Using today’s trends in healthcare to diagnose your marketing plan

March 26, 2019

I recently returned from HIMSS19, an annual pilgrimage for anyone and everyone involved in healthcare IT, medtech and really any sort of innovation in healthcare. The industry descends on sunny Florida to network, demo the latest and greatest, hear from regulatory agencies on new rules and initiatives expected in the year ahead and more. 

I was there to support our clients, chat with contacts and former colleagues, and check out the latest healthcare marketing trends. After all, if HIMSS is supposed to be the most important healthcare innovatio­n conference of the year, it only stands to reason I’d be blown away by the fantastic marketing concepts on display, right?

Hands down, the hottest topics at HIMSS were interoperability, consumerism and innovation (particularly as it relates to artificial intelligence - AI). I thought we could have some fun and take the top trends and apply them to healthcare marketing, maybe diagnose how your plans are holding up?

Let’s start with interoperability, which in healthcare usually relates to the ability of diverse technology to work together, such as different medical devices or electronic medical record (EMR) systems with other software. For the purpose of this exercise, let’s use interoperability as a term more analogous to multichannel or omnichannel marketing.

So, is your content marketing playing nicely with your email pushes? Are you seeing results? What about your social media strategy – how does this fit in to your overall marketing plan? Perhaps you’ve recently introduced paid social into the mix – how do your results compare to just organic social? Have you considered using voice at all? Does it all seamlessly integrate for the benefit of your broader marketing efforts?

As you can see, the path to interoperability in a marketing plan isn’t exactly linear; there are plenty of diverging routes to take. The key is to find what works best in supporting your goals.

Next up, innovation – how innovative is your marketing plan?

Innovation at HIMSS focused quite a bit on AI, which was great for us because our client, Current Health, makes an AI-enabled wearable device that can predict a patient’s health trajectory. This can help them identify a looming medical issue even before they physically feel there’s a problem. If you’re wondering what AI has to do with marketing, Constellation Research predicts businesses will spend more than $100 billion each year on AI technologies by 2025. That’s up 50X from the $2B spent in 2015, so you can’t really afford to ignore it.

That said, what additional channels and strategies are you considering or testing? Did you recently implement a blog program to drive lead gen? Is it working like you’d hoped or are you underwhelmed with the results? Are you keeping pace with newer developments and how would you grade your plan? The market is undergoing dramatic change, so ask yourself these questions to avoid being left behind.

As for consumerism, this certainly plays nicely into a marketing exercise, and it’s critical to a healthy plan. So, are you connecting directly with your customers and prospects? How do you determine, or even define, loyal customers? How are you nurturing your leads? Do you have a concrete, formal plan in place to accomplish specific goals or are you just winging it?

How’d your marketing do when presented with the above questions? If it wasn’t quite as well as you had hoped, drop us a line. We’d be happy to help create a strategic plan that’s interoperable, customer-focused and, dare we say it, even innovative.

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