMD shows that physicians are adopting mobile technology at a very high rate.

  • 83% of physicians own a smartphone or tablet Tweet This
  • 50% of physicians own an iPhone Tweet This
  • 29% of physicians own an iPad Tweet This
  • 30% of physicians use a tablet device compared to 5% of U.S. consumers Tweet This
  • Another 35% said they will likely use a tablet in the coming years Tweet This

What are connected physicians using these mobile devices for?

  • 73% use smart devices for looking up drug & treatment reference material Tweet This
  • 50% use smart devices for learning about new treatments & clinical research Tweet This
  • 44% use smart devices to help diagnose patients Tweet This
  • 43% use smart devices to help choose a treatment path for patients Tweet This
  • 33% use smart devices to help educate patients Tweet This
  • 31% use smart devices to access patient information & records Tweet This
  • 28% use smart devices to make decisions about ordering labs or imaging tests Tweet This

What does this mean for clinic marketing in 2012?

American adults are social and they will continue to turn to social media for diagnostic and treatment information.  Clinics successful in marketing will be those who are active in the social media space and are both listening and engaging.  They will also integrate their social media presence into their overarching web presence including their search engine optimization, email marketing, websites, and paid display advertising.

Data exists for measuring clinic marketing in the social media space but measuring ROI is only as good as your data. In 2012 we will see a large emphasis on delivering true actionable marketing data encompassing the full spectrum of clinic and healthcare marketing.  Sharing of data between channels to gain true insights will be an unmistakable trend.

Physicians will continue to become more visible online as they adopt and utilize mobile devices.  This means marketing no longer controls all aspects of the public message.  As doctors engage in social media there will be a large demand for training and guidance in proper and effective use to protect the clinic, physician and patient.


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About Marc
Marc Ohmann is president of Digital Solutions, Inc in Minneapolis. Digital Solutions is the company behind the MDWebPro blog and tool set. Marc was a computer science and engineering student at the University of Minnesota in 1999 when he started Digital Solutions. Marc, now a husband and father of 3, greatly enjoys the clients and creativity he is involved in each day through Digital Solutions. Follow Marc on Twitter @marcohmann and @MDWebPro

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