Did you know that almost 92 percent of millennials are more likely to buy products from ethical brands? Or that nearly 82 percent of customers believe ethical brands outperform brands that lack ethics? These are some of the many findings of the Aflac survey into the potential medical practice impact of ethical marketing.
Brand validity has never been more crucial to a medical practice’s success, and marketers who dedicate themselves to the greater good instead of purely to their profitability are seeing a remarkable rise in support as well as revenue.
Before we dive into more details, let’s understand the concept of ethical healthcare marketing.
What Is Ethical Healthcare Marketing?
Ethical healthcare marketing refers to the process through which medical practices market their services by focusing not only on how they benefit patients but also on how they help social and environmental causes.
Ethical healthcare marketing is not a strategy; it is a philosophy. It includes ensuring that your marketing campaigns are trustworthy and aim to build stronger relationships with patients. Medical practices with a focus on ethical marketing evaluate their marketing efforts from a revenue perspective as well as from a moral standpoint.
Ethical Healthcare Marketing Matters
In the age of digital marketing, it’s easy to look at numbers instead of their impact on social and environmental factors.
A recent report found that almost 73 percent of millennials are willing to pay extra for sustainable services, and with millennials increasingly filling positions of power, ethical healthcare marketing is more important than ever.
An increasing amount of patients are choosing to follow brands they believe make ethical, socially responsible decisions that do not leave anyone in harm’s way or unaware of what they are buying. The buying process is becoming less about what is cheap and convenient and more about what is right and honorable.
Obviously, all types of businesses, including medical practices, need to use marketing in some form or other. Your patients understand this, and they also realize that digital marketing is crucial for the success of your healthcare brand.
Even though advertising is essential, healthcare marketers have a long way to go before being considered trustworthy. We’ve all been witness to unsavory marketing tactics at one time or another. Sometimes these tactics are unintentional. Other times they are purposefully designed to squeeze a few extra dollars at the expense of the patient experience.
Dos and Don’ts of Ethical Medical Marketing
One of the effective ways to strengthen your marketing strategy is to abide by principles consistently. Some strategies might help you attract more patients by using shady practices – but the repercussions will be severe.
By using unethical marketing tactics, you will damage the online reputation of your brand. Online reputation is not something to be taken lightly, as it drives patients, revenue and profitability.
If you focus on ethical healthcare marketing instead, you will be able to increase patient satisfaction and maintain your credibility and reputation.
Ethical marketing should aim to be honest and transparent. Unethical practices will not guarantee you more patients or increased revenue. What they will do, though, is put your practice’s viability at risk.
Ethical marketing, on the other hand, will always be the wisest route to success.
Here are five dos and don’ts of ethical marketing that will help you devise a sound and fruitful healthcare marketing strategy.
Whenever you are marketing a product or service, make sure the campaigns are transparent, including information about safety and effective use.
Protect Patient Data and Privacy
Patients are becoming increasingly concerned about entrusting their data with medical practices. Therefore, it is essential to emphasize your commitment to privacy.
Commit to Human Rights
Ethical marketing is becoming a priority for many patients. People want to feel assured that the products they are purchasing are ethically produced. Be honest with patients about your products’ ingredients and components.
Respond Professionally to Patient Concerns
If patients have concerns about a product or service, this should be your top priority. Always seek to protect patients’ rights and investigate all complaints.
Minimize Risks and Maximize Benefits
Every marketing strategy should try to benefit as many people as possible while doing as little harm as possible. Making a lasting positive impact should always be the goal.
When you overemphasize the benefits of your services, you sound as if you are making a false claim. You must never promise your patients anything you cannot deliver.
Don’t Make Incorrect Comparisons
This is an illegal marketing tactic that involves making inaccurate or misleading statements about a competitor’s services.
Don’t Make Unverified Claims
Unless you have scientific evidence to back up your claims, refrain from making promises that may not deliver results.
Do not engage in the promotion of stereotypes to sell your services. This sort of marketing will build an environment of sexism, which will not go well with today’s educated patients.
Don’t Play With Emotions
Getting an emotional reaction from patients is one of the most foolproof ways to generate a positive response. However, evoking negative emotions could be seen as exploitation. Patients want their feelings to be sympathized with, not manipulated.
Examine your existing healthcare marketing strategy and see how it could be altered in line with ethical principles. If you change the planning and implementation of your healthcare marketing strategy with ethics and morals in mind, you will drive profits while maintaining a robust reputation.
Medical Practices Can Be Ethical and Profitable
Ethical healthcare marketing relies on a long-term strategy of continuing education and campaigning. It’s about helping patients make better and conscious choices about the services they are using. It is about changing how we sell our services and keeping the social and environmental causes before our bottom line. It is about cultivating brand loyalty by aligning your values with those of your ideal patients.
Not every medical practice will be suited to ethical healthcare marketing – there are no fair-trade plumbers, after all. However, practices that choose to follow ethical marketing will find that focusing on people, and not just profits, is a wise and long-term strategy.