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The Doctor Will See You Now: How to Reach Your Audience through Point of Care Channels

Posted by Chuck Hajj, Executive Director on Oct 18, 2017 9:26:00 AM

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Imagine you’re in the doctor’s office. The receptionist says, “The doctor will be right with you,” which is code for “it’ll be another 20 minutes…maybe 30.” You’re tired of staring at your phone, so you scan the waiting room, hoping to find something interesting. What do you see?

Plenty! Doctor offices are increasingly receptive to high-quality promotional materials that provide patients with valuable health-related content. Smartly written magazines, valuable product samples, interactive displays—these are just some of the many ways marketers can use point-of-care channels to provide an information-hungry audience with the right content at the right time.

The good news: Patients are most receptive to health-focused content while they’re in their doctor’s office. Even better, materials/samples in the waiting room earn the doctor’s “implied endorsement,” which suggest the doctor is saying, “I use this product and you should too.”

Point-of-care marketing can absolutely influence behavior and drive the patient to make decisions at a key purchase moment. But first you need to devise a solid strategy by keeping these things in mind:

Timing is Everything

Fact: The average patient spends 21 minutes in the waiting room. This is the perfect opportunity to grab their attention with useful information—such as ailment-specific content, healthy living tips, or other information relevant to both patients and their caregivers. Since health and wellness will already be top of mind, half the battle is won. And by associating your brand with well-crafted, helpful content, you’re building a trust with patients that leads to product consideration and purchase.

Gain Their Trust

Trust is not merely given; it must be earned. By reaching your audience through point of care, trust has been established, putting you one step ahead and significantly increasing the chances your message will be well-received.

While pharmaceuticals are a natural fit for point-of-care marketing, other categories can benefit from this channel, too. Take consumer packaged goods, for instance. Placing product samples or helpful custom content aligned with your brand, effectively reaches your audience while suggesting endorsement from the doctor. This conveys that the healthcare provider trusts the product and believes his or her patients will benefit from it.

Educate Your Audience

Studies show that 1 in 5 patients search for health-related information on their phone while in the waiting room. Therefore, it’s imperative for your brand to have a presence at point-of-care  where patients are information hungry and receptive to quality health messaging. Educate them on your brand’s benefits and how it will help them personally.

Ask Questions

Before diving too deep into a point-of-care strategy, consider the following:

  • Geographic location – Who am I targeting— a regional audience or a national one? Am I trying to reach high-income households? Spanish-speaking patients? Doctor offices with older patients?
  • Venue type – Which point-of-care facilities align best with my marketing materials?
  • Content type – Is my message best delivered via custom publications, ad placements, product samples, wall displays, etc?
  • Appealing to both patients and physicians – Before you can sway patients with your promotional materials, you must first gain approval from the physician or medical specialist.

Truth is, there’s a lot to consider before developing a point-of-care strategy, which also includes navigating the often-complex healthcare industry. Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone. 

Our point of care experts will help you devise a turnkey program and manage every detail, including:

  • identifying the best locations for your messaging
  • prequalifying these offices (so they agree to accept and distribute your materials)
  • developing effective, influential content
  • delivering your product samples
  • conducting consumer research on the program’s effectivess.

Ready to get started? Get in touch with us today to find out how we’ll use targeted point-of-care marketing to boost your brand’s awareness and marketshare.

Topics: POC