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Healthcare marketing is an ever evolving and changing landscape.

Sometimes it seems nearly impossible to keep up with all of the new strategies and tactics in healthcare marketing. By the time you feel you've mastered the latest strategies to reach audiences, a new "disruption" shows up. It's important to stay up to date with healthcare marketing trends that are proving highly effective.

Werremeyer Creative was recently a sponsor at the Modern Healthcare’s Strategic Marketing Conference in St. Louis. At our booth, we had the opportunity meet a lot of talented people in the industry and we learned some of the latest industry trends to help support our clients in healthcare.

We found 3 key healthcare marketing trends for 2020 that can be incorporated into your marketing plan: an increased focus on the patient experience, leveraging content to fuel marketing initiatives, and aligning your brand with your audience’s values. Overall we heard the need to bridge innovation and technology like AI and new digital tools with bringing more humanity and personalization to the methods by which we communicate to and with healthcare consumers.

1. Healthcare is transitioning from a medical to consumer mindset.

The last few years have witnessed exponential investment and growth at the intersection of marketing and technology, enabling experiences that successfully change consumer behavior and drive participation and engagement. One of the biggest trends discussed – and noted by Harvard Business Review – is that healthcare organizations are focusing more on building healthier communities by making health services affordable and accessible as well as providing a greater focus on the patient experience. This includes better electronic tools for patients such as scheduling and bill pay, e-visits and renewing prescriptions as well as small details such as being able to charge mobile devices from hospital beds.

2. Humanize your campaigns to reach your target audience.

Content marketing and storytelling is in a constant state of evolution as well: from multi-channel to channel agnostic thinking; from push and time-based campaigns to always-on push & pull engagement. The panelist discussed how the trend is moving away from generic pieces of content and mass communication to more personalized, relevant, and contextual experiences. One way hospitals and health organizations can get “the right content to the right person at the right time” is by increasing their sponsored content, making sure it is relevant to their target audience and placing it where that audience is searching.

3. Brands with purpose grow two times faster than brands without purpose.

The power of purpose is built on authenticity and trust. Inc.com writes that sixty-one percent of millennials expect companies to communicate and authentically act out their values, and they will decide the authenticity of your brand’s purpose within a few clicks. Taking your business from revenue-focused to being purpose-led takes time and commitment, but the evidence is there that purposeful companies have a higher return, than the companies focusing on just financial return. Without a meaningful purpose, healthcare brands will struggle to stay competitive in an ever disruptive landscape.

Human-centered healthcare marketing

The consumer is in the driver seat –  asking questions and exercising choice. The healthcare consumer expects the same level of relevance, value, and storytelling they get from other services they engage with on a daily basis. Waiting to adopt new industry trends could mean turning off whole segments of consumers and have you playing catchup with competitors. Healthcare brands have little option but to focus on the consumer experience by becoming more consumer-driven and operate at the intersection of marketing, communication, technology, and healthcare.