Hospital marketers are always asking themselves the same questions: how can I grab the attention of potential referring physicians? How do I use marketing tactics to influence physicians about my hospital brand?

Year over year, we see hospital marketing teams create elaborate marketing plans focused on reaching potential patients; but reaching potential referring physicians requires a different approach and, unfortunately, doesn’t typically get the same type of attention. Marketing teams mail out case studies to hundreds, if not thousands, of physicians to get that one visit to a landing page. Physician relations leads are constantly running to physician offices just trying to get past the front desk in the hopes of getting some material in front of that potential referring physician.

While these may all be useful in one way or another, we live in a world that’s increasingly digital. Physicians are people too, and how they receive and consume information has evolved over time. They use their iPhones to stay connected and do research online just as consumers do.

As physicians are expected to keep up with an exponentially expanding world of medical news and literature along with their increased admin work plus higher patient volumes, they have even less time than the rest of us for using
 digital resources - not even 2 hours per day. As marketers, we need to use their time wisely when we do capture their attention -- even if it’s only for a moment.

Here are a few key points we recommend keeping in mind when creating your physician marketing plan:

Content is king! It’s important to show that your institution is leading the way when it comes to cardiology research, or lead physician is involved in the newest immunotherapy clinical trial, or you just debuted a new, specific type of technology to offer patients. Great content has the biggest impact when it’s timely and communicated effectively. Insert your latest hospital content where physicians are already reading news.

Data. Data. Data. Use data to guide your targeting decisions. Just as with consumers, it’s important to know your audience. Figure out the type of specialist you want to reach or the area from which you get a majority of your referrals. Knowing your audience will help you be more strategic when deciding how you want to target to physicians.

Consistency will lead to success. Multiple touchpoints are important. Quality content targeted to a core group of physicians is key to making sure your audience is reading what you have to offer. As they stay up to date with your hospital’s latest innovations and technology, the more likely they will think of your institution when that complicated case walks through their doors.

Bottom line is that physicians are using digital platforms daily so don’t forget about digital channels when trying to make an impression.