Recently we chatted with Aaron Clifford, BF’s Senior VP of Marketing about the year that’s coming to a close. Here some of Aaron’s thoughts and observations on this year in healthcare marketing. 2017 has seen continued rapid expansion of transparency and reputation management as more and more providers and companies recognize the importance of patient engagement.
Also, we’ve continued to see content marketing take on new forms. From video to podcasting, rich and useful content has taken over the space once occupied by blogs that resemble press releases.
The year of the video
Video is more widespread and the range of topics it’s used for has expanded. Following the lead of pioneers like Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic, healthcare has embraced video for engaging patients with tons of new small-scale content.
In the past, videos tended to celebrate and spotlight the business, with ribbon-cuttings and announcements of new services. This year, many more health systems are creating and promoting video content that focuses on benefiting their patients.
As smart phones, social media and live video events converge in channels like YouTube, Instagram, and especially Facebook video, the audience has expanded dramatically and enthusiastically.
Online marketing budgets are shifting focus
Here’s a trend that picked up in 2017, and shows every sign of accelerating in 2018: We’re seeing top of the funnel budget priorities move away from SEO and toward social advertising on channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn (for B2B marketing). With more toolsets and insights, social advertising is rising, but is still far from hitting its peak.
New tools in customer support
Chatbots are rising fast as a tool for interacting with and engaging patients. Making use of progress in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing, they’re a powerful way to collect and deliver information and to provide support. Additionally, Forbes reports “The Customer Experience Cloud” is gaining prominence. In addition to the marketing cloud and sales cloud, bringing together data and insights from the customer journey to better serve the customer is becoming a high priority for many organizations.
Once a headline, now a habit
Mobile communications has long since evolved past the “What will they think of next?” stage. Now, for huge numbers of people, it’s the everyday way to connect with healthcare. Once it was a headline, but today, with a smart phone in every pocket and purse, it’s how we interact. Whether it’s researching a symptom, finding a physician, or leaving a review for a physician, a vast majority of people use their mobile device over a desktop to perform these tasks.
In the same way, marketing automation has moved from innovation to maturity. Along the way, public acceptance has risen – the key to continued success in this area is personalization.
Finally, the spread and the success of these trends and tools – mobile access, video, patient interaction and marketing automation – has meant that they are not just for the biggest health care providers. Now, providers of every size can adopt, embrace, and reap the benefits of transparency, patient engagement and reputation management.
About the Author
Brian helps healthcare organizations better understand their healthcare consumer challenges and needs, in order to efficiently manage and improve patient satisfaction.