Ria Mirano

A Digital Marketer’s Guide to PHMC (Advertisement) Regulations & Policies in Singapore

Advertising and creating digital marketing campaigns online is a way to help the business’ brand bring in conversions and grow its customer base. However, medical practitioners have to be extra careful with how they advertise their services online. This is because of the Private Hospitals and Medical Clinics (Advertisements) Regulations that was created for healthcare institutions (HCIs) to regulate how they can and cannot promote their services to the public.

What are the Private Hospitals and Medical Clinics (PHMC) Advertisement Regulations 2019?

 

Introduced by the Singaporean government in 2019, the guidelines for PHMC (Private Hospitals and Medical Clinics) basically focus on how HCIs can promote their services’ information, rather than how those services are used or consumed. This is to prevent “providing unrealistic expectations or inducing unnecessary consumption” of healthcare services. It aims to give the public a better understanding of those services and expand the options available to them. 

 

The PHMC regulations covers institutions such as private hospitals, nursing homes, medical and dental clinics, and clinical or radiological laboratories. Complying with these advertisement regulations must be in conjunction with Medicines Act and Health Products Act and their own professional/ethical codes and ethical guidelines. Beauty and wellness establishments are not included in these regulations, but must follow the existing Medicines (Advertisements and Sale) Act. 

 

All healthcare institution licensees are expected to adhere to the law at all times, and failure to do so may result in penalties that may affect the reputation of your business. Those who own clinics, clinical labs, and private hospitals must be familiar with and strictly comply to avoid committing offences stipulated in the PHMC guidelines. 

PHMC Guidelines on Advertisement Platforms

Digital marketers must be careful where they market or advertise the business’ services to avoid legal trouble. Aside from showcasing their services within their own premises, HCIs must advertise their services only in the (8) eight media platforms stated in the guidelines: newspapers, directories, medical journals, magazines, brochures, leaflets, pamphlets, and on the Internet. 

 

Advertising on traditional print media is allowed for healthcare institutions. They may choose to list their services in business directories, brochures, leaflet,s or pamphlets. It must include the date of publication and the recipient must have consented to receive these in their mailboxes. 

 

On the other hand, on the Internet or new media, where digital marketers can use different marketing tactics such as social media, videos, and blogs. Especially with almost 4.5 million Singaporeans active on the internet, advertising your services can be effective in reaching new audiences and broadening their visibility. Paying for ads through Facebook, Instragram, etc. is also permitted. Marketers are encouraged to produce creative ways to advertise their services on Tiktok or Youtube whilst complying with PHMC guidelines. 

Lastly, advertising on search engines such as Google via SEO or paid search ads is also legal. Since push technologies are not allowed, SEO and SEM is an acceptable alternatives for lead generation.

PHMC Guidelines on Specific Requirements for the Content Advertisement 

1. Ads must be factual and accurate

Whilst selling the services available for people to consider, the medical claims must be backed with factually accurate information that can be substantiated as soon as they are disseminated and published. This includes assertions and statements as well. It must be backed with evidence through credible and authoritative sources.

2. Ads must not be offensive, ostentatious, or in bad taste

Digital marketers and medical practitioners must avoid displaying offensive, provocative, indecent, and demeaning images or words in their ads. This is for the sake of the public as well as to continue upholding the honour and dignity of anyone working in the medical field. 

3. Ads must not create unjustified expectations

It is the responsibility of the HCIs to avoid setting unrealistic expectations when marketing their services and treatments. This is because every person is different and results may vary per person – depending on the treatment or service that they will avail. It is against the law to imply that a person will achieve results in a set time period and be wary of the words you will choose to advertise as well. Even if you are confident that expected results will come out of this treatment, each experience is different per person and may not meet the guaranteed expectations. 

4. Ads must not contain “before & after” or only “after” treatment picture

Even if this way of marketing is effective and serves as a “review” from existing or past patients/customers, according to the PHMC, adding before and after results is prohibited. This includes photos, videos, or films (even with disclaimers from HCIs). They can only be shown within the HCI’s premises during a consultation with a customer (provided with context and possible outcomes from the treatments).

5. Ads must not contain laudatory statements

In relation to the previous statement and to providing factually accurate information, when marketing treatments or services laudatory statements are strictly prohibited. Words or terms that are considered as subjective praises, commendations, and compliments such as “Best”, “Gold standard”, “Advanced”, “Excellent”, or “5 star services” are not acceptable. The full list of laudatory terms that are not allowed can be found here.

6. Advertisements must not contain testimonials or endorsements

Word of mouth through testimonials or verbal reviews is one of the most powerful marketing ways to bring more customers to your business. However, it is restricted in the PHMC guidelines; these testimonials that may say how effective or great your service may be must not be used in any form of ads – may it be through print media or paid online ads. These testimonials or endorsements can only be used within the HCI’s premises, websites, or social media page. Any form of feedback from your customers must not be altered in any way as well.

7. Ads must not solicit or encourage the use of the HCI’s services

HCISs are not allowed to promote discounts, promotions, free products to solicit or encourage customers to use their services or treatments. This includes using particular words such as “Package Deal”, “50% Off”, “Lowest price offer’, etc that come with validity periods. Giveaways, lucky draws, or freebies advertised are also prohibited. 

Conclusion

Medical practitioners and licencees are allowed to market their services only in specified channels, offline and online, as long as they strictly adhere to the PHMC guidelines imposed by the government. It does not aim to limit how businesses can advertise their business; rather, it serves as a guide to selling factual information to help potential customers with their healthcare decisions. It also helps to avoid selling expectations that are not realistic and impose unnecessary healthcare consumption. 

Following these guidelines is a must; clinics, clinical labs, and private hospitals must comply to avoid penalties and tarnishing the reputation of the establishment. So, digital marketers must be familiar with these PHMC guidelines, especially with the content they create and pay ads for online. 

If you need help with advertising your services and treatments while complying with PHMC’s guidelines and regulations, send us a message at Mapletree Media. We have worked with HCIs for years to help them with their conversions, traffic, and bringing in new customers. You may reach out to contact a representative from Mapletree Media here!

The Ultimate Guide for Landing Page Optimisation in Singapore To Drive Conversions and Generate Leads

In a digital marketing campaign, there are many ways to garner results, depending on the objectives and goals. To complement social media marketing, SEO, and PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising, landing pages are one of the most important tools that every digital marketer should utilise in order to reach their target audience for potential leads and conversions. 

 

Now, where do you start when it comes to creating your own optimised landing page? What do you need to have in order to have a successful landing page? We’ll address more of that, with tips for creating a better landing page, the important elements needed, and more – in today’s guide for landing page optimisation. 

What is a Landing Page?

A Landing Page is a structured webpage designed to gain leads and conversion, invite traffic into your website, sell your offers and services, and have visitors enquire more about your brand/business. Moreover, it’s also a useful way to gain credibility and trust for your brand, so your customers can see your services and portfolio. It’s a simple and effective tool used to capture leads, where you can gather valuable information from your visitors through opt-in options that can further lead them to make a purchase. Usually, this is where you gather their basic details, such as names and email addresses, and sometimes, contact numbers.

 

On the other hand, to further improve the visibility of your page, having an optimised landing page is a process of adding and improving each section of your webpage to help gain more conversions. To test the effectiveness of your landing page, it goes through A/B testing to see which versions of the landing page can capture more leads. 

The Key Elements of an Optimised Landing Page

The basic structure of a landing page should state the vital information in different sections, where it’s broken down into easy-to-digest info that users can easily understand. Since not all landing pages are created the same, here are the key elements of an optimised landing page usually contains. 

 

Headline

The most important thing to get your visitor’s attention at first glance is through the headline – and not just any headline, it has to be catchy and creative. It sets the expectations of what you’re offering to your audience that will have them hooked. 

Offer or Promotion

It’s not easy to obtain your visitor’s information through the lead magnet included in your landing page. You have to give them a reason or push them to do an action. Commonly, offer or promotions are used to invite the customers to fill up your form or avail your offers and services. Make sure to clearly state your offer and what the customers will benefit from it.

Call to Action (CTA)

In addition to your headline and offer, what tops it off is through a convincing call to action. It is a way to leverage your offers. Call to Action or CTA usually appear as buttons, basic forms, or a unique link. One of the examples of a CTA being used in an optimised landing page is through creating a sense of urgency or a feeling of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) to acquire their goods or services.

Relevant Images

Once you have your headline, offer, and CTA in place, retain and capture your audience’s attention through relevant and interesting images. Chances are if they don’t read your headlines or sub-copies, they can get an idea of what you’re offering through the images you place in each section. Once they notice your image, they can look for your CTA and drive action. 

Video

Since most people rely on visuals to capture their attention nowadays, videos are also a great way to get people interested. They’re a popular way to capture leads that turn into conversions – due to the fact that you can easily feed information that people can digest quickly.

Examples of a Good Landing Page

To apply the basic elements of a landing page, let’s take a look at some of the examples of a good landing page looks like:

1. Euglena

What we enjoyed about the cosmetics brand, Euglena, that captivating headline that ties together with the products that they offer. Underneath the headline shows a sub-copy that further tells you what their products can help make you feel and look, then straight to the point CTA where you can shop for their products.

 

You can instantly see social proof displayed below the banner to add to the brand’s credibility. If that doesn’t get you curious about their products, you can scroll down further to see the unique main ingredient and benefits to see what makes their products so good and effective.

2. Grab

The first thing you notice when you visit Grab’s page is their signature green-coloured branding and the main banner, it shows off auto-playing video of their services. We liked that it gave a summary of what they essentially do. The headline is short and concise; where it leads you to a clear CTA to learn more about their services or download their app. 

 

The next section highlights their offers and services depending on what you’re looking for – whether you’re a customer, a driver, a merchant, or an enterprise.

3. SW1

Next on the list of optimised landing pages in Singapore is SW1! Their landing page features one of their newest product releases and right off the bat, it shows the customer what they’ll expect when they use their product. It touches on a customer’s possible pain points that they can relate to – in this case, a skin related concern about dullness and damaged skin – that leads them to a clear CTA. The pain points are then further discussed as you scroll through. 

 

Another thing we liked about this landing page is the use of imagery to create a dream-like fantasy using the featured product that’s all about healing your skin as you sleep. 

4. Apple

This promotion landing page from Apple is simple yet effective. It features their signature products bundled in a promo specifically targeted for university students. It emphasises its sale promo where you can avail discounts and a gift with every purchase. The gift, free AirPods, is also highlighted in a different colour to further entice students to not miss this deal. 

 

The prices, images, and short descriptions give away enough information that it doesn’t overwhelm the customer. It’s also displayed in a way that you can instantly compare prices and models to help you decide which one to go for.

5. CodeAcademy

Despite the simple layout and copy, the landing page instantly captures your attention because of how clean it is and immediately shows you a short form where it just requires you to put a name and address to sign up. Aside from that, they also give alternative ways to sign up for their website through Facebook, Linkedin, Google, and GitHub. 

 

It also displays what to expect in their classes, which goals you want to go for, as well as social proof in multiple forms of students who have taken up their classes. A great way to convince people to sign up and become one of the students with a new skill that can pave the way to a new career. 

 

Landing Page Optimisation Tips

The end goal that every landing page has is to generate leads and increase conversions. However, creating a landing page isn’t exactly easy. It takes a lot of trial and error to create the right formula that goes well with your brand while also captivating the attention of your target audience. 

 

Once you launch your landing page, weigh in the results after a few days to see how your page performed. From then on, you can check what worked and what didn’t. If you need more tips to further improve your webpage, here are some examples of what to incorporate:

 

Straightforward Messaging

Or in other words, get straight to the point when it comes to what message you want to send across. The best landing pages are simple and clean – which should also apply to your content, copy, and CTA. If the customers don’t get what you are trying to sell at first glance, chances are they won’t stay on your page for too long. 


This is why careful planning of your content, where it appears on your page, and how you want it to look is important. You must think or view it from the perspective of a customer or visitor, to see how you can invoke emotions and spur action from them.

Add In Keywords

To further help with visibility and to lead your customers to visit your landing page, don’t forget to include keywords! They are an integral part of SEO and SEM that marketers can use to their advantage. Research the relevant keywords that you can include in your landing pages. Try to add them in as natural as possible so that they can easily be understood. In doing so, you can also increase the landing page’s SEO rankings.

Improve Overall Design

Part of the plan to keep the customers hooked is through the landing page. Avoid putting too many elements that may distract your visitor and ensure all the texts are readable. Make sure to strategically put the CTA in place and be creative in how you want to catch their attention. An example of this would be to display a red buttoned CTA, that is typically used for sale promotions.

Use High-Quality Images

While copy is a must for every landing page, utilising high-quality images is also essential for an effective optimised landing page. Images must be visually appealing that can keep your customers hooked. Don’t forget to use also use optimised images for SEO, where the files aren’t too heavy and they’re relevant to your content.

 

Optimise for All Devices

Remember, not everyone uses a desktop or a laptop to view websites. Especially nowadays, with people on their phones, make sure that your landing page is viewable for all devices. Studies show that visitors are more likely to come across your landing page through mobile phones which can help increase conversions. Make sure to optimise your landing pages for any type of device, so they can reach any type of audience effectively.

Need Help Creating Your Own Landing Page?

If you’re still not sure where to start in creating your own landing page or you’re too busy to create one for yourself, you can try reaching out to professional services for help! We at Mapletree Media are here to provide you with our expertise in curating optimised landing pages that fits your brand, captures leads, and grow your conversions.

 

Contact us here so we can start start building your own landing page today!

Contact Us

hello@mapletreemedia.com
Singapore Office:
Mapletree Media Pte Ltd
1 Irving Place
The Commerze @ Irving #08-01
Singapore 369546

Phone No: +65 9627 6717

Malaysia Office:
Mapletree Media Sdn Bhd,
B-5-8 Plaza Mont Kiara,
Mont Kiara, 50480, Kuala Lumpur

Open chat