Health and social care marketing
The reduction in state funding along with the personalisation agenda means a major shift in the way social care providers approach service development and delivery.
Block contracts are now just one of only several ways of generating business as consumers increasingly decide who will provide the care for themselves and their family.
Social care providers need to start thinking about how to generate business in a changing environment. Whilst providers may well have a reputation, most are not visible when potential customers are looking for care. When every service user or resident is worth thousands or even tens of thousands of pounds you could see a loss in business if you don’t start marketing your organisations effectively.
All work commissioned by the local authority / PCT. Providers tender for contracts and either win all or nothing
One size fits all service
Providers may have a reputation but there are very few recognisable brands - there was no need
Jargonistic ways of communicating with professionals
Only need to manage relationships with a handful of commissioners
Budget and provider allocated to the service userby the commissioner
Getting information about the pros and cons of providers was difficult as there was no choice
Consumers had low expectations and were grateful to get any support they could get
There was no real need for marketing specialists, activity or resources
Individuals are increasingly deciding on which providers they will use
They demand personalised service based on the individual's needs
Providers need to capture evidence, communicate why they are a good provider and talk to individuals in a consumer-friendly manner if they are to attract business directly
Providers need to market their services to consumers directly and via third parties
The service user and / or family carer decides how to spend his allocated budget (often topped up or paid for entirely by himself) after talking to friends, searching the internet and getting advice from third party agencies
The internet is a rich source of information and makes it easy to access other providers, CQC ratings etc and to provide feedback on the quality of service. Poor quality providers will find it more difficult to hide.
Consumers are much more savvy. They demand and expect quality, choice and value for money.
Sales and marketing skills are becoming as important for social care providers as it is for other service providers
The key to maintaining and growing market share in the new world of Personalisation is to ensure all user groups, potential user groups and third party influencers are aware of the services your organisation offers and how they compare favourably to other providers. This means that whether the decision needs to be made quickly or is considered over a long period of time, your organisation is always considered.
You then need to make sure you handle the enquiry well, maximise your conversion rates, continue to retain your customer and get him to recommend you to others.When it comes to generating and converting enquiries there's a lot to think about and many organisations lack the necessary skills and experience.
How Straight Up Marketing can help?
We provide consultancy and outsourced marketing services. We have worked with several clients
in the health and social care sector and have many positive testimonials
and case studies.
The Care Marketing Toolkit has been produced for care providers wishing to learn about marketing specifically in the care sector whilst minimising their requirements for expensive external help.
A series of over 80 videos with supporting templates and external links
, the toolkit will guide you through the sales and marketing process ensuring you think about things in the right order and learn from the mistakes that many inexperienced providers are making. Whether you're looking at developing your marketing plan, producing a new website, improving your enquiry handling, running an event, introducing social media or many other topics, there are videos specifically designed for care organisations like yours.
Visit the Care Marketing Toolkit
website where you can sign up for a free trial or subscribe for a day, a month or a year.