Are you a marketing executive struggling to navigate your way through the healthcare marketing challenges of the industry?
The highly regulated nature of healthcare and the deeply personal and emotional nature of healthcare decisions add complexity to healthcare marketing. Other industries don’t face the same types of challenges.
We know we’re preaching to the choir, so at least it may help to know that you’re not alone.
This article covers some healthcare marketing ideas and solutions to help you transform your healthcare marketing challenges into opportunities. Let’s get started.
Challenges facing healthcare marketers in 2024
The healthcare marketing landscape is rapidly changing. Technological advancements such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, health apps, and 3D printing provide new care opportunities.
Regulatory and compliance requirements used to protect patients are challenging for providers to keep up with.
With access to more information online, patients are becoming more proactive in managing their health and have increasing expectations in their care plans.
These demands present new healthcare marketing challenges for marketers, as competition is stiff and healthcare compliance becomes more complex.
Creating a personalized marketing message for patients is limited by patient data privacy, but studies show it matters. According to a 2021 McKinsey report, 71% of consumers expect personalized interactions, and 76% find a lack of personalized messaging frustrating.
Benefits of a flexible approach
Agility in healthcare marketing means responding quickly to changes and adapting marketing strategies flexibly. The healthcare marketing benefits of remaining nimble are tenfold.
- They allow healthcare organizations to stay relevant and competitive.
- They enable quick responses to emerging trends and patient needs.
- They open the door to better decision-making by using real-time insights and data to make informed decisions.
- They improve timely, relevant messaging to patients that builds and maintains trust.
5 benefits of moving quickly and lightly
Being agile in healthcare marketing gives you the competitive advantage to deliver better patient care. Here are tips for staying on top of those healthcare marketing challenges:
- Ongoing learning
- Data-based decision-making
- Flexible campaigns
- Technology utilization
- Cross-team collaboration
Ongoing learning through continuous education ensures that healthcare marketing experts stay informed about industry changes. This ultimately results in the development of best practices and the success of their marketing efforts.
Using data allows healthcare marketers to harness the power of information to tailor their strategies and messages and better understand healthcare marketing trends. Campaign performance metrics, patient demographics, and behaviors can help healthcare marketers make informed decisions.
The most successful campaigns have had to be flexible to address emerging challenges.
When Pfizer rolled out the COVID-19 vaccine in 2021, they designed their approach to be agile. Knowing the public’s vaccine hesitancy, distrust of pharmaceutical companies, and the political divides, misinformation, and panic surrounding the pandemic, they carefully planned their steps with checks and balances built in.
They invested in social listening and employed various media channels to reach different demographic groups, including traditional print, social media, and influencer partnerships.
Pfizer’s marketing team also used the following tactics to gather information and adjust their message accordingly:
- A/B testing. Pfizer created multiple versions of their advertisements to understand what was most effective.
- Geo-targeting: Pfizer focused its efforts in areas where the vaccine hesitancy was the highest.
- Real-time adjustments: Pfizer studied their data and made changes quickly. For example, when they learned that young adults were becoming more hesitant about the vaccine, they employed a campaign specific to them.
- Collaboration: Pfizer partnered with trusted organizations to help get the message out.
By being flexible, Pfizer was able to analyze findings and refine their strategies, resulting in a successful campaign.
Marketing automation and AI streamline processes and enhance responsiveness by helping healthcare marketers execute tasks more efficiently. They provide valuable insights and predictive analytics that make the marketer’s efforts effective and adaptable.
Cross-team collaboration addresses challenges by leveraging diverse expertise and perspectives to bolster problem-solving and jumpstart the creation of new ideas. By sharing knowledge and resources, cross-functional collaborations bring the best healthcare marketing skills and minds together to create sustainable solutions for the organization.
How to measure healthcare marketing success
Healthcare marketers can measure the success of their spry marketing strategies through key performance indicators (KPIs).
After establishing the right KPIs for your healthcare organization, you develop and continuously adjust an effective healthcare marketing plan by tracking and assessing the results.
Helpful healthcare marketing metrics
Measuring the success of agile marketing strategies can help you stay on top of unexpected healthcare marketing strategies so that you can adjust accordingly. These are examples of a few success metrics or KPIs you might consider tracking:
- Conversion rates: Measure the percentage of website visitors who take desired actions, such as scheduling appointments, downloading resources, or signing up for newsletters.
- Patient acquisition costs: Calculate the cost of acquiring each new patient through marketing efforts. Compare this cost to the lifetime value of a patient.
- Patient retention rates: Track how well the marketing strategies retain existing patients over time.
- Return on investment (ROI): Calculate the return on investment for each marketing campaign, considering both monetary returns and non-monetary benefits like brand visibility.
- Engagement metrics: Monitor engagement metrics such as click-through rates, open rates for emails, and social media interactions to gauge audience engagement.
Analytic tool recommendations
Healthcare marketers have a wealth of tools at their disposal to help with tracking and reporting. Here are examples of specific analytics tools used in healthcare marketing.
Google Analytics tracks critical metrics like website visits, conversion rates, and user demographics so healthcare marketers can better understand their online audience and tailor their messages accordingly.
Social media analytics
Social media analytics offers healthcare marketers a deeper understanding of their audience by studying their content, discussions, and engagements.
Customer relationship management (CRM) systems
By tracking patient interactions, appointment scheduling, and feedback through a CRM, healthcare marketers can study patient behavior, segment their patient population, and create personalized outreach strategies.
Marketing automation platforms
Marketing automation platforms allow healthcare marketers to track email open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, and engagement metrics, providing valuable insights into their marketing efforts.
Not only can healthcare marketers fine-tune their strategies, but marketing automation platforms can also offer the ability to sign a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) and comply with HIPAA.
Using data to navigate healthcare marketing challenges
Collecting data is the first step. But interpreting that data is the second, and arguably the most important, step.
Healthcare marketers should continuously review the data they collect to identify strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. Leveraging this data helps healthcare marketers make informed decisions about campaign targeting, content creation, and resource allocation.
As mentioned earlier, patients and consumers expect and appreciate personalized marketing messages. Marketers can use the data they collect to segment audiences into different buckets and deliver tailored messages that increase engagement and conversion rates.
By continually analyzing data in real-time, healthcare marketing experts can use those insights to identify which marketing efforts are working (and which aren’t) so they can refine their strategies on the fly to achieve even better results.
Healthcare marketing challenges are opportunities in disguise
Consider daily issues as chances for your organization to make changes for the better. Healthcare marketing challenges—such as telemedicine, AI, and evolving patient expectations—will always show up when you least expect, but maintaining a deft mindset can prepare marketers for future growth and success.
Healthcare markers can stay ahead of those impending healthcare marketing challenges by using metrics, continuously learning, and constantly adapting efforts to align with the data collected. And if that seems overwhelming or you don’t have the bandwidth, a successful healthcare marketing expert can help you.
Healthcare marketing experts you can count
TBH Creative’s team has the skills and experience to turn your healthcare marketing challenges into opportunities. Healthcare marketing and analytics are our specialty, and we have countless healthcare marketing examples to share with you.
Contact us today to learn how our experience can bring you better leads, more patients, and higher engagement.