Healthcare marketers have the opportunity and obligation to grow consumer and staff engagement in 2023.
Consumers' engagement with healthcare has fallen flat, according to The Humanizing Brand Experience volume 6 report, a new research study released by Monigle this week.
The independent brand consultancy, which surveyed 25,000 healthcare consumers and analyzed 200 healthcare brands across the country, shared their learnings and offer steps that healthcare marketers can take right now to better consumer engagement.
So, how do consumers engage with healthcare and manage their own health?
According to the survey:
- 89% of consumers said they go to the doctor's, a hospital, or medical facility
- 42% practice "self care" where they do their own research and self-diagnose to manage their own care
- 29% utilize virtual care to connect remotely with a doctor or other medical professional
- 5% use home-care services, or receive care right in their home
But while there are high volumes of consumers visiting their doctor's office, hospitals, or medical facilities, their healthcare experience isn't bringing in 5-star reviews.
In 2023, Monigle's healthcare engagement index scored 101, the same score released in 2022. In 2021, the score was 100, compared to 108 in 2020. The index score is based on consumer survey answers around how they feel about healthcare.
The report also found that consumers' distrust in providers has grown by 4% between 2022 to 2023. In 2023, 33% of consumers said that they do not always trust their healthcare provider to make the best decision for them as a patient. Across all age groups, there has been an increase in distrust from 2022 to 2023.
Staffing shortages, which are plaguing healthcare institutions all over the country, are also being noticed by consumers. 54% of consumers said that they believe it's harder to get an appointment for their healthcare because of the staffing shortages. Additionally, 52% of consumers believe that the quality of care they are receiving is worsening because of the shortages.
But it's not all bleak. The survey also found that:
- 73% of consumers said they "feel peace of mind after receiving healthcare services or treatment"
- 65% of consumers said that extra cost is worth it to go to the best healthcare provider or facility
- 44% of consumers surveyed said they always trust their healthcare provider to provide the correct decisions for them as a patient
Steps healthcare marketers can take right now to better engage their consumers:
Collaborate. Collaboration across your organization is key to better consumer engagement.
Rebalance. Equally ground your brand strategy internally and externally to focus on consumer engagement with patients and staff.
Focus. Create a clearer "why" around your organization's "systemness" or vision and let that guide the organization to maximize growth.
Evolve. Update your content and content channels to keep up with your consumers' wants and needs.
Elevate. Take on the role of "chief customer officer" to successfully lead your organization's brand and culture to become a more impactful organization.
Melanie Blackman is a contributing editor for strategy, marketing, and human resources at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.