I work first and foremost with the fertility centers themselves, so I want patients to have access to every page of my marketing playbook. There still tends to be a notion in healthcare that we can control what patients say, view, and read about us online.
But that's not the world we live in. We live in a world where patients have more platforms to interact with each other, more tools to voice their experience and opinions, and more sources of information than they have ever had before.
In this world, the framework for success is providing as much transparency as possible.
When I first started working with fertility centers, I had an earth-shattering idea of how to find out what patients wanted.
I asked them.
I talked to dozens of peer-led, infertility support group leaders across the United States. I was shocked at how consistently they reported feeling failed by their fertility centers in three main areas: cost confusion, clarity of success rates, and lack of connection to emotional support. In short, they were searching for a community that their fertility clinics were not helping them find.
Every day I pay attention to hundreds of people on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and blogs, who express the same frustrations. If we are marketing the old way, where we want people to have less information and less interaction, then these frustrations pose major challenges.
If we market in the year we live in however, there has never been a better time to be an honest, compassionate person. If we educate patients more than anyone else, if we connect them to support networks more than anyone else, and if we empower them to talk about their experience more than anyone else, we only stand to gain.
I want patients to know my marketing strategy because I want them to design it. I want them to critique, question, and fine-tune it because they will happily tell us exactly what they want. We should be just as happy to provide it to them.