With increased competition in the field of health care, medical organizations have begun to apply marketing tools to dissociate from their rivals and attract more clients. To remain competitive, a healthcare organization sometimes needs to rethink its marketing strategy and make some necessary changes. One of the recent improvements in healthcare marketing strategies is the use of social media (Smith, 2017). Research indicates that 95% of high-ranking hospitals introduce social media to their marketing (Smith, 2017). This paper will discuss how Mayo Clinic changed its marketing strategy by applying social media and telemedicine. The change turned out to be effective and allowed the organization to extend its client base.
Mayo Clinic’s Change in Marketing Strategy
Mayo Clinic is a large healthcare facility that has increased its clientele and improved brand awareness after it implemented social media in its marketing strategy. In 2009, John Noseworthy, the organization’s CEO, decided that Mayo Clinic should change its marketing strategy by utilizing social media for public relations and advertising, as well as for improving patient care and disseminating knowledge (Kotsenas et al., 2018b). In 2010, the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media was established to manage the social marketing of the company, and it was renamed the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network in 2015 (Kotsenas et al., 2018b). During the strategy implementation, the organization shared its experience in its posts on many popular social networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, which led to over 965,000 customer reactions by 2017 (Kotsenas et al., 2018b). Since the company understood that the majority of its potential target audience searches for health information on the Internet, the use of social media in its marketing strategy brought it much benefit.
In 2015, Mayo Clinic decided to make another change in its marketing strategy. The purpose of this change was to eliminate the patient’s need to come to the clinic’s site (Kimmell, 2019). Noseworthy said that he wanted the company to be not a “place” but a “resource capable of delivering a continuum of personalized services … without the patient leaving the home” (as cited in Kimmell, 2019, para. 5). It was going to be done by facilitating the use of telemedicine.
The Reason for the Change
Both the use of social media and telemedicine were justified and caused by necessity. Since social media became a powerful and influential tool in the business field, it became important for companies to be present in the digital world to increase brand awareness and reach more potential customers (Kotsenas et al., 2018a). Therefore, Mayo Clinic’s introduction of social media in its marketing strategy was dictated by the changing tendencies in the marketing field. The use of telemedicine was accounted for the need to expand the reach to potential customers in Mayo Clinic’s central location in Rochester, Minnesota, which is not a very large city (Kimmell, 2019). However, the organization explained this new strategy by the necessity to keep up with the increasing digitalization (Kimmell, 2019). Thus, the reasons for the change in marketing strategy were the intention of following the latest marketing trends and the necessity to reach more potential clients.
The Taken Approach and the Distinction of the New Strategy
To implement the new strategies, Mayo Clinic increased its presence in social networks and facilitated the use of telemedicine. The organization began to share its expertise in posts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn, as well as in videos on YouTube (Kotsenas et al., 2018a). For the application of telemedicine, Mayo Clinic not only gave patients teleconsultations but also used tele-controlled robots to provide clients with distant health care (Kimmell, 2019). The new strategy differs from the original marketing strategy by the scope of the audience coverage. Furthermore, it helps the organization to distinguish itself among the competitors because it tries to be the first to implement such innovations as social media marketing and telemedicine.
Effectiveness of the New Strategy
The new strategy proved to be effective and bring the company to a higher level of development. For example, the publication of a YouTube video about myelofibrosis by Ruben Mesa, one of the physicians in Mayo Clinic, caused numerous customers to turn to this clinic for health care (Kotsenas et al., 2018a). Furthermore, a campaign launched in 2015, which utilized the #StrongArmSelfie hashtag, resulted in over 11,000 uses across different social networks, “including 3,600 posts on Twitter and 6,900 engagements on ‘related posts on Facebook” (Aiello, 2015, para. 5). It indicates that the use of social media as part of its marketing strategy has helped Mayo Clinic to increase its brand awareness drastically. As for the use of telemedicine, it improved the organization’s mortality index by 40% (Kimmell, 2019). Furthermore, the use of this tool allowed the organization to provide more than 39,000 telemedicine consultations in 2018 (Kimmell, 2019). The change in marketing strategy indicates that Mayo Clinic intends to focus more on disseminating knowledge and make this process the major source of profits.
To sum up, Mayo Clinic’s change in marketing strategy engages the application of social media for its marketing campaigns and sharing experience, as well as the use of telemedicine. Both tools help the company to reach more potential customers that either search for health information on the Internet or cannot afford to travel to Mayo Clinic. The use of social media also helps the organization to increase customer awareness of its services.
Aiello, M. (2015). Mayo clinic’s digital marketing strategy drives engagement. Web.
Kimmell, J. (2019). 5 years ago, Mayo Clinic made 3 huge bets. Are they paying off? Web.
Kotsenas, A. L., Arce, M., Aase, L., Timimi, F. K., Young, C., & Wald, J. T. (2018a). The strategic imperative for the use of social media in health care. Journal of the American College of Radiology, 15(1), 155-161.
Kotsenas, A. L., Aase, L., Arce, M., Timimi, F. K., Dacy, M., Young, C., & Wald, J. T. (2018b). The social media DNA of mayo clinic – and health care. Journal of the American College of Radiology, 15(1), 162-166.
Smith, K. T. (2017). Hospital marketing and communications via social media. Services Marketing Quarterly, 38(3), 187-201.