Written by Anthony Del Gigante
A crisis is any time of uncertainty, difficulty, or instability that requires quick and decisive action. The current COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it’s having on our personal lives and how we conduct business undoubtedly qualifies as a crisis.
According to a recent report by the public relations agency Sinclair, the crisis that we’re experiencing is forcing businesses to adapt and thrive in a brand-new reality. The report stresses that the actions and decisions brands make in response to this crisis will be remembered for years to come.
What’s the best way for a brand to respond to the crisis and position itself to succeed in a post-pandemic world? Our marketing professionals at MDG Advertisingare already helping healthcare clients craft telemedicine strategies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These same tactics can be used and adapted by businesses across all sectors as they create their own post-pandemic operating strategies.
Embrace the New Normal Strategically—and Fast
The pandemic has had the most impact on businesses that primarily depend on in-person foot traffic or appointments. This business model is simply not sustainableat a time when people are told not to leave their homes and businesses are forced to close or comply with strict occupancy and social distancing requirements. Healthcare was one of the first industries to develop new operating models in response to the crisis.
As the coronavirus pandemic began to take hold in the United States, more and more healthcare providers and facilities modified their practices to include telemedicine. Prior to the pandemic, telemedicine had been primarily reserved for large hospitals or clinics in major cities. According to a survey conducted by eMarketer, only 14% of consumers were familiar with telemedicine, and only 28% of providers offered the service.
Making the switch from traditional medicine to telemedicine was not without its challenges. For instance, websites had to be redesigned to provide the functionality required for virtual office visits. Messaging also had to be realigned to ensure that patients could access accurate information about modified office hours and changes in how service was delivered.
The key to making the transition as smooth as possible is creating a strategic plan that you execute as precisely as possible. For two of our large healthcare clients with hundreds of locations, MDG developed control panels that would allow them to quickly and easily manage, update, and assign office-specific messaging.
Note: The right strategic approach combined with effective execution can ensure that your business aligns itself with the changing needs of your customers as quickly as possible.
Spread the Word
For your strategy to be effective, you must find creative and compelling ways to spread the word across all of your marketing channels.
MDG helped an urgent care client launch a multi-channel informational campaign to let patients know about the shift to telemedicine and its new service line. This included campaigns across all of the client’s social media channels to educate current and prospective patients on how they can obtain medical attention during the pandemic. We helped another client implement a triage chatbot on their website to screen patients for COVID-19 symptoms.
Note: Find fresh approaches for spreading the word about your business changes.
It’s Good for Business to Also Serve the Greater Good
When businesses adapt to the changing needs of their customers, they also tend to serve the greater needs of society as a whole. For example, finding contactless ways to conduct business and serve customers helps to make social distancing and other public health measures in your community even more effective.
After shifting to teledentistry, one of MDG’s dental clients saw more than 1,400 patients through virtual consultations within the first three weeks of offering the service. This was a win-win-win scenario. The patients got the help they needed, the burden on the local emergency room was eased, and patients weren’t potentially exposed to COVID-19 while sitting in a waiting room.
Note: Find ways for your business to serve both your clients and your community as a whole. Don’t be afraid to share your efforts and successes with your audience.
Even in the midst of this pandemic, it is possible to adapt your business model so that you’reset up to thrive once we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis. For example, a survey by eMarketer suggests that up to half of all healthcare services in the U.S. might be conducted by telemedicine by 2030. Healthcare practices and providers that adopt the practice of telemedicine today will be ahead of the curve moving forward.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Anthony Del Gigante, Chief Creative Officer at MDG Advertising
Anthony Del Gigante is chief creative officer at MDG Advertising, a branding/traditional ad agency made digital, with offices in Boca Raton, Florida and Brooklyn, New York. Over the years, his unique talents in brand strategy, visual identity development, and brand activation have consistently delivered measurable results for a wide range of world-renowned clients, including American Express, Verizon, AbbVie, and Cushman Wakefield. A brand specialist, Anthony leads MDG’s creative development, working with clients to develop creative, strategic, and functional solutions for their brands.