By now, we should all have a great appreciation for the medical sector and the leaps and bounds it has had to make in the last years.
Switching from marketing hospitality to the medical industry doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch – until you think about just how much of a challenge digital marketers must have faced during the Pandemic itself!
Think about it for a moment.
Faced with torrents of fake news, misinformation and ever-changing governmental requirements, digital marketers in this sector were forced to be faster, stronger and more determined than ever to get the right news out into the world and to the people – not just to spread the word about products and services, but to actually save lives.
In this interview, Assistant Director of Group Marketing at Beyond Medical Group, Mabel Tay tells us just how she and her team have worked to develop strategies to stay ahead of the evolving demands of this awesome industry.
Hi, Mabel, thank you for joining us in our Marketing Expert Series. Let’s kick off with a little context, please tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get to where you are now?
I have always been interested in marketing for the service industry and graduated with a double major in Marketing and Hospitality & Tourism in 2011. Naturally, my first job was in a hotel, but it never felt like it was my passion.
I got the opportunity to switch to the medical industry in 2014 and never looked back! I enjoy implementing communication and outreach strategies to simplify medical information across marketing channels for the public.
I was lucky to be headhunted for Beyond Medical Group (BMG) in 2019, a company which has grown exponentially in the past 3 years I’ve been here.
Currently, you’re the Assistant Director of Group Marketing at Beyond Medical Group. Please tell us about the work you do.
Beyond Medical Group (BMG) is an investment holding company and healthcare collective. We provide shared services for our doctor-partners, and I oversee the marketing department. This includes idea conceptualisation, branding, communications, digital marketing and outreach for our brands.
Can you tell us about some of the most effective digital marketing strategies that you’ve implemented in recent years? Is there a strategy or campaign you’re most proud of?
BMG has always adopted an omnichannel marketing strategy for all of our entities. As the rest of the world continues to change and consumer behaviour shifts and leans into technology, we can no longer rely on dated ways of marketing healthcare.
In the past, doctors rely solely on print, like magazines and newspapers, referral cases from A&E and other doctors, word-of-mouth from friends, and other mass marketing from hospitals. Nowadays, more people turn to the internet for healthcare solutions.
The objective is to create memorable healthcare brands by transforming how healthcare is marketed – from the point of brand conceptualisation to getting conversions and instilling trust among patients through various touchpoints.
An omnipresence includes having a strong SEO, SEM with compelling ad copies, traffic and branding campaigns from different social media platforms, events and tie-ups with corporate and industry partners, and informative point of sales materials.
A couple of the fun initiatives we’ve started are short-form edutainment videos on Tiktok, and “My Grandma Also Know”, a series of long-form edutainment content on YouTube. Give us a follow!
The world has changed in the last few years, with the Pandemic and the shift in the economy, how has Beyond Medical been impacted by these changes?
Economically speaking, healthcare is relatively pandemic-proof.
In terms of consumer behaviour during the pandemic, we saw an increase in people looking up medical information online. This works hand in hand with BMG’s direction in providing people with educational content to help them make informed healthcare decisions.
More than ever, patients have taken more ownership of their healthcare — there’s been a growing need to take back their healthcare journey and educate themselves on what to do and how to do it.
How did the developments over the last few years affect your strategies?
In today’s era of information overload and shrinking attention span, creating relevant content is more important than ever.
In the past, much of the content was on social media like Facebook and Instagram. Right now, we need to explore other platforms like Tiktok, Lemon8, etc., to continue reaching out to a bigger audience or a different demographic.
The top funnel approach microcontent on social media platforms has to be lighthearted and easy to digest. Getting our doctor-partners involved through storytelling and short-form videos is a powerful way to position them as leaders in their speciality of expertise. This will make them trusted advisors in the eyes of patients.
In your opinion, what are some of the biggest challenges facing marketers in your industry today?
- Ensuring compliance: Healthcare marketers in Singapore must comply with strict regulations and guidelines set by Ministry of Health. These regulations can be complicated, and staying up-to-date and ensuring that all marketing efforts are compliant can be challenging.
- Leveraging digital platforms: With the increasing use of technology, healthcare marketers must adapt to new digital channels to reach their target audience. However, the digital landscape is continuously evolving, and it can be challenging to determine which channels are most effective for different audiences.
- Balancing personalisation with privacy: Consumers expect personalised experiences, but healthcare marketers must also protect patient privacy.
- Retaining interest: Keeping consumers’ attention in today’s information overload era is also a significant challenge facing healthcare marketers. With the abundance of information available to consumers, it can be challenging to grab and keep their attention.
Where do you see the medical and healthcare sector heading in the next five to ten years?
The medical and healthcare sector continuously evolves and adapts to new technologies and trends. Here are a few potential developments that could shape the industry in the next five to ten years:
- Increased use of telemedicine: Telemedicine has gained traction in recent years and is likely to grow in popularity. It provides patients with remote access to healthcare services and is especially useful for those in a foreign country.
- Emphasis on preventative care: Healthcare providers increasingly focus on reducing healthcare costs and improving patient outcomes. This approach includes regular check-ups, lifestyle modifications, and early intervention for chronic conditions.
- Growing role of artificial intelligence: Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to revolutionise healthcare by improving diagnosis, treatment, and patient outcomes. AI can help healthcare providers identify patterns and insights that may not be visible to the human eye.
- Greater emphasis on mental health: Mental health has gained more attention in recent years and will likely continue to be a focus in the healthcare sector. This includes integrating mental health services into primary care and using technology to support mental health.
- Greater national emphasis on primary healthcare: The Ministry of Health (MOH) Singapore plans to implement their Healthier SG Strategy, which entails major reform of the healthcare system with the intent to improve physical and mental health, promote well-being and reduce health inequality across the population. This also means stronger symbiosis between primary care providers (GPs) and secondary care providers (Specialists).
Do you have a motto or strategies to keep yourself motivated?
As the old adage goes: “Tough times never last, but tough people do”. As cliche as it sounds, having grit makes one different. I remind myself to keep positive when presented with challenges.
Mistakes are inevitable, but how do you prevent yourself from making the same mistakes and improve your situation in the future? Every challenge should always have a takeaway.
Any advice you’d give to aspiring marketers?
- Great ideas don’t happen by staying in your comfort zone. Be inquisitive. The desire to innovate and identify new trends will set you apart from other marketers.
- Be relevant. Keep up with industry news by following digital marketing sites and key influencers on social media. An understanding of current online behaviour will allow you to keep up with the latest industry changes.
- Work smart. Be flexible. Be humble.
It’s been great to learn more about you and your work, Mabel, thank you for sharing your experience and insights with us. How can people connect with you if they’d like to know more about you or Beyond Medical?
Thank you for having me! You can connect with me on LinkedIn here!
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