Every organization, private or public, whether it is built for profit or non-profit, needs a steady cash flow to sustain itself in the market. Practices like marketing and branding help organisations fulfil this need by generating leads, driving revenue, and boosting the ROI.
However, the public gaze often takes a detour when it comes to the healthcare sector. Especially in India, as per Public Media Solution, healthcare institutions and professionals are assumed to regard revenue and profits as secondary to their inherent duties. While the primary objective of a doctor or a hospital should always be to save lives and promote holistic well-being in society, it is important to understand that profitability comes a close second.
It is common for Indian audiences to label healthcare institutions as being greedy or “money-minded” upon seeing their marketing campaigns. Considering such a scenario, do branding and marketing have a future in the Indian healthcare sector?
Before exploring this issue, let us understand the fundamental difference between the practices of branding and marketing.
Branding And Marketing Are Not The Same
Even industry professionals often make the mistake of using the terms “marketing” and “branding” interchangeably. To understand their implications and applications in the Indian healthcare sector, it is important to know how the two practices are different from each other.
Branding refers to the process of creating a unique name, design, and image for a product or service that sets it apart from competitors in the minds of consumers. It involves developing a brand strategy, defining the brand’s unique selling proposition, and creating a consistent brand identity across all marketing channels. Branding always focuses on creating a distinct personality and reputation for a company or product and building emotional connections with customers.
Marketing, on the other hand, is the broader process of promoting and selling products or services. It involves identifying customer needs and wants, developing products or services that meet those needs, pricing them appropriately, and communicating their value to the target audience through advertising, public relations, sales promotion, and other channels. Unlike branding, marketing focuses on creating demand for products and driving sales through targeted campaigns and promotions.
The Nascent Stage Of Healthcare Marketing And Branding In India
For the longest time, Indian doctors and hospitals have been marketing their ventures through word-of-mouth. In the age of digitization, the scope of word-of-mouth has evolved into social media mentions, PR articles, and internet chatter.
Over the last few years, healthcare institutions in the country have started making efforts to seek professional branding and marketing support. Today, a PR agency in Bangalore can handle communications for an orthopaedic doctor along with an IT startup.
So, why is the Indian healthcare sector experiencing this change?
One of the key reasons behind the growth of healthcare branding and marketing in India is increasing competition. When two doctors in the same locality provide the same diagnostic and treatment procedures, the one who gets noticed will receive more consultations. The two COVID waves have made Indians realize the importance of healthcare professionals, encouraging them to seek medical care when in doubt.
However, dedicated branding and marketing are still at a nascent stage in the Indian healthcare sector. This implies that there is tremendous scope for growth in the sector. Especially with the internet making its way to tier 2/3 Indian cities, many doctors and hospitals have resorted to practices like local SEO and regional PR to reach their target audiences.
Will Healthcare Marketing And Branding Stand The Test Of Time?
Indians make some of the most sceptical audiences in the world when it comes to the reception of marketing campaigns. Conventional branding and marketing may not work wonders for the Indian healthcare sector. To promote their ventures and spread their word, healthcare marketers will need to be a little more subtle.
Everything about the healthcare sector is drenched in the public interest. Marketing a multispecialty hospital in India will never yield the same results if the audience is simply informed about the features and services of the facility. It is important for marketers to weave their clients’ stories and messages around the greater good, i.e., public interest.
Ravinder Bharti, Founder and CEO of Public Media Solution, says that, unlike conventional marketing, healthcare marketing can help institutions get traction on the basis of spreading valuable information. Thanks to the reputation of healthcare professionals in the country, every word coming out of a qualified doctor’s mouth is capable of holding the attention of millions. All they need is a skilled and intelligent marketing/branding agency to extract, package, and deliver the word to the public in the best way possible!
For more info: https://publicmediasolution.com