Online Community Building: An Essential Role for Healthcare Marketers

In this video (45:53) I address a group of clinicians, administrators and marketing professionals at a women’s health conference about the important role that online community building should play in healthcare marketing programs.

Given the changing expectations and habits of the connected consumer, healthcare marketers must embrace the notion of marketing “with” consumers, rather that “at” them. The day of pushing endless content at audiences, and expecting them to be influenced, has long since passed.

Niche online communities, particularly online patient support communities organized around specific health conditions or topics, give us the opportunity to engage consumers by appealing to their unique interests and desire for health information.

These communities offer the promise of an experience with the healthcare organization’s brand that is perceived by members to be more credible and authentic, thereby deepening their relationship with the brand.

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