7 Marketing Trends Every Healthcare Marketer Needs to Know in 2022

It’s no secret that healthcare marketing is constantly evolving. This year, however, the industry is in the midst of a major digital shift, creating new strategies and trends that are shaping the experiences of patients and HCPs (Healthcare Professionals) like never before. Having trouble staying on top of this fast-paced environment? Here are 7 top marketing trends that every healthcare marketer should know in 2022.

1. Patients Need Help Across the Funnel
Healthcare journeys are rarely linear, so developing a more holistic strategy is a necessity for healthcare organizations. Providing multiple touchpoints for patients from early consideration to “purchase ready” is a key component of building trust. Instead of showing up only for an existing demand, HCPs have to be available to educate and inform patients of the care they have yet to consider.

This is why it’s important to establish a strong omni-channel marketing approach that integrates internal client teams with external agency teams. As challenging as it may seem, the ‘we’re all in this together’ mentality is paramount, and it’s the cooperation of various teams across various channels that enables the funnel to connect with consumers and ensure the overall goal is being met. So as you plan your omni-channel marketing campaigns, remember the following things: 

  • While planning, keep an eye on the 360-degree strategic view as you narrow in on the tactics that bring your campaigns to life. The best ideas can’t take off without the ability to produce the assets necessary to fulfill the campaign.
  • Socialize your ideas across internal teams and external partners. This will ensure everyone feels involved and on the same path forward.
  • Execution matters. The best omni-channel campaigns require hundreds of assets. Take thoughtful consideration into the team that’s creating those assets to ensure brand consistency and messaging.
  • Establish multiple connections, such as additional technologies and SEO content. If a client comes to you ready to address an issue with their campaign, they want to know your team can address it. 

2. Digital-First HCPs & Consumerization
If the pandemic showed marketers anything, it’s that technology is redefining the way we interact with one another — and healthcare is no exception. As of April 2021, 84% of physicians were offering virtual visits and 89% of hospitals have implemented EHR (electronic health record) systems, according to adfirehealth.

With over 6 billion smartphone users worldwide (statista), reaching your target audience has never been easier. Patients are now seeking solutions on their own terms, and innovative third-party solutions not only give healthcare companies the ability to deliver digital patient experiences from anywhere, but also engage with HCPs in faster, cheaper, and more enhanced ways (through platforms like VEEVA and IQVIA). Personalization is the driving force behind these experiences, and as more patients and HCPs become comfortable with the new tech in hand, the more advanced the benefits will become.

For HCP marketing tactics here are few things to consider:

  • Get specific about the HCP group that you are targeting — what location are they in, what do they diagnose and treat, what are their pain points, challenges and motivations. Use these details to develop and implement highly targeted content that fits your marketing strategy. 
  • Evaluate the platforms you’re using to market your HCPs. It’s important to personalize assets to your unique target markets and format all creative to be digital ready. Not every element that worked for print will work on a small screen. 
  • Virtual meetings can be just as beneficial as in-person meetings. Explore ways to communicate with your HCPs digitally, and as you develop presentations, make sure to digitize your assets so that PDFs, emails, and videos work across smartphones, tablets and laptops. 

3. New Restrictions Make it More Difficult to Reach Patients
Any healthcare marketer is well-aware of the HIPAA Privacy Rule, which protects private information, but Europe’s new General Data Regulation (GDPR) adds another new layer to the compliance game. But staying on top of these regulations isn’t where the work ends — digital targeting also offers new challenges, thanks to Google’s removal of browser cookies and Apple’s new user privacy and data use with the release of iOS 14. These changes are being felt all across the healthcare industry, which is where platforms like VEEVA and IQVIA are stepping up big time, and more organizations are partnering with specialized Pharma production teams to save themselves headaches and costly mistakes.

4. 1:1 NPI Targeting Becomes Standard
NPI (National Provider Identifier) targeting is another way for HCPs to alleviate concerns of online privacy and third-party cookie restrictions. NPI — or a unique, 10-digit identification number issued by the federal government to healthcare providers — uses first-party data, steering clear of any privacy restrictions. Instead of casting a general net, HCPs can target people more efficiently and meaningfully, addressing their specific pain points and challenges because they’re familiar with their care. In a world where personalized experiences are not only preferred, but also expected, this targeting strategy will fuel a lot more engagement for healthcare brands this year.

5. Cross-Device Targeting Can’t Be Ignored
The extensive list of rules and regulations associated with traditional marketing tactics (eg., TV and print) have turned healthcare marketers to more advanced digital solutions. But one channel or device simply won’t cut it. Today, 80% of consumers bounce between multiple devices, and they only start converting when they see the same ad or message more than once.

The solution: showing up on multiple screens. But it’s not that simple. These platforms and devices all have to be tailored to specific guidelines and specs. In order to have cohesive messaging and visuals — as well as no error messages — healthcare marketers are partnering with production companies and experts who know what file formats and tools it requires to make this process seamless.

6. Rich Media will Boost Ad Engagement
It’s time to part ways with your static strategy. HCPs will see thousands of these ads any given day, so why would yours stand out? In order to cut through the noise, healthcare advertisers will be stepping up their campaigns with rich media to combat “banner blindness.” And those who can do it best will have the ultimate competitive advantage.

Examples of rich media ads include CTV and OTT ads which include a CTA that takes HCPs to a branded website or page, Display ads that incorporate animations or other movements, and Interstitial ads that fill up the viewer’s entire screen. Want to know more? Send us a note

7. Purely Informative Websites are a Mistake
To put it simply, your website needs to be great. Too many healthcare organizations (even some of the biggest names in the industry!) settle for sites that are purely informational — looking clunky and generic. And while it may provide patients the information they need, it’s a big mistake. Not only has Google been prioritizing page experience in their ranking algorithm, but also, your website is the digital face of your organization. It’s a big part of the experience you provide your patients.

Start with your homepage. It’s the first interaction people have with your site. Think about mobile and how things will appear on the small screen. Keep navigation simple and intuitive. Make sure CTAs are clear and use previous data to create buyer personas based on the most common digital patient journeys. Consider accessibility best practices, such as less motion or image-to-copy contrast. And focus on optimizing landing pages for SEO to better understand which pages are driving the most traffic and what keywords are leading them there. This can help you ensure those pages are meeting those expectations.

Ready to take your marketing to the next level this year? Assemble has created AssembleRX, a specialized pharmaceutical arm that taps into our extensive Pharma knowledge to offer HCPs and marketers a partner an elevated production experience. To learn more about our special production processes and tools for Pharma, contact Assemble today.