Last week I received an email from my dentist letting me know that I was due for a check up and that I could schedule it on their website by clicking the inserted link.
Yesterday I received a postcard from my eye doctor asking me to schedule my annual eye exam, and letting me know that if I scheduled it in the next two weeks I would receive a twenty percent discount on either contacts or a pair of glasses.
Today I received an email from Chem-Lawn reminding me to schedule my fall fertilizer treatment, and an offer to receive a thirty discount on next year’s service if I prepaid for it this year. I received a similar email regarding the health of my car.
Everyone wants my business.
Well, almost everyone.
And they are not only making it easy for me to buy from them, they are unabashedly flaunting me with rewards for buying their services. Why are they doing this? They want to prevent me from having bad teeth and bad eyesight, a lawn full of weeds, and an unhealthy car.
Healthcare isn’t able to communicate on a personal enough level that it is interested in my weeds or teeth. While healthcare has many proactive initiatives, healthcare has not figured out how to connect those initiatives to you and me at a level that causes us to act. We act when we are ill.
Healthcare’s strategy is straight out of the 1970s; mailers, billboards, Stepford Wives-like commercials, and outbound telemarketing calls. If you do not understand history you are destined to repeat it. How well is that working?
And that about sums up everything you need to know about why, under its present course, healthcare is at least a decade away from being able to do anything more that just talk about population health, accountable care, and wellness.
Just saying you are a digital healthcare company or a population health company does not make it true.
Healthcare marketing needs a do-over.
There are probably tens of millions of people who would pay a healthcare provider or payer or national retail pharmacy to manage their wellness. But there is not a single firm selling wellness.
Until then, healthy people will keep getting sick. The only good news out of all of this is that when we get sick we will have good teeth, great vision, weed-free lawns, and cars that work well enough to allow us to drive to the doctor.