The State of Healthcare Marketing — and What it Means for You

Greystone.Net and Klein & Partners released Annual State of Digital Healthcare Marketing Report

As healthcare has evolved so, too, have healthcare consumers. Healthcare marketers who don’t follow suit are missing out on prime opportunities. Greystone.Net and Klein & Partners recently released their 3rd Annual State of Digital Healthcare Marketing Report to offer insight into healthcare marketers’ digital efforts and future plans.

We’ve pulled together some of the most interesting findings and provided our take on what they might mean for you.

  1. You need to focus on your website, and it needs to be responsive.

According to the study, a good number of hospitals redesigned their websites in 2016 or 2017 (57 percent and 48 percent of respondents, respectively). The bottom line? If you haven’t recently updated your hospital website, your competitors likely have.

It’s time for a website redesign particularly if your current site isn’t optimized for mobile visitors. Survey respondents noted that 47 percent of website visitors come from mobile devices. If your site isn’t responsive, you could be alienating nearly half of your potential audience.

The survey shows a disconnect when it comes to responsive design: Thirty percent of respondents said their hospital websites are not responsive, yet 85 percent said mobile responsiveness of digital properties is very important/essential to the organization. Sixty-one percent said their mobile presence is the newest virtual front door, but only 43 percent said mobile strategies are funded appropriately.

Beyond responsiveness, a must-have website feature is online appointment scheduling. Thirty-four percent of respondents offer online appointment scheduling through tools like ZocDoc, while 39 percent offer online scheduling through EMR.

  1. Digital advertising can give the added push you need.

You may be doing incredible things on your hospital website. But if you’re not actively promoting those efforts, you’re limiting your reach. Healthcare marketers are increasing leveraging digital advertising to maximize success.

Facebook and Google AdWords are the most popular digital advertising tools, according to the study. Seventy-six percent of respondents use Google AdWords, with another 4 percent planning to use it in the next six to nine months. Seventy-seven percent use boosted Facebook posts, with another 6 percent planning to use it in the next six to nine months.

Putting ad dollars behind content doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor. As little as a few thousand dollars a month could make a big difference.

  1. You might be missing an opportunity with your consumer app.

Forty-four percent of respondents reported having a mobile app for consumers, down from 51 percent in 2016. But it appears that many of these marketers have missed the mark when it comes to getting the most bang for their mobile app buck.

The main purposes of consumer mobile apps are:

    • Look up doctors: 44 percent
    • Facility location information: 44 percent
    • Patient portal: 41 percent
    • General hospital information: 40 percent

Three of four of the top purposes are tasks that could just as easily be done on a website. Maximize your mobile app by incorporating wayfinding, wait times, virtual e-visits and podcasts.

  1. Act now if you want to be a true leader and innovator.

According to the survey, the top new or emerging website functionalities are online class/event registration and online bill pay. (As a side note, online bill pay is the biggest pain point for visitors.)

The move to some newer digital marketing tools, such as marketing automation, programmatic buying and geo-fencing, continues. But live streaming is the only advanced marketing activity that is increasing.

Consider that an opportunity to move ahead of the pack when it comes to the most innovative, ground-breaking digital marketing tactics like virtual realty or wearable devices.

How does your organization compare to the survey results?