Over the past 20 years, as I’ve worked with marketing teams at health systems, pharmaceutical firms and health insurance companies, one theme keeps arising: The strategies that drove success 20 years ago will not drive success today.
Telemedicine, “do-it-yourself” care, health apps, cost transparency, accountable care organizations, new and non-traditional markets…. These changes signal a dramatic new healthcare model taking hold—one with efficiency, quality, and high yield at its core.
What’s changed? Consumers, more than anything. They’re more educated and cost-conscious than ever before. And they have only small pockets of time in a day to see your marketing messages. That means healthcare organizations must push through a cyclone of digital noise.
For me, that’s presented a fascinating challenge in healthcare communications—a chance to master new channels with the power to reach new audiences. Podcasts, video, blogs, banner ads, websites, texts, apps, social media, and, still, traditional print are all in play these days, and all at your command. What an adventure. Not unlike taking control of a mixing board in a recording studio.
And it’s not just about knowing who’s watching which channels. It’s also about keeping abreast of health news, technology, and breakthrough treatments that consumers are hungry for.
As a friend of mine said, “I don’t just want to know about my kid’s mastocytosis. I want to know how they can help him, so he can get dental work done without breaking out in hives from the anesthesia. Is there anything new they can do for him?”
As a former journalist and medical reporter, I’m interested in questions like that. I find it fascinating to interview physicians, researchers, and other specialists about the sophisticated diagnostics and treatments their healthcare organizations have to offer.
At the end of the day, it’s about helping consumers reach their health and wellness goals, and live fuller lives. That’s the most fulfilling challenge of all.