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In healthcare, we often draw parallels between patient care and business strategies. Just as specific indicators are crucial to evaluate the effectiveness of treatments, medications, and surgeries, a similar approach is necessary to measure the performance of your healthcare marketing strategy.

For example, when treating a condition like hypertension, you frequently check blood pressure readings to assess the impact of prescribed medications or lifestyle changes on a patient’s health. 

On the other hand, when evaluating the performance of new marketing campaigns, a key metric to consider is the cost per new patient because it helps you understand the financial efficiency of your marketing strategies in attracting new customers. 

Also, once these individuals become patients, you need to analyze the marketing channels that contributed to their decision. Did a social media campaign play a role? Was it the local SEO strategy that tipped the scales?

Whether you’re a small private practice or an extensive hospital system, you have to measure the performance of your healthcare marketing strategy regularly to ensure it effectively achieves your business goals. Through diligent assessment and analysis, you can refine and enhance your marketing approach for future campaigns.

The Devil Is in the Metrics (Measure What Counts)

Healthcare providers often hesitate to collect marketing data because of the challenges they face in managing and interpreting diverse, unstructured information. Organizing this data into a coherent format and making it accessible across integrated systems can be complex. In addition to this, the responsibility of complying with personal health information standards, as required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), adds another layer of complexity to this task.

Despite these challenges, it’s essential to measure the performance of your healthcare marketing strategy and gain valuable insights that contribute to the success of your healthcare organization. Also, with many marketing automation, EHR/EMR, and CRM systems now incorporating built-in HIPAA compliance, protecting patient data while collecting necessary metrics has become possible. So, there’s really nothing preventing you from measuring the performance of your healthcare marketing strategy. 

Let’s explore different metrics that are instrumental in evaluating the effectiveness of your healthcare marketing efforts:

Measure Return on Investment (ROI)

ROI has always been a crucial metric in marketing, especially in healthcare where resource allocation demands precision and accountability. ROI is necessary to measure the performance of your healthcare marketing strategy, as it essentially evaluates the effectiveness of your marketing investments, directly linking spending to outcomes. In other words, it helps you understand how much revenue is generated in return for every dollar spent on marketing.

In the past, evaluating the ROI of marketing efforts in healthcare often involved a significant amount of guesswork. Today, however, advances in digital analytics, data tracking, and integrated marketing systems have changed how ROI is calculated. With real-time tracking and analysis of specific marketing campaigns, it’s possible to see exactly which strategies are yielding results and which aren’t, offering a clear way to measure the performance of your healthcare marketing strategy.

To calculate ROI, you need to know the revenue each patient brings in. You can use exact numbers for each patient, or you can use an average patient revenue for your practice or even from a particular procedure. For example, let’s say that you launch an online advertising campaign to attract new patients for a specific procedure and the total cost of this campaign is $5,000. Over the campaign’s duration, you see an influx of 50 new patients asking for the advertised procedure.

To measure ROI, you first need to determine the revenue generated from these new patients. Let’s say the average revenue per patient for this procedure is $500. The total revenue generated from the campaign would then be 50 patients multiplied by $500 per patient, equaling $25,000.

The ROI is calculated using the formula:

So, we take the total revenue of $25,000 and subtract the campaign cost of $5,000, which gives us a net profit of $20,000. Next, to find the ROI, we divide this net profit by the campaign’s cost. When we divide the net profit of $20,000 by the campaign cost of $5,000 and multiply it by 100, we get an ROI of 400%. This means that for every dollar you spent on the marketing campaign, it gained four dollars in return, indicating that the campaign was highly effective in terms of revenue generation compared to its cost.

Understand Patient Acquisition Cost (PAC)

PAC is a critical metric for you to understand the cost-effectiveness of your healthcare marketing efforts. It represents the total amount of money spent on marketing divided by the number of new patients acquired as a result.

For example, if you spend $10,000 on marketing in a quarter and acquire 100 new patients in that time, the PAC can be calculated as follows:

So, in this case, you would divide $10,000 by 100, and get a PAC of $100 per patient. In other words, each new patient acquired during this quarter cost your practice $100 in marketing expenses.

PAC offers a direct insight into your ROI. Generally, a lower PAC implies a higher ROI, indicating a more effective and efficient allocation of your marketing resources. At the same time, consistency in the time frame for calculating PAC is vital to measure the performance of your healthcare marketing strategy accurately. Whether you choose a monthly, quarterly, or annual period, sticking to the same period ensures accurate and meaningful comparisons over time.

Calculate Patient Lifetime Value (LTV)

Getting patients to your healthcare organization’s doorstep is one thing. Getting them to stay engaged and spend money, in the form of additional appointments, procedures, and purchases is something else. That’s the essence of patient lifetime value (LTV), which calculates the average amount of money your patients will spend during their relationship with your practice.

To calculate LTV, you need to know:

  1. V = Average Value of Appointment,
  2. N = Average Number of Appointments Each Year, and
  3. Y = Average Number of Years Patients Visit Your Practice

Suppose the average value of an appointment (V) at your practice is $200. If a typical patient visits your practice 3 times a year (N), and continues coming for 5 years (Y), the LTV can be calculated following the formula: LTV = V x N x Y.

In this example, LTV = $200×3×5=$3,000. So, the average patient lifetime value is $3,000, meaning each patient, on average, contributes $3,000 to your practice throughout their relationship with your healthcare organization.

LTV is a key component to measure the performance of your healthcare marketing strategy, as it reflects the long-term financial impact of your efforts and helps you decide how much to invest in patient acquisition and retention strategies. A higher LTV indicates a more valuable patient base, guiding you to allocate resources effectively to maintain and enhance these relationships.

Monitor Patient Calls

To measure the performance of your healthcare marketing strategy, it’s crucial to understand which marketing channels effectively draw patients to your healthcare organization, and one of the most direct ways to evaluate this is by using call tracking. 

With the right systems in place, you can identify the specific sources of your patient calls. This might include calls from your Google Business Profile (GBP), paid advertisements, your website, social media platforms, or other marketing channels.

Call tracking involves assigning unique phone numbers to different marketing channels, such as Google Ads, your website, and others. When patients call these numbers, the system automatically records the origin of each call. This allows you to identify which marketing channel prompted the call and determine the ones that are most effective at driving patient engagement. This insight is invaluable for optimizing your marketing strategies and focusing your efforts on the channels that bring the best results.

Track Search Engine Ratings

Approximately 68% of all web traffic comes from organic search, making search engine rankings a critical component of any healthcare marketing strategy. The position of your organization on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) can have a significant impact on your website’s visibility and the effectiveness of your online marketing campaigns.

Data shows that ranking first on Google can yield a click-through rate (CTR) of about 27.6%, a significant advantage over a fifth-place ranking, which typically brings a CTR of around 6.3%. This difference highlights the importance of aiming for top positions in search rankings to maximize web traffic and potential patient conversions.

To obtain data-driven insights, you need to conduct a SERP analysis including your website’s ranking for specific keywords, comparison with competitors, and areas for optimization. Keeping a close eye on your search engine ratings informs you about your current online position and guides necessary optimizations to improve your digital presence. This ongoing analysis is necessary to measure the performance of your healthcare marketing strategy, ensuring that you remain visible and relevant in the competitive healthcare marketplace.

Improve Your Star Rating

Your online reputation is another key element necessary to measure the performance of your healthcare marketing strategy. Studies show that 71% of patients start their search for a new healthcare provider by reading online reviews. Also, at some point in their decision-making process, 94% of patients consult these reviews. This trend underscores the critical role your online reviews and star ratings play in attracting new patients. So, to effectively measure the performance of your healthcare marketing strategy, it’s essential to consider how these reviews reflect patient satisfaction.

However, it’s often patients with extreme experiences—either very positive or very negative—who leave unsolicited reviews. This can misrepresent your online reputation to be more negative than the reality of patient satisfaction levels. To counterbalance this, you need to ask for feedback.

Encouraging more patients to leave reviews can provide a more balanced and accurate representation of the care and services your healthcare organization offers. One of the most effective methods is to integrate a review request system with your EHR platform and automatically send out review requests, making it convenient for both your staff and patients. When more patients participate in providing feedback, your online ratings will more accurately reflect the quality of care you provide. This way, you improve your star ratings and contribute significantly to the success of your healthcare marketing strategy.

Assess Patient Satisfaction

With something as personal as healthcare, experience matters. Measuring patient satisfaction is a good way to not only take the pulse of overall patient sentiment but also to reveal gaps or points of friction in the patient journey. With this insight, you can improve patient care, as well as measure the performance of your healthcare marketing strategy.

Patient surveys are one of the most effective tools for assessing satisfaction because they can be designed to capture feedback on various aspects of the patient experience. To make this approach effective, survey questions should be clear and cover a wide range of topics, from the ease of scheduling appointments to the quality of care received. It’s also important to send these surveys at an optimal time, typically soon after a patient’s appointment or interaction with your healthcare organization, to ensure accurate and timely feedback. 

Once the surveys are returned, the next step is to systematically analyze the responses. This involves identifying common themes and trends in the feedback, paying attention to both areas of high satisfaction and points of concern expressed by patients. Based on this, you can take steps to improve patient care and experience, such as operational adjustments, enhancing communication strategies, or modifying certain services.

Measure Success Beyond Metrics

Measuring the performance of your healthcare marketing strategy provides a comprehensive view of how effectively your marketing efforts are reaching and influencing your target audience. While various metrics are crucial for refining your approach, their true value lies in contributing to a larger objective—enhancing patient care and outcomes.

Remember, the ultimate success of your healthcare marketing isn’t just in the numbers. It’s in how your marketing efforts translate into better services for patients, more engaging patient experiences, and improved health outcomes. In your quest for better marketing measurement, it’s easy to get caught up in data and analytics, but the heart of your strategy should always focus on patient well-being.

By ensuring that your marketing strategies align with and contribute to the quality of patient care, you create a balance between business goals and patient needs. This approach builds trust and loyalty among your patients and sets a solid foundation for sustainable growth and success. After all, when you prioritize patient care, the desired marketing ROI will follow as patients recognize and appreciate the value of the services you provide.

If you find balancing your marketing efforts and providing high-quality care too challenging, you can use SocialClimb’s comprehensive healthcare marketing platform to streamline your marketing efforts and reduce costs. Our all-encompassing suite of tools and services focuses on establishing clear, actionable metrics, providing deep insights through data analysis, and refining your messaging to resonate with your target audience.

With SocialClimb, you gain the capability to navigate the complexities of healthcare marketing with ease. Our healthcare-specific platform empowers you to track new and returning patient appointments, enabling you to accurately assess your PAC, ROI, LTV, and more. Additionally, you can use SocialClimb to improve your star ratings, search rankings, and overall patient satisfaction.

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