The Unheard Story of Online Healthcare Marketing In India
Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 1776
, Published on 14 March 2016
A wise person once told “There will be medicine for hair loss, but never for brain loss”. A simple sentence that has varied dimensions. A thought that has spark in it. What it gives, is an opportunity to introspect on the other side. An enlightenment on the part that is never taken for reflection. But which deliberately needs contemplation and consideration.
Healthcare Marketing industry is a booming industry in India. Especially, with the advent of online marketing and internet based campaigning, health care industry went through a paradigm shift. In that great development stretch some voices got suppressed. Some stories settled as unrevealed and unknown. The profit leverage got from the online marketing and internet based technologies paved the way to unrestricted or uncontrolled malpractices in health care industry.
Despite of the stringent Information Technology laws and Medical ethics policies in India, there are areas where law and policies have nothing to do. Nothing to do in the sense that, there is no measure to have a check on online and internet based health care marketing. India do not have an authority or a formal body to control the online and internet based marketing. There is no measure to identify whether the things marketed through online is authentic. There are no standards to measure the validity. When health care industry see humans as their target customers, when profit making become their priority, when doctors and health care providers view it as a pure business, health care industry becomes a commotion of money making online pollutants. The facts about online health care marketing in India that markets the insecurity feelings of people are terribly shocking.
An outlook on dark side of Online or Internet based Health Care Marketing in India
In this digital age of computers, gadgets, smartphones and internet technologies, health care industry can’t withdraw the usability given by those facilities. The problem is not with the use, but with the misuse of the same. Today, we have two types of health care providers:
1. Great health care providers who made good will through their service and expertise, who focus on providing best health care facilities at minimal cost. Their objective is to heal the patients and ensure their good health.
2. Good-looking health care providers who use fabricated good will through marketing and targeted campaigns, which focus on providing expensive health care facilities. Their objective is to use the patients as a source of income.
At the end of the day, when it comes to financial stability, good health care providers rule the game. So they invest accordingly. Among their investments, a major share goes to online or internet based health care marketing. This is done because in such marketing the standards, regulations, and rules to be followed are nominal, or in other words, there are no measures to regulate the online and internet things. Government has no authority or systems to have a check on it. Thus online or internet health care marketing in India have the special privilege of “Unregulated”. There is no one to question anything and there is no one to control which ultimately results in a greedy approach of health care industry.
Then who governs online or Internet based Health Care Marketing in India?
The fact is that, there is no one yet. We have SEBI for regulating stock exchange, we have RBI for governing banks, we have TRAI for managing telecommunication, but no one for governing online and internet based health care marketing in India. The condition is same for any online marketing segment in India. But the worst is seen in health care sector. Because they market the insecurity and uncertainty feeling of people, more over so called patients of them.
No one controls online or internet based health care marketing in India. That duty is taken by search and social media in internet. Search engines will list the good-looking health care providers on the basis of content in it but things are changing now with online reviews coming up quickly.
How Online and internet based health care marketing taps insecurity feeling in public?
Usually for tapping insecurity feeling, companies who market the doctors or institution use methods such as:
• SMO- Social Media Optimization, through which content, advertisements, posts, etc are marketed in social media.
• Bulk mailing- Sending mails into the user base collected from different source, without their knowledge.
Impacts of untrustworthy health care marketing through online and internet based technologies
- Fear injection-It will create a fear in people without any reason. They will use that fear and their queries for making them as a prospective customer. Repeated idea generated through online media creates a perception that creates mental tension.
- Half-truth- These online marketing companies just reveal the half truths. The contents of treatments with side effects or complications are often remarked in a positive note. They are not concerned about providing accurate information.
- Commission- Online marketing companies are getting commission for creating patients. If the conversion rates from online enquiries are good, then it’s a harvest season for good-looking health care providers.
- Unwanted medicines and treatment- By injecting complexes and insecurity feeling online marketing companies fosters unwanted medicines and treatments. A big business is happening in cosmetics, cancer, sexuality, hair loss and obesity related treatments. Fake ideas and concepts are generated.
Taming the recklessness of online and internet based technologies: Steps to be taken
Some effect-hindering measures are to be taken. Or else, the situation will continue without any check. Following steps can be beneficial:
• Verifying the authenticity of the information and its sources before believing it.
• Governance from the part of the government to ensure fair play
• Measures to verify the advertising guidelines and medical ethics in health care industry
The idea is simple. All glitters are not gold. We have to use our brains, before taking a decision. We know that no one bargain for good health. That’s the point where health care industry take its advantage. So beware and be aware health is our right, making wealth is not their opportunity.
This article has been authored by Anand Prince from Ecodons Technologies
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