For generations, healthcare has been utilizing the scarcity model of marketing. Scarcity marketing is based upon the principle that people (consumers) want what is scarce.
What is scarce in medicine? Sources of credible health information are scarce. Resources where patients learn about their health issues are scarce.
Prior to Google and the Internet, we were the ONLY sources of health related information, but no longer. Let’s see how this can help us market more effectively!
This post corresponds to our latest podcast episode of “Russ and Randy” – a podcast on Healthcare and Medical Internet Marketing. We hope you like “Scarcity Marketing in Medicine.” You can find us on iTunes …and now, ReachMD.com!
In this episode, we talk about the availability (or scarcity) of health information and how Google and the Internet are competing with our traditional methods of marketing through scarcity. The Internet allows our patients to become consumers, by providing an alternative resource for health information. Our patients can now make informed decisions about their health, including choosing a new doctor.
You can take advantage, too, to market yourself more successfully.
Only Restaurant in Town
If you own the only restaurant in town, you have no competition. You don’t have to have the best food, the best prices, best service, etc. You don’t have to provide much value because there are no options for your customers. The mere fact that you are the only restaurant is the only value you provide (at least there is one restaurant vs. no restaurant) to your customers.
This is similar to the way health providers have been practicing for generations. A visit to the doctor was the only way a patient could get some information about their health.
Take Two Aspirin and Call me in the Morning
Patients had no other resource for learning about their health and were forced to “take what they could get.”
“Take two aspirin….,” for example, didn’t require an explanation. A typical conversation between a provider and patient could be a monologue, brief and not much of an explanation.
Google Offers Alternative
Google and the other engines offer alternatives. With the ubiquity of the Internet, patients are able to find all sorts of information about their health, some good and some bad. Patients hope to find information about their doctor, potential doctor and find answers about what ails them.
With respect to health information, we have become less valuable to our patients because of competition from Google. We are no longer the “only restaurant in town” and patients now expect to learn more from health providers, after all, we are the accepted authority.
Seize Marketing Opportunity
Competition from Google and the Internet has created an opportunity for marketing ourselves. Take advantage of Google. Doctors, health providers and hospitals willing to provide valuable information on their websites will seize a huge marketing advantage over their competition.
By publishing educational material, transparent information about your self and your practice, you can redeem your value to your patients as an expert.
No need to compete with Google, get yourself on the Internet!
See you next week!
Find “Russ and Randy” on iTunes!
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All the best!
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