Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Healthcare Marketing: Adapting in the Digital Age

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As more consumers seek out healthcare providers independently of that of their employers, there is a noticeable, and growing, shift in the market space. Healthcare providers are forced to find ways to market to consumers directly.

In September 2015, Forbes published an article, The New World of Healthcare Marketing: A Framework For Adaptation, detailing much of that shift and what marketers can do to bridge the gap between Health Care Providers (HCPs) and consumers.

"As consumers take a more active role in their healthcare decisions, marketers must listen and adapt in order to remain relevant. To frame this shift and identify some of the key takeaways for healthcare marketers, we turned to Brent Walker of c2b Solutions, a company that consults with healthcare organizations on marketing and sales strategy solutions with a focus on generating deep consumer insights. "

Walker goes on to list three areas he feels has influenced this shift:
1. Demographic – As baby-boomers age and encounter chronic conditions, there is an increase in demand for health services which impacts costs to providers.
2. Legislative – The Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandating access to healthcare for all.
3. Technological – The growth of digital media and information that is readily available to consumers. 
And with consumer-driven healthcare becoming the primary focus for HCPs, marketers are forced to think about three key implications for changes to come.

1. Massive investments are required
2. Business models must change
3. New competitors are entering

As for which areas healthcare marketers need to focus on to counteract this change? Walker again notes four areas and questions Big Pharma companies may need to ask themselves to re-strategize and implement new marketing efforts.
1. Data: What data does your company already have, or will need, to strategize on reaching a new target while catering to your current customers?
2. Systems: Do you already have systems in place to integrate your data? Is it usable? And, can marketers easily integrate consumer insights to strategize?
3. People: Does your company have the bandwidth and experts on the team to execute on new marketing initiatives?
4. Processes: Identify areas for growth and how to measure effectiveness of individual marketing tactics. 
For more information on digital innovation in health care and our 2016 ePharma Summit, please visit our webpages via Knect 365: ePharma Summit.

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