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Healthcare, pharma, and life sciences marketing is a big industry, and accounts for much of what we do here at TrendyMinds. It’s an industry that’s full of unique opportunities and challenges, as well as a number of persistent fictional beliefs that can confine creative thinking.
Here are some myths that have plagued healthcare marketing for as long as we can remember, plus the facts you need to rethink them.
Traditionally speaking, healthcare marketing tends to be conservative compared to other industries. Medicine and healing are often sensitive, personal topics, after all. That doesn’t mean healthcare marketing can’t be powerful and creative.
We’ve explored what enterprise healthcare brands can learn from telemedicine startups on our blog previously. Two of the organizations referenced in that piece — Nurx and the Pill Club — are sleek, modern, digitally savvy brands deliberately crafted to appeal to Millenials and Gen Z-ers. Both of these brands — and others like them — primarily engage with their audience online through clean, crisp digital experiences, which are reflected in clean, crisp looking brand aesthetics.
Other, more conventional healthcare brands, are increasingly using digital platforms, including social media, to push the traditional boundaries of healthcare marketing, tell compelling stories, and reach new audiences. Take the “Be Heard” campaign from John Muir Health as an example. This campaign used patient voices to tell stories and ask questions that connect with real consumers. For example, "I've got poison oak everywhere. Really, everywhere." is an experience many of us can relate to.
Fact: The healthcare, pharma, and life sciences industries are full of companies and organizations who’ve made it their mission to make people’s lives better. There are so many stories to tell, and brands are finding bold new ways to tell them for a modern, digitally-savvy audience.
It’s no secret that healthcare, pharma, and life sciences are heavily regulated industries. When it comes to protecting patient data and privacy, strict rules are important and necessary. For us marketers though — who are used to targeting consumers with data and measuring qualified leads — red tape can leave us feeling stuck in a stranglehold.
Viewed from a different perspective, though, the regulations inherent to healthcare marketing open the door to unique opportunities for transparency and trust building — and sometimes even humor, as demonstrated in this breast cancer campaign.
There are many ways healthcare providers can improve trust and transparency while playing inside the rules. Building reviews and ratings for provider and location pages is a start. Cost estimators and pricing information also present opportunities to improve transparency — especially as consumers become more cost aware and new rules require providers to post prices online.
Fact: By focusing on patient experiences and building trust, healthcare brands can create positive and emotional patient experiences within a highly regulated industry.
People will always need healthcare. It’s as sure as death and taxes and doesn’t look likely to change. What does change, however, is how people want to access and engage with their own healthcare.
Today’s healthcare consumers expect digital experiences on par with our experiences shopping for other goods and services. According to a study reported by FierceHealthcare, more than 60% of younger patients (ages 18–24) are likely to switch healthcare providers over a (single!) poor digital experience. If healthcare brands want to engage with consumers today and tomorrow, they’ll need to invest in positive digital experiences.
Fact: Who even started this one? Marketing is essential for building and strengthening relationships between healthcare brands and the patients they serve.
For more on why we at TrendyMinds believe in the importance of healthcare marketing, check out this blog from our founder and CEO.
Lucy Harcourt is a Healthcare Marketing Director at TrendyMinds. Learn more about Lucy in her Bolt Bio.