Marketing challenges for the healthcare industry

Marketing campaigns succeed when they inform, inspire, entertain—or some combination of those three. Engagement turns intrigued consumers into loyal customers.

Building, strengthening and maintaining connections through marketing is especially critical and challenging for the healthcare industry, where lives are at stake and trust is paramount.

Prospective and current patients need complete yet easy-to-digest information on complex topics involving their healthcare and their insurance, whether it’s on web pages, email blasts, newsletters, social media posts or videos. They also need to be inspired. And any calls to action should be conveyed with sensitivity.

It’s a tall order. Yet the winners of our Healthcare Marketing Impact Awards rose to the challenge in yet another difficult year for the industry. Campaigns promoted wellness, tackled subjects like children’s mental health, increased awareness of rare diseases and delved into politicized topics like the need to talk with unvaccinated family members about getting COVID-19 immunizations.

View the winners of Modern Healthcare’s Marketing Impact Awards 2022

In addition, healthcare systems are fighting to get their messages heard alongside disruptors, whether it be behemoth retail chains or small startups rolling out products and services. As reporter Caroline Hudson explains in “Going beyond billboards to attract patients,” the marketing departments at many systems are revamping their strategies and team structures.

Perhaps nowhere is the marketing of a particular product as front and center as it is right now for Medicare Advantage. The messaging has reached a fever pitch: Insurers and their partners flood potential enrollees’ mailboxes and television screens with ads featuring sports and entertainment celebrities in the same generation as the target customers.

In “Medicare Advantage insurers face high marketing stakes,” reporters Kara Hartnett and Nona Tepper take a look at some of that outreach, as well as at efforts underway to protect seniors from companies and brokers whose strategies cross the line.

Given marketing’s evolving role, it’s imperative that team members have a seat at the strategy table, not just be brought in at the tail end of a process. If you’re looking at how your marketing efforts fared this year, and strategizing on where to head next, we hope the stories on the following pages help.

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