competitive advantageHealthcare’s intensely competitive environment has hospitals, group medical practices and providers scrambling to win and/or protect market share. Sometimes, as Aristotle Onassis put it, “The secret of success is to know something nobody else knows.”

The following Internet marketing tools aren’t really a secret, but they are often neglected. In fact, using them ahead of your competition can deliver a distinct business advantage. If you’re not familiar with these terms, here’s a primer.

If you are already using them, keep the secret to yourself and step ahead of the competition. And let us know if you have questions or need help getting better at online marketing. We’d be glad to help.


By Definition: Delivery of Internet ads specific to the geographic location of the searcher. Geo-targeting allows the advertiser to specify where ads will or won’t be shown based on the searcher’s location, enabling more localized and personalized results. [Source: American Marketing Association/Lazworld]

Prospective patients commonly use online search for medical information, such as symptoms, a disease, treatment options, medications, procedures, etc. Finding authoritative references are (hopefully) important to their research, but with answers as close as the computer, the source location could be anywhere.

However, the geographic location of the person doing the search can usually be recognized, and advertisers can effectively present topic-relevant ads only to visitors who are in or near a defined service area. Thus the advertising placement—available by way of Google Adwords and others—is more localized, efficient and cost effective.


By Definition: Marketing automation uses a software program to automatically handle certain repetitive or routine marketing actions or campaigns, schedule activities and track response.

Typically used as an extension of customer service, marketing automation is highly versatile and can, for example, work in healthcare with a select group of patients, in support of a physician relations program, or other applications.

Let’s say the goal of your program intends to have regular contact with a group of referring physicians using various online channels. A marketing automation system enables sending a specific series of emails (or newsletters, social media, etc.) at pre-defined times. Perhaps it’s a large list of recipients and select sub-groups require various relevant content delivered on a structured schedule.

Marketing automation is a useful and efficient tool for many circumstances. In addition to labor saving advantages, it can nurture contacts, trigger response and track recipient response.


By Definition: Remarketing is a feature of interest-based advertising that helps match interested people with the right message. Remarketing lets you show ads to people who have visited your website or used your mobile app before. When people leave your website without buying anything, for example, remarketing helps you reconnect with them by showing relevant ads as they browse, use mobile apps, or as they search on Google. [Google Adwords]

Most online shoppers (about 90 percent) do not make a purchase decision the first time they visit a website. Their initial visit, however, signals a tentative interest and thus most visitors are pre-qualified to take an action step, such as making an appointment.

Internet technology enables advertisers to reach these specific shoppers and bring them back to your website. It’s a sound business technique and revenue opportunity to follow up on (unconverted) Internet visitors. And it’s an often neglected a secret to beating the online competition.

Stewart Gandolf, MBA

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Stewart Gandolf

Stewart Gandolf

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder at Healthcare Success Strategies
Stewart Gandolf, MBA, is CEO of Healthcare Success, a medical marketing and health care advertising agency. He is also a frequent writer and speaker. Most importantly, he is happily married and a "rock-n-roll daddy" to two wonderful girls.
Stewart Gandolf
Stewart Gandolf


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