Research Outline

Digital Marketing for Medical Education Industry


To identify benchmarks for assessing the success and reach of digital marketing ads in the medical education industry. Illustrate the use of benchmarks with a relevant case-study.

Early Findings

This research strategy outlines an introduction to the digital marketing assessment framework. Our exhaustive research indicated that there is no direct information available on assessment metrics related to 'digital marketing for medical education.' However, various blog posts and articles indicate that the metrics for digital marketing assessment of healthcare industry is no different than any other industry. Except, the target population changes and with that the research strategy, while, the assessment metrics remain the same.

Metrics for Assessment of Digital Marketing for Healthcare and Medical Education Industry

Like any other industry, the benchmark metrics for the healthcare and medical education industry are pretty similar. The success of the digital ad is based on the following benchmarks:
(i) Click-through rate (CTR): the percentage of users, who click on an ad.
(ii) Cost-per-click (CPC): the cost that advertisers incur to pay for click-throughs.
(iii) Conversion rate (CVR): the percentage of users who take the desired action (conversion), after clicking through to your site. It can be calculated using the following formula = (conversions / total visitors) * 100%
(iv) Cost-per-action (CPA): the actual cost advertisers incur for each desired user action

Metrics for the Assessment of Digital Healthcare Marketing - Case Study

Case Study: In a health-care setting, a new physician liaison has been hired. Social media, Email engagement, and Online Marketing tools have been used to attract new patients in the facility. The research objective is to:
1. compare the cost of hiring a physician liaison against the number of new patient referrals (as a result of marketing).
2. evaluate the time involved in social media activity, versus the addition of new patients in the healthcare facility.
3. balance the efforts involved in training patient-centric staff, versus positive improvement in online reviews.

Following metrics shall be required to assess the outcome of digital healthcare marketing: (a) Patient Acquisition Cost (PAC), (b) Click-Through Rate (CTR), and (c) Website Visitor Traffic.

(a) Patient Acquisition Cost (PAC): In this instance, where the aim of the digital ad was to gain the attention of patients, and invite newer patients to the healthcare facility. Hence, for this healthcare marketing assessment, the "who/what to measure" are the new patients coming to the facility. This can be assessed through the different marketing tools that have been employed, for instance in this case, through email campaign. Evaluating new patients versus the services of a physician liaison, versus a PPC (pay per click) ad - that leads to a landing page conversion. Tracking the outcome of each source, will give an idea of what "tool (or type of advertisment)" generates the greatest 'return on investments (ROI).'

(b) Click-Through Rate (CTR): The CTR measures the success of a specific online advertisment, which the user actually wants to click on it. The CTR can vary according to SmartInsights.
-For overall display ads, the CTR averages around 0.05%.
-Whereas for rich media, the CTR is around 0.10%.
-For a facebook ad, the CTR for healthcare industry is around 0.83%.
-For email engagement, the response statistics are based on open rate (35.54% ), Click-Through Rate (5.69% ), Click-to-Open Rate (16.01% ), Unsubscribe Rate (0.36% ), and Spam Rate (0.02%).

(c) Website Visitor Traffic: Marketing metrics can also be obtained by tracking the following data on the advertisement page or website.
(i) Overall traffic - number of unique visitors on the website.
(ii) Page views - number of pages accessed before the visitor leaves the webpage, and how long a visitor stays on the webpage.
(iii) Bounce rate - number of visitors who leave after viewing just one page.
(iv) Conversion rate - percentage of visitors that fulfil the required task such as signup for newsletter, or download a brochure or health tip.

Determinants for the increasing the digital marketing reach in the medical education industry:

1. Know the audience: target ads should be directed towards a specified population such as undergraduates, students giving MCAT exams, staff in the medical fraternity, students in the medical school, medical conference attendees, employees in the pharmaceutical industry, staff in the hospital or healthcare setting.
2. Mobile versus Desktop: mobile devices have surpassed desktop in website traffic. Ads should be directed to mobile devices as well as desktop users to increase the chances of visibility.
3. Use of Social Media: Based upon age and content preference, using social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram shall broaden the reach of the marketing campaign.
4. Pages per session: Based on the audience preference, pages should be self-guiding, self-explanatory, engaging, and concise.
The physician audience desires a focused experience that allows them to be easily guided to the content that they are seeking.

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