The Importance of Where
Geo-targeting is the relatively new marketing practice of delivering content to a consumer, often via their smartphone, using geographic location information about that individual.
According to Local Search Association, the click-through rate for geo-targeted mobile display ads was significantly higher than the industry benchmarks, especially in healthcare. Hospitals can restrict their marketing reach to patients located in a defined geographic area and, by narrowing their location, often get deeper, more meaningful and identifiable data that identify consumers’ wants needs or interests. Here are 6 topics to be aware of when geo-targeting healthcare consumers:
Geo-fencing allows healthcare marketers to set a perimeter around a hospital or clinic. When a patient enters those perimeters, an ad is pushed to them if they have “opted in” to accept messages. For example, a clinic can set a 1-mile perimeter to reach patients and encourage them to walk or bike to their next appointment. Or, it could set a 3-mile perimeter around a nearby office complex to reach patients looking for convenient pharmacy pick up after work.
Geo-conquesting sets perimeters around competing hospitals or clinics to capture new patients who may be looking to switch. A hospital can send ads touting their short wait times to patients sitting in another clinic’s waiting room.
Using a patient’s search history allows healthcare marketers to deliver location-specific ads and information to them, even if their current location is different than the on indicated in their internet search. A patient might be planning a vacation and can be alerted to a clinic, a hospital, or a gym at their intended destination.
Location history provides information about where a consumer might like to shop, vacation or dine. Marketers can glean information about what patients like to buy, how often they travel to a certain location, and what they do once they are there. This insight allows marketers to deliver location-specific information in a timely and relevant fashion, even if the patient is not currently in that location.
Geographically specific events, like a snowstorm or extremely high temperatures, can be used to push relevant information to patients and consumers. A hospital can send out an email on how to stay cool in hot weather, checking on elderly neighbors or the importance of monitoring your heart rate while shoveling.
Marketers already know about the value of social media. But through geolocation, hospitals can listen more intently to what potential patients are saying or needing in their service area. Advertising your ER to patients 30 miles away may be a wasted effort. Healthcare marketers who pay attention to the interests of their community can streamline their social media marketing strategies to mirror patient’s needs and optimize their ROI on social media outreach. Facebook and Twitter have tools that allow marketers to track what folks in their set perimeter are talking about and communicating relevant content to consumers within their geographical community.