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Debunk 5 Myths About Healthcare Marketing With an MBA in Healthcare Administration

Healthcare marketing may seem unnecessary since the public already knows that doctors and hospitals exist. However, marketing in this industry has many benefits. WebMD Ignite states, “Healthcare marketing is a process of strategic outreach and communications designed to attract healthcare consumers, guide them through their healthcare journey and keep them engaged with the health system.”

While this marketing concept is not new, healthcare organizations need professionals who understand the modern, cutting-edge strategies of medical marketing. The online Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Concentration in Healthcare Administration from University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP) prepares graduates with knowledge in this realm. Through relevant courses like Services Marketing and Marketing Planning and Strategy, students explore ethical practices and integrated marketing communications to reach today’s consumers.

Why Is Healthcare Marketing Important?

Healthcare marketing can ensure individuals have the information necessary to make informed decisions. Advertising raises awareness about available medical services, treatments and advancements in care. It also maintains a line of communication between providers and patients, which fosters trust and promotes overall public health initiatives.

5 Healthcare Marketing Myths

Individual consumers and healthcare leaders alike hold various myths and misconceptions about the role of marketing in healthcare. Here are five healthcare marketing myths and what marketing professionals can do instead:

1. “Healthcare marketing is unethical.”

Regardless of industry, marketers should never make impossible guarantees or pressure consumers. Still, ethical healthcare marketing is centers on transparency, honesty and keeping patients’ best interests at the forefront. By adhering to marketing and advertising regulations and taking a patient-centered approach, healthcare marketing can help businesses and physicians expand their reach while also improving individual and public health.

2. “Physicians and healthcare organizations don’t need an online presence.”

Physicians and healthcare organizations once relied heavily on word-of-mouth advertising, but having no or limited digital presence can backfire in today’s environment. As McKinsey & Company notes, “Consumers increasingly expect transparent, predictable and mobile-friendly experiences, but most healthcare organizations have failed to keep up. Although healthcare providers have more options for how to spend limited marketing budgets, many have chosen to stick with the familiar traditional- and digital-marketing channels.” Healthcare marketers should consider new ways to build their online presence.

3. “Digital marketing is expensive.”

Digital marketing can be expensive but can also accommodate budgets of any size. With new digital marketing tools coming online frequently, healthcare marketers can use a mix of cost-effective strategies to reach their target audience. These may include social media, email and search engine optimization (SEO) — typically lower-cost alternatives to traditional advertising methods like television commercials and billboards.

4. “Marketing means content, and nobody wants or needs more content.”

Despite abundant content in the digital age, people still want and need access to reliable health information. Marketing professionals can direct people to accurate healthcare resources and help the public cut through much of the “noise” online. Forbes notes that marketers should expand beyond traditional content (such as blogs and social media posts) and use videos, e-books and Google reviews to engage readers.

5. “Measuring the return on digital marketing is impossible.”

No matter the marketing campaign type, measuring its success and the return on investment (ROI) is essential. It can be more challenging to do this for digital campaigns, but marketing professionals with experience in analytics can use various tools and metrics to gauge performance. Data to review includes website traffic, click-through rates, impressions and shares, among many others. This information can guide future campaigns so marketers can optimize their budgets and impact.

In fact, UNCP’s online MBA in Healthcare Administration program offers a Business Analytics course that focuses on data-informed decision-making and using data for business success. As WedMD Ignite notes, “Health systems measure the success of their marketing efforts through specific metrics that are aligned with key performance indicators (KPIs), and/or marketing return on investment (ROI).”

Healthcare marketing continues to evolve, so it is essential to clear up misunderstandings so marketers can communicate better with their audiences. With the knowledge gained from an MBA in Healthcare Administration, graduates can navigate these misconceptions and find new ways to engage patients and help organizations grow.

Learn more about UNCP’s online MBA in Healthcare Administration program.

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