In the 18+ months since the onset of the pandemic, companies of all sizes have pivoted their marketing tactics, pivoted again, and in many cases, started entirely new strategies from scratch. To say the least, this has been a growing pain for many businesses. But ultimately, it has been a good thing overall for consumers, who are in many ways seeing brands in a new light through more thoughtful, accessible, and authentic marketing and PR campaigns.
As one might expect, healthcare-facing industries are no exception — and for those brands that market to healthcare decision-makers and customers, there is an entirely new story to tell. So much of this new story lies in how healthcare end-users (patients, visitors, and even care providers) experience products that contribute to their care, including furniture.
So what exactly is behind this shift, and how do we help healthcare-facing brands navigate it with effective communications? TBA’s public relations and brand strategy specialists have gleaned new insights working with such companies in recent months, and the takeaways can apply to brands representing many different industries. Below are some guideposts to keep in mind when marketing to healthcare end-users (B to C) and decision-makers (B to B):
1. Cleanliness matters more than ever. Promote how your product or solution supports or encourages it.
Prior to COVID, medical patients and visitors might notice the way a seat cushion is prone to collect dust or crumbs. Today, that same area could present a red flag for germs or virus transmission. If your product is an easy-to-clean alternative in a now-perceived “dirty” environment, now is the time to frame marketing tactics around that message. Likewise for technology solutions, maximize how your technology might streamline cleaning protocols or safe distancing measures.
2. Anxiety is heightened. How does your brand’s product offering or solution invite a sense of calm?
Before the pandemic, patients and visitors might bemoan a waiting area simply for the inconvenient time expense it represents. Now, for many, that same waiting area can be unsettling for myriad reasons, including the risk of exposure that sharing a room now presents. From furniture to technology solutions, and even down to the paint selections for the walls, how does your product or service soothe or encourage a sense of safety and calm? Hone your brand messages in on this.
3. Focus on the experience.
It’s an often-repeated marketing adage, but when applied to healthcare-facing industries, it’s an especially timely one. Rather than looking at products as neutral or less-important items to fill a quota, facility decision-makers now have more reason to consider how every product, solution or service works to create a positive experience. This means that prior to launching a marketing campaign, companies should ask themselves: How does what we offer contribute to a positive experience, even in the smallest way? This will also go far to support earned media efforts, where “content is king” and case studies telling the story by the product can be more effective than a press release.
4. Prioritize the care provider.
The COVID-19 pandemic has for good reason highlighted the hard work and dedication care providers bring to healthcare environments, in both routine and extraordinary circumstances. Companies have a responsibility now more than ever to deliver products and services that address the needs and support the experience of care providers in their work environment. As a result, marketing should speak to them — not just the patient — in both tone and substance. And public relations efforts should provide editors with a glimpse at how companies meet these needs from a storytelling perspective.
These are just a few ways in which healthcare-facing businesses can reach customers through meaningful marketing and PR campaigns. TBA is always learning more about the industry segments we serve, and how changing market dynamics like the COVID-19 pandemic impact the ways we communicate to key audiences. Keep an eye on our blog for more insights and best practices regarding this and many more industries. The Brandon Agency is a fully integrated firm that can assist you with all of your marketing needs. To begin that conversation, contact us today.