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In the past, healthcare marketing was often limited by the stringent Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations, leading to a broad and often ineffective spray-and-pray approach. In the meantime, the healthcare market has become too layered and complex, and the availability of deep data sets now allows for unprecedented detail when it comes to defining and targeting patients. Through sophisticated data modeling and Google’s new extension of Local Services Ads (LSAs) to the healthcare industry, the emphasis has shifted to precision targeting in healthcare—ensuring the right message reaches the right patients, every time.

One Size Fits All No Longer Fits

Remember the last time you participated in a Secret Santa gift exchange at your office? You drew a name but had no idea who you were buying a gift for. So, you thought about the usual options like a coffee mug, box of chocolates, or a candle. Ultimately, you settled on those quirky Christmas socks because, well, everyone needs socks. 

Now, compare this with buying a gift for a close friend or family member. It’s completely different—you put a lot of thought into it, do your research, ask around, and maybe even stalk their social media accounts to check if they made some posts about their wishlist. The entire process revolves around understanding their unique tastes and preferences in order to gift them something they’d truly like and treasure.

Translating this analogy to healthcare marketing, the spray-and-pray approach is similar to gifting generic Christmas socks to everyone, hoping they’d appreciate it. It operates on the one-size-fits-all principle, blanketing every potential patient with the same message. The result? Low engagement and return on investment (ROI), and a sea of missed connections.

In contrast, precision targeting in healthcare mirrors the meticulous care taken when selecting a gift for a loved one. Recognizing the individual needs and preferences of each patient is crucial. It’s about acknowledging that every patient is unique, with distinct healthcare needs. This way, you transform a broad message into a personalized conversation.

When you engage in the spray-and-pray method, you’re essentially casting a wide net, capturing everyone but resonating with very few. This scattergun approach may attract attention, but it’s rarely the right kind. But with precision targeting, you put emphasis on quality over quantity. By focusing on specific patient segments, crafting tailored messages, and delivering these at the right time, you capture attention but also foster trust and loyalty. As personalized continues to be more and more important, a one-size-fits-all marketing strategy simply no longer fits.

Why Guess When You Can Target?

Why use precision targeting in healthcare rather than other marketing strategies? The answer is the patient. 

Precision targeting in healthcare is a patient-centric approach that prioritizes understanding, relevance, and genuine care. By putting the patient at the heart of every decision, your healthcare organization can foster trust, build lasting relationships, and remain at the forefront of patient care and satisfaction. 

To that end, instead of playing a guessing game, you can rely on predictive analytics. It analyzes vast amounts of data to pinpoint patients whose needs align perfectly with the unique services your healthcare facility offers. For example, a patient with chronic back pain will be more interested in learning about specialized physiotherapy services rather than a general health check-up. This way, you’re not just finding patients—you’re discovering the right ones. 

Oftentimes, patients might not know the exact treatment they need, but their online search patterns, browsing behaviors, and digital footprints give away clues. Through precision targeting in healthcare, you can analyze this data, identify potential needs, and then present them with tailored solutions. 

Also, as the healthcare landscape shifts towards value-driven services, it’s crucial for organizations to offer treatments that resonate with patient needs. To create and deliver such value, you need to engage with the right patient groups, understand their unique challenges, and meet their specific requirements. 

Finally, casting a wide net with a spray-and-pray approach is both inefficient and costly in a domain as sensitive and personalized as healthcare. This requires a lot of effort and resources, but very little value comes out of it. On the other hand, predictive analytics allows for precision targeting in healthcare by building an understanding of patients’ needs, helping you to spend every marketing dollar in the right way. By reaching out to the right patient segments with tailored messages, you can get higher engagement rates, better patient acquisition, and improved ROI. In other words, precision targeting in healthcare saves you money, ensuring that your marketing investments drive real, meaningful results.

Narrow the Scope and Widen the Impact

Another way to step away from broad, inefficient marketing approaches is by using Google’s Local Service Ads (LSAs) and reshaping the way you connect with potential patients. 

LSAs guarantee a top spot in local searches, ensuring that when nearby individuals seek out the healthcare services you offer, your practice is front and center. LSAs also encourage direct action — prospective patients can directly call or message your practice, turning a curious search into a potential consultation. And from a budgeting perspective, LSAs make every dollar count. You’re not spending on vague metrics like impressions. Instead, you’re billed only when someone genuinely reaches out from the ad, ensuring a more optimized ROI.

When it comes to narrowing down and focusing on the patients that matter most to your practice, LSAs foster true precision targeting in healthcare. Upon setting up your LSA profile, you have the control to handpick the cities or ZIP codes where your healthcare services are offered. This way, your ad isn’t just floating around the web — it’s strategically placed in front of users who are either located in or actively searching for healthcare services in your specific areas. Such focused targeting prevents wasting your marketing efforts on irrelevant audiences.

The adaptability that LSAs offer further improves precision targeting in healthcare. If you ever wish to adjust your reach, perhaps in response to changing patient demographics or to address specific business needs, you can easily update your profile. For example, suppose one of your locations is experiencing a decrease in patient visits. In that case, you can strengthen your LSAs for that area, driving attention and potential patients directly where they’re most needed.

From Broad Strokes to Fine Lines

Choosing precision targeting in healthcare over the spray-and-pray approach isn’t merely a tactical change, but a profound commitment to understanding, valuing, and nurturing each patient relationship. As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, if you prioritize targeted, data-informed engagements, you’re bound to improve your patient-centric care. In the end, it’s clear — to truly resonate and make a lasting impact, it’s time to focus on relevance, timeliness, and personalization.

At the same time, transitioning from a broad approach to precision targeting might seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and expertise, it becomes seamless. With SocialClimb’s comprehensive and secure healthcare marketing platform, you don’t have to compromise between targeting valuable patients and staying within the bounds of HIPAA regulations. 

Our sophisticated software accesses public data for more than 250 million people in the United States, so we can filter it and predict their future behavior, including risks for specific medical conditions. With a highly targeted list of potential patients, you connect directly with those who need your services the most, increase response rates, and drive patient conversion rates.

Also, to fully benefit from LSAs, you need to make sure that your GBP isn’t just active, but optimized. By managing and refining your listings across multiple platforms, SocialClimb helps you remain visible, credible, and ready to capture potential patient interest.

Finally, without data, decisions are just guesses. SocialClimb’s advanced analytics and call-tracking features provide insights into the quality and origins of your leads. Once you understand the impact and effectiveness of your LSAs, you can adjust your strategies and make sure that each marketing dollar is invested wisely.

Did this give you ideas or questions about how you can perform better targeting? You’re not alone, we have consultants ready and willing to deliver answers and help you conceptualize your next step. Click here, and we’ll have someone reach out right away.

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