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Insights on Digital Marketing Trends in the Healthcare Industry

WRITTEN by: Upward Brand Interactions |
categories: Healthcare

Apr 2017


As a healthcare marketer, understanding how healthcare providers think about and rate their own marketing is invaluable to helping them develop and hone their messaging. That’s why the 2017 Digital Healthcare Marketing Trends report is a publication I look forward to annually.

Chronicling the trends that in-house healthcare marketing professionals are engaging in, the barriers they face and the successes they are achieving, the report surveys 170 marketing leaders from 164 healthcare organizations ranging from physician practices to small community hospitals to comprehensive healthcare systems.

Each survey participant is asked questions about their team, budgets, goals, metrics and planning, digital marketing tactics and the marketing technology they use. It also asks them to self-select whether they consider their organization to be average at healthcare marketing, a leader or a laggard.

But to me, the most valuable take-away is the understanding of the challenges and success other healthcare marketing professionals are experiencing and the environments they are working in.

Here are a few data points I found to be most informative:

  • The average annual digital marketing spend for all respondents was $205,757, excluding department salaries.
  • 55 percent stated they will have the same marketing budget this year, while more than half will increase their digital spend.
  • The top two tactics are video and email with content, both in use and effectiveness.
  • The number one challenge is creating a fully-responsive website. Must haves include an effective and user-friendly CRM tool and being HIPAA compliant.

The study also highlights common barriers such as budget constraints, inability to report needed ROI, and time limitations. The top, positive commonality among all those surveyed is the comfort they have in the use of social media. Most respondents were less comfortable with specialized spaces such as SEO, websites, and content.

If you’re serious about elevating your organization’s healthcare marketing, I would encourage you to always keep an eye out for reports and studies that can help you gauge your team’s performance against your competitors and the industry as a whole. Then, when you’re ready to take steps that can move your organization from an average or laggard healthcare marketer to a leader, reach out to Upward Brand Interactions. We are a digital-first marketing agency with a specialization in healthcare. We’re dedicated to unleashing the power of digital to elevate brands and help them win in the marketplace, and our team is passionate about enabling our clients’ success.   

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