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This report is commissioned and presented by
B Street Digital.
The reason for commission was off the back of great success with our current Harley Street clients.
We wanted to dig deeper as to why the results had been better than predicted. Consequently, this opened up an avenue of fascinating insights, which stretched beyond determining why our results exceeded expectations.
This report will educate clinics on the State of Digital Marketing in the Harley Street Medical Area in 2018. We have aimed to do that in these key parts:
If B Street Digital can leave your clinic further educated and well informed of the digital marketing landscape, the time dedicated to commissioning this report, would have been time well spent.
The league table is a composite relative measure constructed of page quality, social media influence, backlinks and other discreet factors e.g. does the site have https or is Google analytics installed properly?
These metrics are key to improving your clinic’s online presence.
To educate the clinic’s decision makers on the key strategies which will improve your rank by the end of this report. We know the following strategies work as it has benefitted our clients who now rank in the top 20.
B Street Digital wants to show you how your Harley Street clinic can rank high and as a result:
By ensuring your Harley Street clinic is aware of:
It will be clear by the end of the threats and opportunities segment, why now is a critical time to decide on how the clinic will best thrive in the private healthcare digital marketing landscape.
The final segment of this report will show the best examples of digital marketing strategies to meet the clinic's key objectives.
89% of adults in the UK had
recently used the internet
An increase in site speed from
8 to 2 seconds can boost your
conversion rate by 74%
In 2016, there were
3,424,971,237 internet users
Facebook now has over 2.01
billion monthly active users
The internet influenced sales
to the tune of $2.1 trillion in
Social media ad spend is
expected to overtake
newspaper ad spend by 2019
Over 2 million blog posts
are published on the Internet
There are more mobile Internet
users than desktop Internet
users. There are 3.5 billion
global mobile Internet users as
of August 2017
Being in the first position of
Google will result in a click
through rate of 34.36% for
desktop computers and a click
through rate of 31.35% for
There are 2.79 billion active
social media users in the world.
This is an increase of 21% from
When a business reviews its current state of affairs, a SWOT analysis (Strengths/Weakness/Opportunity/Threats) is generally a good starting point to allow for research analysis to begin.
The research really highlighted the macro and micro level changes which are happening that will directly affect clinics in the HSMA.
It would not be fair for B Street Digital to evaluate your clinic’s strengths and weaknesses in this report, because we do not have the insight, nor are we medical professionals. However, using our research tools we have been able to look at external threats and
Trends and habits of international medical travellers
Private health care investment outside the Harley Street medical area
NHS & private clinic innovations
Monopolising lead generation internet platforms
Low cost lead generation
Great examples to learn from
Where Harley Street and the UK faces imminent threat from is the medical tourism industry. The medical tourism association put together an extensive global survey to determine the trends & habits of medical travellers. The future looks promising. Visa feels it will grow 25% each year. Deloitte expects medical traveller numbers to increase 35% annually.
What is most notable from the conclusion of their summary is that 12.4% of patients are from the UK. Yet 40% of patients are travelling to the United States, 16% to Germany…The UK ranks at a lowly 9.6% behind India and Turkey.
Another interesting statistic is 46% surveyed claim the key reason patients are leaving their home country is ‘to receive higher quality healthcare than is available in the patients' home country’. Any Harley Street physician would argue against this point, however if the quality healthcare is not being marketed, how are those from the Middle East (where 50% of travelling patients reside) for example, aware of the quality healthcare in the UK, never mind Harley Street.
The most alarming statistic in relation to the survey question - are there any new countries or regions authorities would consider sending the patients to or are planning to in the future? Those which featured include Columbia, Germany, Israel, Argentina, Cota Rica, El Salvador, USA and Brazil. The country which did not feature in the survey results was the UK.
The above statistics do highlight a threat, if the Harley Street practice relies on Medical Tourism Facilitator/Insurance Company/Government or referring physicians. However, if your practice takes control of its own marketing, when done correctly, it need not see this as an ominous threat because 77.6% look for hospital & doctor/physician background/experience & reputation as a primary characteristic. Harley Street is rich in all of these key characteristics. This paired with 10% of patients choosing their provider through the Internet (a trend likely to increase), research does allow the threat to be turned into an opportunity for those practices willing to introduce change.
There are now 1,500 consultants within a square mile of Harley Street, not taking into account dentists, therapists and other practitioners who ply their trade. The competition however is growing. The Howard de Walden Estate recognises this and is investing £200m into the investment of its properties in the Harley Street area.
Will this be enough in comparison to other global forces developing away from Harley Street?
HCA hospitals have taken over 3 levels of the shard, as part of its commitment to invest £300m private healthcare facilities in the UK over the next five years. This may include investment outside of London all together.
West London, Hammersmith has benefitted from VPS Healthcare Group acquiring Royal Masonic Hospital to open a new cancer centre incorporating Proton Beam Therapy. The total committed investment in the facility is £150m.
The USA, Ohio based Cleveland Clinic has signed a long term lease on a six story office building at 33 Grosvenor Place in Belgravia, away from Harley Street, the traditional home of private health care.
When B Street Digital searched for hospitals, clinics & allied healthcare providers within Greater London, the results presented a staggering 2,299. The ranking table on page 3 shows an industry which has not truly embraced the digital/online marketing opportunity, but those hospitals and clinics which do, will certainly see increased revenue regardless of the highly populated market.
A long overdue application by the NHS and if the success of ‘GP at Hand’ proves permanent, it’s likely there will be an expansion of this service through various medical fields, directly impacting the Harley Street Medical Area. This innovation is made possible with inspirational applications which give the user back their time e.g. Uber, Deliveroo.
INNOVATIVE FEATURES INCLUDE:
This paired with a high tech and resistant free process for the patients displays a competitive advantage.
Backing the NHS ‘GP at Hand’ app is business acumen, marketing like a business online in the most cost effective places. The Google advert shown above, of an AdWords campaign which has ranked at the top of Google search field, signifies not only business acumen, but a marketing budget to match their ambitions.
The NHS operating in the public sector are not the only people benefiting from online Marketing. Companies such as ZoomDoc and Qured have built their entire business around the model. ZoomDoc operates in the private sector and has a simple pricing structure to match.
What incentive does one have to visit Harley Street, when the expert will come to them
This question is not posed to generalise, but if even a small percentage of patients opt out of Harley Street Medical Area, the competition within Harley Street increases. The more appropriate question would be, how are you marketing to ensure the patients opt for you over a competitive practice?
Doctify, to the end consumer is a seamless way to search for the specialist care they need. It’s a ‘compare the market’ style platform for patients needing medical care. Doctify has been used as an example here, they are just one of many such lead generation sites.
To a practice however, this should be seen as the greatest threat compared to the ones discussed previously. Unfortunately, this threat is imminent. Doctify and other sites like it, are best described as lead generation sites. They act as a middle man and basically sell the leads to clinics either on an ad-hoc basis or a monthly subscription. How are they doing this? They are buying out generative private health care key words (on Google AdWords platform) and specific specialists conditions/services e.g. Urologist/Gastroenterologist.
WHY IS THIS A MAJOR PROBLEM?
The clinics will pay sites like Doctify, who will in turn outspend clinics on advertising. Therefore, all clinics are outsourcing their digital marketing to one company on one platform.
This is a problem as:
An intelligent clinic should be building their own asset, or patient information, contact details, marketing knowledge, website traffic & actual ad spend etc. It is important to build their own database of information because there is no certainty of what a company such as Doctify will do i.e. increase cost, sell on data, sell back data. A clinic who has their own marketing strategy and their own information asset, controls their business decisions and outcome.
As Peter Drucker says “what gets measured gets managed”.
The ranking table on pages 3 & 4 extrapolated from B Street Digital data research, proves an overall underperformance in the online market place. At a time when 89% of adults in the UK use the Internet and the Internet has become a central source of information for the public, there is great opportunity for your clinic to improve its online performance.
By consistently doing the technical tasks right, you will outrank the competition.
Demand for private medical insurance cover in Britain rose by 2.1% in 2015 with just over 4 million people insured. Philip Blackburn, an economist at Laing Buisson, said: “There has been a clear rise in interest in private healthcare recently as more and more people are dissatisfied with higher waiting on the NHS and increased restrictions on NHS treatment. Private medical cover will benefit from this, and there is a wide choice of policy options at different prices to attract customers.”
B Street Digital compared the Guardian news story to actual data. One Harley Street client’s top performing ad using the keywords ‘tired of NHS waiting times?’, is producing a huge click through rate and a tiny cost for conversion.
If the online marketing channels are used efficiently, private Harley Street clinics can benefit from the underperforming (or perceived underperformance) of NHS and public health services.
The NHS crisis is unfortunately larger than just perceived underperformance. With the population growth projected to reach 74 million by 2040 and the Old Age Dependency Ration (OADR) projected at 1:1 by 2036, the NHS statistically is not in a position to cope with this trend. Why? They need £5bn to clear current maintenance backlog and £10bn capital investment to modernise the NHS estate. Finally the NHS workforce grew at a rate of 1.9% between 2009 and 2016, whereas the population grew at 5.4%, with the gap likely to widen due to Brexit. Further supporting the increased demand for private medical care.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
It is best framed by asking the question…how much is your patient worth?
B Street Digital uses a simple formula to determine what value we can provide for a client. In turn the business, in this case a Harley Street clinic can use the formula for a quick and easy return on investment (ROI) analysis of your marketing efforts.
There is no need at this stage for a complex calculation to work out your precise Average Lifetime Value (ALV) of a client.
Simply use the formula below:
(t) Average value of each patient transaction
(r) Average number of repeat transactions a patient has per year
(l) Average retention rate of your patients in years
One of B Street Digital’s current Harley Street clients enjoys an ROI of 1,500%+ with a cost per lead of £5-£30 using strategic AdWords, see page 23 for further information on AdWords.
Something worth noting is, this is only the current value of leads and the windows of opportunity such as this are only open for a limited time, before everyone jumps on the bandwagon, consequently increasing the cost per lead. Those who have benefitted from low-cost advertising create themselves a database and competitive advantage.
The best way to identify this opportunity is with a visual comparison between Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, US and HCA Healthcare, UK. Both are very large healthcare providers, however no other clinic, including one of the size of HCA Healthcare (HCA) comes close to the social influence and patient engagement Cleveland Clinic has.
From the start, HCA did not have a searchable Instagram account, whereas Cleveland Clinic has 37k followers.
Both have Facebook pages, with HCA having 3,391 page likes (page followers) and only posting on a monthly basis rather than daily. Whereas, Cleveland Clinic has 2million+ likes (page followers) and regularly updates social media with 2-3 posts per day.
The final comparison was between their Twitter accounts, where HCA has 10.5k followers and 2,790 tweets (pieces of content). Cleveland clinic on the other hand has 1.49million followers and 41.8k tweets (pieces of content).
B Street Digital have discussed in detail the external threats and opportunities facing Harley Street Medical Area, including your clinic. This is really to educate and inform clinics of the State of Digital Marketing in Private Healthcare in 2018. In order for your Harley Street clinic not to fall victim to the ever evolving digital marketing world (threats), we propose to capitalise on the opportunities discovered through our analysis.
The proposed strategy has been tested on Harley Street clients (anonymous) and data will beshared in this part of the report to demonstrate it is possible to get more clients and as a resultincrease revenue for your clinic.
When it comes down to it, consumers want to hear about past experiences from peoplelike them. That’s why online reviews can be your business’ best marketing tool. Youronline reviews can be just the thing needed to push a potential customer fromconsideration to purchase.
We can help set up a review collection system – in store & online via email – that can feed reviews into Google My Business, Google Maps, Yelp, etc.
Negative reviews get filtered back to management as customer feedback, while positive reviews are published.
BP Example - The impact negative news has on a company’s capitalization (value)
Goldman Sachs Example - The impact negative
news has on a company’s share price
WHAT IS GOOGLE OPTIMISATION ?
GOOGLE Optimisation, or Local Search Engine Optimization(SEO) uses tools like Google My Business, Google Maps and Yelp to improve your business’ ranking when potential customers in your area search for topics related to your business.
The top reason someone conducts a local search is to find a business–like “best chiropractor on Harley Street ”or“ medical clinic near me” or “where can I see a medical professional near me?”.
These tools help your business rank first in the answers to these questions.
HOW DO WE KNOW THAT IMPROVING YOUR LOCAL SEO WORKS?
We’ve been working on a current client’s local SEO after identifying it was an important way to get people in the doors of their business who would not have necessarily found it otherwise.
In one quarter:
Even if 5% of these customers converted, how much would that equal in increased revenue for your clinic?
“The clear champion of website traffic is organic search. Overwhelmingly, organic search trumps other traffic generators, driving 51% of all visitors for both B2B and B2C businesses” - BrightEdge. Organic is simply better for delivering specific and relevant traffic. Paid search in some capacities can trump organic searches but only for conversion, overall traffic delivery is still heavily dependant on organic search.
The advantage of diversifying marketing strategies is ensuring you are not dependant on one traffic source. Let's take Facebook, for example, if the majority of your traffic is driven from Facebook, and they change their rules on which content it prioritises, in the worst scenario, your clinic could lose all of its site’s traffic. The other bias social sites have, is they are designed to keep a user in their world, not exit into yours. Whereas, Google allows the user to access your world, if our organic listings are set up, so they are searchable, and the user will remain in your world and return in the future.
The other advantage of organic listing is that if your business has to reduce its ad budget, your organic search listings will still remain intact, again building on the diversified online marketing strategy argument.
Finally, another element of Google's organic search success is its psychological positioning. 55% of users cannot tell the difference between a paid advert and an organic search listing, which can benefit both paid ads and organic search listings. B Street Digital can do two things here:
Both short-term and long strategies add diversification and mean your clinic will appear where users tend to click, evident from the Google 'click' heat map.
55% of people are now unable to tell which of the search results are paid adverts, benefitting both paid ads and high rank organic listings.
By buying out strategic key AdWords, this can in theory drive 55% more traffic to your clinic’s page.
Based on the Google search engine ‘click’ heat map, the top left of the screen is where people will focus their attention and more importantly, trust. This is where our strategic ads will appear, above the organic negative listings.
Social’s big plus point is branding. Quantifying this is always challenging, however, let’s look at the numbers involved (being very conservative).
For a £200 ad spend we can estimate to reach 50k customers. This would mean a CPM of £4. Compared to traditional marketing at £20. Making social media 5x more cost effective.
BONUS - benefit from the current peak in video preference by online social media platforms:
4X as many customers would rather watch a video than read about it
100 million hours of video are watched every day on Facebook, and 45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos per week
A daily/weekly/monthly educational spot for curious patients can become a powerful marketing message, whilst helping a wider audience.
A common mistake most HSMA clinics make, is to create content about themselves, rather than about the patient. Cleveland clinic provide a good example of marketing through the client’s eyes, rather than the clinic’s.
Best place to connect with the community
2 billion active users
38 million in UK
Important place to build reviews
Use FB advertising to increase local awareness of brand
content but video and images can be used
Connect with other twitter users
in local community about your clinic through retweets
Increasing the upside through verified customer reviews and protecting the downside in case of PR disasters.
Be visible to searching customers. Allow them to quickly find your business location and information, rather than your competition. In turn streamlining the customer experience.
Increase your clinic's website traffic, sharing your services and expertise with customers who are searching for you.
Engage with customers, build brand trust & loyalty in one of the fastest growing industries in the world.
Here we present a visual blueprint of the additional marketing streams you can add to your business, all described in this report. This will both reduce the risk from threats and grab the opportunities available in the current market. Within the 4 core strategies there are multiple tasks which put the strategy into action, these will ultimately align with our goal of increasing HSMA clinics’ rank, in turn allowing you to see more patients and increase revenue.
To conclude, if this report has further educated clinic decision makers on the ‘The State of Digital Marketing in the Harley Street Medical Area’ then B Street Digital will have achieved its primary goal. Any action you make going forward will now be based on an informed decision.
To ensure we provide the best possible service for each and every one of our clients, we do not take on competing clinics.
For example, we take on only: