What Happens in an Internet Minute?

April 23, 2016

 

In a recent Infographic, Intel predicts that by 2017, the number of devices connected to the internet will climb to three times the number of people on earth.  This graph, and others similar, began appearing in 2010 to illustrate comparative engagement across a growing array of digital and social platforms.  The diagram below by Excelacom aims similarly to boggle the mind with the sheer volume of traffic on the web every 60 seconds in 2016, indicating the impact of big data.

Embracing the internet minute

The Internet Minute and YP's embrace of new technology by Carestruck

In case these numbers don’t impress you, consider this. Last year, revenues for digital media exceeded that for print at the Yellow Pages, the Yellow Pages!  This 140 yr-old bastion of printed tomes now limits print runs to the couple of million consumers who still require a book. Perhaps, it accompanies their flip phone.  With 80M internet visitors, YP serves as a model for the strategic agility required to leverage internet trends. Read more in Gene Mark’s article in Inc.

A closer look at YP’s transition, in contrast to companies that didn’t survive the internet, provides a cautionary tale.  Needed, because there are still healthcare organizations who don’t think digital trends apply to them.  Usually, these are well-established practices enjoying 3-5-month wait periods for appointment. Ironically, while YP updates their strategy, these practices still pay top dollar for print ads, while neglecting their web presence.  There may be little incentive for busy practices to consider marketing strategy. However, entrenchment in outdated communication processes are an invitation to obsolescence and competition.

In many respects, the Affordable Care Act has been to healthcare what Google was to Yellow Pages less than a decade ago.  If technology trends are exploding norms for print, healthcare is changing even faster as deductibles continue to rise, hospitals continue to merge, and population health becomes the new standard of delivery analysis.

What does the internet minute and YP signal to established and growing healthcare organizations?

Well, first test your current strategy with our 2016 Checklist for Healthcare Marketing Strategy.

A few million reasons to update your strategy

Latest Intel internet data shared by CarestruckBe proactive. If you wait until you must update your marketing & communications strategy, chances are, you won’t save anything playing catch up.  Community pillars benefit richly from insight into their patient base data.  Updated strategies can yield rich dividends in operational efficiency, driving savings to the bottom line and partnership opportunities at the top.

Think survival.  Marketing strategy isn’t merely a tactical offensive for those hungry for growth. It’s survival strategy for community pillars with a view toward standards of care.  It doesn’t mean every gimmick is right for your practice, nor does it rule out print advertising. However, avoiding obsolescence will require organizations to stay current on how consumers are accessing health information, and the values by which they perceive the patient experience at your office today. Hint, hint: expectations have changed.

Get comfortable with change.  Your business strategy should change significantly each year based on priorities and objectives.  The technology that will shift healthcare trends in 2017 has yet to be revealed.  We can’t anticipate it, nor should it dictate your mission.  However, a cohesive, comprehensive marketing strategy that stays true to your core values is a powerful tool for embracing change.

Today, healthcare organizations are confronted by much more than high deductibles, value-based care, and population health.  Digital technology has impacted every aspect of healthcare delivery, and your strategy must anticipate the current pace of change will continue.  At Carestruck, we work with clients to keep marketing and communications strategy current and fluid. Call today to begin a discussion without obligation.