Healthcare Marketing: The Importance of Empathy

At a Glance

Expressing empathy in your healthcare marketing is vital to connecting with current and prospective patients. This article will cover:

  • Despite sometimes having a bad rap, marketing is about providing meaningful solutions to those in need
  • The key to meaningful marketing is the ability to empathize with your future patients
  • As you focus on solving problems instead of selling a service, you will attract qualified patients and create meaningful change

Marketing: A Dirty Word?

“Marketing”, along with “sales”, is sometimes seen as a dirty word with a sour after-taste. The idea of the trickster snake-oil salesman, or worst, the high-pressure used car salesman still permeate our collective consciousness.

Perhaps some of that was well earned. An especially “hard sell”, inappropriately applied scare tactics, and other marketing faux pas do little to correct the negative image that many people maintain.

The True Purpose of Healthcare Marketing

It doesn’t have to be that way. I would argue that any organization or provider engaged in high-pressure tactics will realize only short-lived gains at best. Such tactics inevitably fail to deliver meaningful value in the long term.

And why do they fail? Because they have neglected the purpose of marketing. Marketing is the ability to deliver a solution at the time and place of need. It facilitates – and sometimes catalyzes – a change that benefits the customer or patient in a meaningful way.

Empathic Healthcare Marketing for Providers

When your patients come to see you, they are usually already experiencing some type of change in their lives. Sometimes it’s a profound, life altering change. Often the people you help are confused, unsure, and scared.

Good marketing is not exploitative and does not capitalize on on people’s fear. Instead it should express empathy. As Brene Brown says in this youtube video:

“Empathy is a choice, and it’s a vulnerable choice because in order to connect with you, I have to connect with something in myself that knows that feeling.”

Your marketing should be a genuine expression of the Oath “I will remember that there is an art to medicine as well as a science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.”

As you market to your future patients, your focus should be on providing comfort and direction by empathizing and educating them on the real and impactful benefits of the services you provide.

Your marketing should positively convey that you know how your patients feel, you’ve been there before, and you can help.

In Conclusion

Marketing can be a tricky business. However, as you start with your patients in mind and the meaningful change that you seek to provide, you will find yourself heads-and-shoulders above any ‘snake-oil salesmen’ among your competition. You will attract qualified patients that can experience real benefits from your service, and affect meaningful change in their lives.

If you need help with any part of this process, or in knowing what to do next, please reach out to us. We’re here to help, and we’re passionate about helping people who help people.

You can reach out to us here or email us directly at