Healthcare marketing is facing a crisis of relevance. For marketing to be relevant, it needs to be of value to those receiving the communication. When hospitals, medical centers and health systems promote their services, technologies, and procedures, they largely miss the mark. While healthcare communicators spew content in the hope that someone will pay attention, consumers turn the other way. Why wouldn’t they turn away? We are largely talking about ourselves, looking inward, and that just isn’t interesting. When I speak with marketers about this phenomenon, I ask them to visualize the consumer with the words “so what” stamped on her forehead. Why should she care about what we have to say?
The world has changed and healthcare marketing has been slow to keep up. Not only is the consumer now in the driver’s seat, but there have been significant changes in how she accesses and consumes information. Today the consumer decides what content she makes time for, on what platforms and on what device – all of that, at a time of her choosing. Meanwhile, we are headed into an era of population health management where it is more important than ever that the consumer play an active role in the management of his or her health. As healthcare marketers, we need tools, and a change of mindset, to help us market effectively within this new environment.
It is time for a new vision of healthcare marketing, one that meets the consumer on her terms.