Discover the difference between healthcare marketing and traditional marketing to ensure your Birmingham organisation builds the right strategy.

Marketing and healthcare aren’t two industries people naturally put together. But when the value of the UK healthcare sector reached £16.1 billion in 2020, growth opportunities are rife.

So, seeing the enormous value involved in the healthcare industry, competition between organisations is fierce. Therefore, it’s essential to invest money in the right marketing strategy.

The perfect starting point? Differentiating healthcare marketing and traditional marketing.

What’s the difference between healthcare marketing and traditional marketing?

Firstly, having an effective marketing campaign as a healthcare provider requires you to know that healthcare marketing is significantly different from other traditional forms. It also demands contrasting styles of content strategy and delivery. Let’s explore.

Broad demographics

The main difference between healthcare marketing and other forms of traditional marketing is that typical marketing strategies focus on consumer demographics. Marketers spend hours targeting specific types of people, depending on personal behaviours and preferences.

However, in the medical world, demographics are too expansive. When it comes to health, while there are specific niche products and services, demographics can span vastly across any age, race, gender or sex.

Ultimately, healthcare is concerned with people’s health. Most other marketing methods target the end-user. This ‘end user’ is the person who buys the product. While this makes sense in the healthcare world, targeting this end-user is nearly impossible by basing it on specific demographics.

Because it’s not just the patient you need to target, it could be their mother, son, or doctor as the one who seeks the product or service you provide.

So, a good healthcare marketer doesn’t focus on a promotional campaign targeting a specific demographic. Instead, they will place the marketing emphasis on these former principles.  

Specific needs

While demographics are generally too challenging to try and target, specific medical needs differentiate healthcare marketing from other marketing methods.

For example, if you have a dental practice in Birmingham, you can use healthcare marketing services to target people based in the area. However, creating a demand for specific dental products is not easy, if possible.

Whether it’s oral hygiene or teeth whitening products, most people are content enough and don’t need to invest more unless they have a problem. 

Regarding medical and healthcare requirements, specific needs are sought and served. As a healthcare provider, you can’t appeal to a general consumer audience like you can with other industries.

Essentially, the product or medical procedure you’re selling will only suit a minute percentage of the population.   

Moral and ethical issues

Healthcare marketers also have a responsibility to meet the demand of their consumers. But let’s say, how do you create demand for products or procedures dealing with serious medical issues such as cancer, heart disease, or dementia?

Therefore, your job is not to create the demand but to meet it professionally and respectfully.

You must be very careful how you market your healthcare products because health is a sensitive subject and one that can’t be manipulated or extorted with marketing campaigns.

Measured outcomes

Measuring the success of conventional marketing methods is easy. Just look at the company’s profits from when the marketing campaign was launched.

However, depending on the organisation and healthcare field, profits aren’t everything. Healthcare products and services are aimed at making people healthier. On this principle, healthcare providers must measure their outcomes for success on the standard of care for their patients.

Success can appear with new patients, written subscriptions, the volume of research grants, or clinical trial subjects. Essentially, depending on your field, measuring outcomes is complicated.

All you can aim for is to provide the best service, where consumers feel like their health and wellbeing is a priority over profit.

What is traditional healthcare marketing?

We can assign traditional healthcare marketing methods to television, newspaper, and radio advertisements. Brochures are still a common form of traditional healthcare marketing produced by hospitals and dental practices, along with in-person network events hosted at healthcare centres.

Although more recently, digital healthcare marketing has emerged as a much more streamlined and effective option when serving patient needs. Digital marketing for healthcare has thus formed a suitable alternative through unique patient requirements and technological advances. 

For example, Google receives more than 1 billion health questions every day. So, connecting with consumers online is a vital benefit, whether that’s through social media or live chats on websites.

Therefore, traditional healthcare marketing is now considered less effective than digital marketing. Sure, TV adverts can share any significant health issues with the public. But overall, most people prefer to acknowledge and deal with healthcare issues discreetly.

Supplying an unobtrusive solution serves digital marketing more as there’s an easy way for the patient to connect with a professional quickly, without having to meet face to face. 

How should I market my Birmingham healthcare business today?

Build Trust

Firstly, to begin to market your healthcare brand successfully and responsibly, you and your workforce need a complete understanding of your services, products, and procedures.

Healthcare is about trust. You must provide all the necessary details for what you offer to earn the trust of your consumer.


The next step is knowing what you can say and do with your healthcare marketing campaigns.

As a healthcare marketer, there are multiple medical regulations you must abide by the law if you sell the necessary products, whether that’s medicines or medical devices.

Healthcare marketing strategies

Depending on what field of healthcare your business supplies will depend on the specifics of your healthcare marketing content and strategy. Three common forms of digital marketing include:

SEO for healthcare

Search engine optimisation (SEO) allows your business to generate organic traffic via search engines like Google. Seeing how copious amounts of healthcare queries go through Google every day, search engines provide the ideal platform for your business to appear.

You achieve this by optimising your content via blogs or website pages with keywords and answers to common patient questions.

Social media for healthcare

Social media has become synonymous with healthcare in recent years, whether it’s promoting awareness, communicating accurate health messaging, or responding to patient issues and questions.

As a tool, social media can promote your services and products, highlight health issues, answer questions, increase the reach of medical journals and more.

PPC for healthcare

Unlike SEO, pay-per-click (PPC) allows healthcare marketers to pay for traffic to their website, service, and product pages with advertisements.

PPC will enable your business to appear in search engines faster than SEO, providing you ensure the ad is tailored to appeal to your prospective consumer.

Plus, any data received from routine PPC audits can grant insights into your site’s SEO. We recommend using both SEO and PPC in tandem for the best results.

Choose a professional digital health marketing agency in Birmingham

If you need a hand implementing a strategy, you should consider contacting a professional healthcare marketing agency in Birmingham.

With the healthcare industry in high demand, now is the time to invest before you get swept away by the competition.

At Amay Digital, we have over 10 years of experience operating as a healthcare marketing agency in Birmingham, supporting numerous clients with SEO, PPC and social media marketing campaigns.

If you’d like to know how we can promote your healthcare business, get in touch today.