Marketing has its own inherent challenges – budget cuts, overused strategies, silence from target audiences. You get the picture. But then when you throw health systems into the mix, marketing gets even more complicated.
While not always bad, healthcare has its own traditions and systems that sometimes refuse to change. When does this become a problem? When traditional systems hinder future progress.
The same holds true for healthcare marketing. We don’t need more of the same. What we need is forward thinkers. Innovators who see the progress health tech marketing COULD make if we only got out of our little box.
So take a second to ask yourself: What do forward thinkers look like? And if you want to be one, what do you need to change? Here are the top criteria for movers and shakers in today’s health marketing climate.
They will be customer centric
More than ever before, customers care about what’s in it for them. But isn’t that how we all are? We want to know if it’s worth our time, money, and energy to invest in whatever product or service is being offered.
This means that future healthcare marketing needs to know and care about the customer’s problem more than they care about their own abilities.
It’s more than just providing a good product, though. It’s a way of getting good consumer interaction to the point that they want to interact more.
I believe it’s super important to look beyond healthcare for good examples of forward thinkers. That’s why I’m going to draw examples from healthcare marketers and other marketing industries that are shaking things up in a good way.
This isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned Northwell Health, and that’s because they are totally changing up the traditional approach to marketing in healthcare.
They’ve created a constant stream of editorial content, called The Well, that patients can relate to. These editorial columns, while interesting and engaging, help Northwell relate to patients’ fears and concerns. And the patient, in turn, feels connected and cared for.
Naturally, patients have a strong sense of loyalty to Northwell Health, and they continue to engage with the healthcare system for their medical problems in the future.
Another industry sector that’s connecting with their consumer is Hubspot. When they noticed consumers needed for tools to help them develop inbound marketing strategies, they developed a platform where users could learn how to be better marketers.
How have they done this? They offer an academy where anyone can take courses on marketing. They also offer a free sales pipeline. In other words, you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for a good lead funnel system. Hubspot has already developed it, and you get to benefit.
Here’s what we can learn: Hubspot put the customer first, and, in return, the customer put Hubspot in first place. In our marketing, we need to do the same.
They’ll be thought leaders
Forward thinkers are often coming up with new marketing ideas, and so they naturally become thought leaders – the people you go to in your industry if you have a question.
Here’s what will set you apart as a thought leader:
You have provocative ideas.
You turn those ideas into reality.
You show others how to do it, too.
If you do these things consistently, your target audience and peer markets will begin to look to you as a trustworthy source of information and direction for digital health marketing.
A client of ours who is creating a place for themselves as a thought leader is Melon Health. While we help them with content creation, they are the ones driving the provocative thought leadership content they publish.
Melon provides digital health services to help patients manage chronic conditions. Rather than look to traditional solutions, they’ve innovated their own.
By combining the best of patient portals, social media, and medical expertise, they’re addressing the complex issues of patient engagement and support.
In addition, they’ve drawn solutions from other industries such as game design to improve patient conditions. In other words, they’re looking beyond healthcare as they seek to limit the spread of chronic illness. Then they’re turning those ideas into reality.
Not only are they making a difference for chronic disease patients, but they’ve started sharing the lessons they’ve learned through their content and social media. And their audience is listening because they see that the industry needs the valuable insights Melon Health has to offer.
At this point Melon’s digital marketing is starting to make a difference for patients, clinicians, and healthcare organizations, and I literally can’t wait to see how they’ll continue to change healthcare in the future.
Outside of healthcare, CoSchedule has shown the world how becoming a thought leader can actually build business and drive leads. When CoSchedule was a startup, they capitalized on content marketing that taught others how to market like CoSchedule.
To this day, that’s a major asset they add to the marketing industry. They’ve innovated new ideas, and they’re sharing those ideas with the world via podcast, blog, and their own academy.
Not only that, but they’re also empowering others to do the same with their online tools such as headline analyzers and social message optimizers. The result is that, gradually, they’re influencing the next generation to try new strategies and look beyond traditional marketing.
They’ll be consumed with creating peak moments for their customers
I’m currently reading a book called The Power of Moments, and it’s taught me a TON about creating memorable experiences. I think this is key for marketing success.
What I’ve learned is that memorable moments typically stick because of the peaks, pits, or transitions. In marketing we should be creating “peak” experiences for customers. The more joy-filled and delightful, the more customer engagement we can expect.
Each interaction should be like a bookmark that sticks in their brain until they come back and interact with us again.
GE’s MRI machines
GE has created a kid-centric MRI that helps eliminate fear. Beyond that, it actually transforms their patient experience into an adventure where the child is the hero.
Children who need MRI’s enter a story. In one story, they’re in a canoe where they have to lie very still. If they do, fish will start to jump over top of them. Not only has this innovation helped children with MRI’s, but it’s also calmed the anxieties of their parents.
In the end, these kids leave MRI’s excited about the adventure they’ve just experience. What has GE done? They’ve created a peak moment for these patients that removes fear and makes a positive impression.
I have kids, and they love Disney. Maybe it’s just because of the animated characters, but more likely it’s actually Disney’s uncanny ability to create peak moments with every ride, meal, and hotel visit.
They create an ambience of fun and carefree adventure. Each ride is a memorable experience that turns a roller coaster, for example, into your very own trek through a haunted hotel.
What I’m trying to say is this – HIT marketing needs to learn from those who create phenomenal peak experiences. There’s a reason why kids don’t mind GE’s MRI’s, and there’s a reason my kids always want to go back to Disney.
It’s because they’ve left a positive memory – one that we keep coming back to again and again.
Are you ready to lead healthcare marketing out of the dark ages?
That means you need to start today.
We can help. Request a call today to chat with Whitney and her team and discover the strategy to break your mission through the noise.
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