The New Era of Healthcare Marketing

Posted 17 JulyBlog, Ideas, Trends

As GLC’s VP of Business Development for our healthcare practice, I have the opportunity to attend excellent conferences all across the country and learn about the challenges healthcare marketers face and how we can help. 

At the recent New England Society for Healthcare Communications’ spring conference in Newport, RI, I was part of a spellbound audience listening to Candace Quinn, Founder/CEO of Brand=Experience LLC and Karen Corrigan Founder/CEO of Corrigan Partners LLC discuss how to prepare for the new era of healthcare marketing.

In doing so, they identified five critical roles for healthcare marketers:

  1. Digital Change Agent
  2. Growth Strategist
  3. Brand Advocate
  4. Experience Champion
  5. Innovation Catalyst


The Digital Change Agent is a role that we work with a lot. Web, social networking and mobile technologies are revolutionizing business processes and healthcare marketers can be change agents by helping health systems better understand how to employ these technologies to:

  • Reach and engage consumers
  • Acquire and retain customers
  • Improve patient-provider relationships
  • Support patients with care management
  • Promote better clinical care and decision-making
  • Facilitate workplace communications and productivity
  • Build the brand

A comprehensive web, social and mobile capability, integrated with clinical IT systems such as CRM, EMR and patient portals, and embedded in physical environments, is no longer optional for organizations that want to remain relevant.

Perhaps the most important job is building digital marketing capabilities. Five key areas of focus for healthcare content marketers should be:

  1. Integrated, multi-channel strategies allow you to reach out to consumers where they are. Integrated web, social, mobile marketing, on the other hand, allows consumers to find you.
  2. Content marketing, the stories your organization has to tell, is not new. However, it is now vital in the noisy environment of continuous messaging. Branded, custom content, relevant to your consumers, will strengthen your brand and build loyalty.
  3. An integrated EMR/CRM/contact center no longer a luxury that would be nice to have. Data needs to be analyzed and used — successful population health management will depend on your ability to build communities based on this data.
  4. Mobile media development & marketing — Consumers are now expecting their digital marketing experiences to be personalized. With the advent of smart phone, consumers know that their devices can react to their personal preferences. Sixty-four percent (64%) of companies say that they plan to deliver more personalized experiences to visitors on their mobile devices.
  5. Digital brandscaping — Brandscaping is symbiotic marketing that relies on the premise that a rising tide lifts all boats. The consumers you wish to attract to your hospital are already the fans, followers, friends and subscribers of other brands. Brands your next patient has a trusted relationship with. You need to seize the opportunity to pool your audience with other companies to create content that drives demand for your services and physicians.


What critical role would you like to discuss next? Growth Strategist, BrandAdvocate, Experience Champion or Innovation Catalyst? I’d love to hear your thoughts.  

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