Creative Marketing | 2/03/2023

How to conquer the evolving patient journey

Posted by James Dempster

Gone are the days of a linear marketing funnel; today’s patients can enter the funnel at any stage and move in any direction. As marketers, it’s essential to create content tailored to each stage of the funnel that works for both existing and new patients. After all, just because someone comes into “consideration” doesn’t mean they’ve been through awareness—so they might not be familiar with your offer. Let’s explore how to best tackle the evolving patient journey by understanding what questions people will ask at each stage and creating content that gives the answer.

Awareness stage

At this stage, potential patients want answers to their basic questions—what services do you provide? What makes your offer unique? What do other patients think about your services? Your content should be geared towards providing clear answers to these queries while also introducing them to your brand. Think of FAQs webpages, video tutorials, or even an introductory blog post that outlines what makes your organisation special. Patients can be nervous about proceeding with their healthcare needs so video content can help to humanise your offer. Smiles and reassurance also work at the pre-bedside manner phase.

Consideration stage

Now we move into deeper waters as potential patients consider their options. Here, they’ll ask more detailed questions such as cost comparison between you and other providers, treatment options for specific conditions, or even patient reviews about their experiences with you. Help them by providing comprehensive information about cost breakdowns and various treatment plans plus share some positive patient stories from those who have gone through similar treatments before. Patient case studies can be written or video content or even better, a blend of both!

Decision stage

The decision stage is where potential patients make up their minds about which provider (hopefully yours!) they’re going with. They’ll likely ask questions like “How do I book an appointment?,” “What paperwork do I need before my appointment?” or “Do I have to get a referral from my GP?” Make sure that these key pieces of information are easily accessible on your website so they can take action quickly, our attention spans are getting worse on what seems like a monthly basis.

“From a paid media perspective, there are multiple different campaign types that we can setup to engage with potential patients throughout their journey to private healthcare. Performance Max in particular is a new campaign type that is designed to complement your keyword-based Search campaigns to help you find more converting customers across all of Google’s channels like YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail, and Maps. Trust the process (and Google’s innovative automation technologies) to stay on top of trends by adapting to the ever-evolving landscape to stay competitive and increase your online presence.”

Sophie Turner, Paid Media Manager

In summary

The patient journey has changed drastically over time—and as marketers in healthcare, it’s important for us to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to understanding patients’ needs. By focusing on the questions people will ask at each stage of the journey and creating content tailored towards providing those answers, we can ensure that our current patients remain engaged while new patients come on board without a hitch!

  • Understand your patients’ worries and needs
  • Break this down into each stage of a marketing funnel
  • Provide the answers to these needs
  • Monitor results
  • Optimise output