Healthcare Marketing Trends to Watch, Part 1

by | May 23, 2018 | Healthcare Industry Insights | 0 comments

Four of the industry’s top marketing strategists share predictions for future healthcare marketing trends in part one of a two-part series.

To help you pre­pare for the future, we asked the Health­care Insight advi­so­ry board and oth­er thought lead­ers to iden­ti­fy health­care mar­ket­ing trends they believe will have the great­est impact on health­care mar­ket­ing strate­gies in the years ahead.

Future Healthcare Marketing Trends: From the Experts

Preston Gee, VP of Strategic Marketing at CHRISTUS Health

  • The entrance of the mega-mer­chan­dis­ing giants (Ama­zon, Berk­shire Hath­away and JPMor­gan) into the health field will dra­mat­i­cal­ly change the way we approach and com­mu­ni­cate with consumers.
  • Arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence (e.g., chat­bots) is chang­ing and will change the way we com­mu­ni­cate with prospec­tive and exist­ing patients/consumers.
  • Ongo­ing con­sol­i­da­tion and ver­ti­cal inte­gra­tion will have an impact on patient/consumer loy­al­ty and ele­vate the con­cept of cus­tomer life­time val­ue to a lev­el we’ve nev­er seen in this industry.

Susan Alcorn, Principal at Alcorn Strategic Communications

  • Pre­ci­sion med­i­cine. There is some skep­ti­cism about its effi­ca­cy, but there are still orga­ni­za­tions aggres­sive­ly pro­mot­ing it. This past Jan­u­ary, NPR did an inter­est­ing sto­ry about how a can­cer patient at Johns Hop­kins Hos­pi­tal ben­e­fit­ted from this approach.
  • Behav­ioral health. Clear­ly there is an incred­i­ble demand for it but there is a lack of beds and an insuf­fi­cient num­ber of pro­fes­sion­als. Reim­burse­ment is bad. Is there a busi­ness case that would encour­age orga­ni­za­tions to dive into this impor­tant area?
  • My favorite: inter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­tions and cul­ture build­ing. Giv­en the trend toward mega sys­tems (and com­pe­ti­tion with non-tra­di­tion­al sys­tems), we need to ensure that our employ­ees are onboard. Their loy­al­ty and com­mit­ment is more impor­tant than ever.
  • Recruit­ing and retain­ing tal­ent. I’m think­ing of providers, but recruit­ment mar­ket­ing is impor­tant wher­ev­er there is a shortage.

Paul Szablowski, Independent Consultant and Thought Leader

  • It is impor­tant to acknowl­edge that in this brave new world, the con­sumer is king and every­one is seek­ing to dif­fer­en­ti­ate them­selves in the way they serve the king.
  • Con­sumers are becom­ing increas­ing­ly dis­sat­is­fied with their health­care expe­ri­ences and want stream­lined expe­ri­ences. New entrants are being drawn to an indus­try with sophis­ti­cat­ed con­sumer data and hard­wired process­es to take advan­tage of dis­sat­is­fied consumers.
  • Suc­cess is a race to con­tin­u­ous­ly delight the con­sumer. Con­sumer expec­ta­tions are dri­ven not by best in class health­care expe­ri­ences, but by best-in-class con­sumer expe­ri­ences from any area they do busi­ness in. Con­sumers engage the world holis­ti­cal­ly and do not raise and low­er their stan­dards to accom­mo­date par­tic­u­lar industries.
  • To enhance the expe­ri­ences we offer con­sumers, we must think holistically—it is not the work of an indi­vid­ual or a sin­gle depart­ment, it is some­thing that must be embraced by the entire organization.

Holly Sullivan, VP of Strategic Partnerships at Spectrum Health

  • A sig­nif­i­cant trend involves the use of data. Along with the tra­di­tion­al data sets, we need to think about socioe­co­nom­ic, psy­cho demo­graph­ic, and oth­er dif­fer­ent kinds of data that can inform our deci­sions. We need to think like a retail­er and lever­age data that gets us clos­er to the consumer.
  • New com­pe­ti­tion is anoth­er impor­tant trend. There is so much pri­vate equi­ty going into the health­care space right now. Google and Ama­zon are for­mi­da­ble com­peti­tors that we’ve nev­er even thought about how to com­pete with. As mar­keters and strate­gists, we have to think dif­fer­ent­ly about how to com­pete in the future. This requires us to lift up our heads and look beyond what we’ve always done and how to com­pete in a new environment.
  • In health­care, we’re not good at chal­leng­ing our­selves. We have these new com­peti­tors com­ing into our space and they will require new mod­els of care, new ways of planning/marketing, and we have to plan for that. It’s not easy, and it doesn’t hap­pen overnight. These things are going to take a while to get there while things are increas­ing­ly speed­ing up in the mar­ket. We need to have this on our radar and con­tin­ue think­ing long and hard about how we dif­fer­en­ti­ate our­selves from these com­peti­tors. Tra­di­tion­al­ly, we thought about deliv­er­ing the best health­care ser­vices to our patients. Mov­ing for­ward, that’s not going to be enough to dif­fer­en­ti­ate our­selves in the marketplace.

Let’s Plan Your Strategy

Let our health­care con­tent mar­ket­ing experts help you nav­i­gate these shifts. 

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