Should Medical Marketing Shift From Outbound to Inbound?

SEO has always been classified as an inbound marketing channel, but a recent announcement from an industry leader has shifted PPC into that inbound marketing category as well. SEOmoz announced yesterday that they were transitioning their products, brand and company name to Moz. This announcement comes as they begin launch of their new Moz Analytics tool (currently in beta and will be available to every PRO subscriber in the next few months).  For marketer’s, especially online and SEO marketing specialists, this announcement provides an exciting opportunity and a new avenue to further promote more cost effective marketing  and online lead generation services. For medical marketing professionals and physicians, this announcement reiterates the importance of having an online presence and strategy.

Within the announcement of the change, Moz revised their latest definition of Interruption vs Inbound Marketing and included PPC to the inbound category. This inclusion further justifies and validates PPC as a cost effective lead generation channel for marketers. Though the term inbound marketing is still relatively new (last few years), inbound marketing has already proven to provide lower costs per lead over outbound marketing.

What Does This Mean To Medical Marketers?

Medical marketing, especially on the physician level, has been trapped utilizing outdated forms of interruption marketing (Radio, TV, Print ads, Trade Shows, Billboards, etc.) which typically generate low ROI. These channels usually: have a higher cost per referral, have difficulty validating the exposure, are unable to guarantee reaching your target market and rely on “impressions” not results.  Physicians generally don’t have the time, experience or expertise with online marketing channels to properly evaluate and institute an online marketing campaign.

Our survey with the American College of Phlobology (ACP) supported the fact that Internet marketing was far more cost effective in generating referrals than other forms of paid advertising (see graph below).  In regards to the medical community, we will see more physicians gradually moving away from just having an online brochure (their website) to more advanced online campaigns that will include: SEO, PPC, Blogging, Social Media and Video.

Should Medical Marketing Shift From Outbound to Inbound? image ACP Survey Graph 5 30 300x203Should Medical Marketing Shift From Outbound to Inbound?

What Does This Mean To Physicians?

For medical professionals and physicians, the continued evolution of online marketing channels has provided more cost effective, targeted lead generation opportunities to help grow your medical practices or medical organizations. Marketers have the ability to identify which campaigns generated the referrals and track your referrals down the pipeline until they become an appointment. What traditional media and marketing channels lacked (the ability to provide real numbers, results and a hard ROI), online campaigns make up for as they are easily monitored, evaluated, adjusted and capable of showing a real financial impact on your medical business.

PPC has always been a cost effective way of generating online leads using keywords relevant to your business (as long as the campaign is being closely monitored). As it becomes more associated with an inbound strategy, it will be easier to market PPC as a viable and highly effective marketing channel for medical practices and local, specialized physicians.

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