Healthcare is one of the most regulated industries out there. This makes marketing a wee bit of a challenge. Every visual, every scrap of copy, every insinuation of promise has to be scrutinized, re-jiggered and re-scrutinized. So how does a healthcare marketing officer navigate their brand in these kind of handcuffs? Here are a few suggestions.
1. Build extra time into schedules
If you come from a less regulated industry, you need to reset your watch to healthcare time. It moves far slower than, say, retail. Build room in your schedule for adequate review. You should always allocate more time than you think you will need. This even includes social media.
2. Don’t leave it all to the lawyers
A healthcare marketing manager needs to have a good working knowledge of the regulations in your industry. Head off as many problems as possible before it gets to the lawyer. This will save everybody time.
3. Stay current
The only constant in healthcare is constant change. Set up your RSS feed to receive alerts to regulatory announcements. Subscribe to regular updates from regulatory agencies via email. Don’t get blind-sided.
4. Global companies need to think globally
The regulations in Canada are different from those in the U.S. Compliance laws in France are different from those in Sweden. For instance, in both Sweden and Norway, advertising to children under 12 is illegal. Do it, and you could be wearing handcuffs for real. Social media networks have no borders. So make sure social media communication passes international muster.
5. Don’t be boring
It’s easy to let regulation restrictions squeeze the life out of your marketing. Make sure you never let this happen. Just because your email campaign has to be compliant, doesn’t mean it can’t be personal. In fact, personalization can actually help with compliance. By using dynamic content you can better appeal to a Medicare member in Vancouver and comply with Canada’s stringent anti-spam laws. Always look for ways to kill two birds with one stone. Being creative in healthcare marketing is essential.
Follow these tips and remember that being a healthcare marketer is mostly fun, even those days you feel the manacles chaff at your wrists. If we can be of any further assistance, give us a toll-free call at 866.642.7559 and ask to talk to Mike.