Written by Denise Burgess
One of Hailey Sault’s core values is to be fearless. That’s why in a year that is starting out to be anything but predictable, we’re kicking off this whole first month of 2021 with health care marketing predictions and trends. This Campfire Session lays the groundwork for what lies ahead for health care marketing—and what to do to get ahead of the curve. At the end of the month, we’ll share our Engage 2021 Trends Report in a special Campfire Session and make it available for you to download. Our report takes a deeper dive into one global trend we predict will guide health care through 2021 and includes four strategies and tactics you can put to use.
Watch our Campfire Session, 2021 Health Care Marketing Predictions. Or read below for key takeaways from our webinar event!
On 01/15/2021, Stephen was joined by two seasoned health care marketing pros.
- Theresa Jacobellis, President & CEO, PrescRXptive Communications. Host, Healthcare Confidential podcast.
- Chris Boyer, Principal & Senior Digital Strategist @chrisboyer LLC. Founder and Show Host, touch point media.
2021 health care marketing predictions were made surrounding:
- Health care consumerism
- The health infodemic
- Crisis planning
Health Care Consumerism: an old trend with some new twists
Consumerism has been a trend that is not new to health care; however, there are factors that are going to accelerate this trend in 2021.
Theresa’s health care consumerism predictions
- The word concierge is something health care will need to become familiar with because society is becoming more and more demanding of personalized services and no field is more personal than health care.
- Patients want communications and services from health care that are targeted to their needs—that show providers are aware of who they are as individuals.
- Patients will be willing to reach into their pocket a little bit if that is necessary and pay a little more to receive personalized services.
- The number one thing providers should be doing is focusing on customer service.
Chris’s health care consumerism predictions
- Consumerism in health care can be seen in Amazon getting into the health care space, as well as Walmart Health coming in with its retail location.
- CVS, Walgreens and Walmart will be significant players in health care when vaccination opens up to the public.
- There are “shoppable services” in health care, especially with price transparency becoming effective on January 1.
- Services that are very much in the consumer mindset include testing, urgent care services, imaging services and other lower acuity services.
- Transparency and shoppable services are a trend that will evolve in the coming years.
- Telemedicine will remain with us. The pandemic has shifted our opinions as consumers to doing things online.
- Not only are we consumers, but we are now digital consumers. Digital consumerism will be the future.
- Patient experience will become the imperative in this consumeristic space.
The more we can understand what our patients want and where the friction points are in their experience, the better we can be at making our relationship with them more meaningful.
Stephen’s health care consumerism predictions
- “One-size-fits-all” messaging will decline in favor of personalized marketing strategies. The pandemic revealed the disparate mindsets, feelings and needs of health care consumers.
- As a result, health care brands will “up” their personalized marketing game—with the goal of increasing patient-consumer engagement.
The Health Infodemic: our second pandemic
We are seeing misinformation spread much more quickly on social media than good information.
Theresa’s health infodemic predictions
- This is a battle that marketers need to dive into because as communicators it is incumbent upon us to create and provide vetted, credible information that helps consumers make good decisions about their health.
- Social media is the “Wild, Wild West” and this is becoming a bigger problem. Marketers need to think about how our marketing messages can also be vehicles for good information.
Chris’s health infodemic predictions
- In the interest of serving their patients and communities in a better way, hospitals and health systems are square in the middle of the battle against misinformation. Especially when it comes to information about COVID, wearing masks, safety and vaccines.
- Providers are the most trusted source of health information for patients right now, above all other sources, including the traditional news media.
- There has to be movement from everyone including us in a grassroots way as health care marketers, as well as government and big tech, to address the infodemic problem.
- This is our opportunity to step up to fill the messaging void. We have to be proactive with our messages and be the first voice out there with credible information.
Stephen’s health infodemic predictions
- In a time of high consumer skepticism, health systems will leverage the ability to be seen as the local, trusted source of health information.
- Health systems will create more opportunities for patient-consumers to learn more and engage in “hot button” issues like COVID, the vaccines and safety protocols. Given the confusion created by the “health infodemic,” health systems will invest in tools like video and live chats to offer two-way dialogues with patient-consumers to help disseminate and address the concerns, fears and skepticism.
Crisis Planning: it’s been an all-year, all-the-time ordeal
We are in constant crisis planning mode because of the shifting nature of the pandemic and it has sapped the energy out of all of us.
Chris’s crisis planning predictions
- We thought in 2020 we would pivot into vaccine communication, but now we’re seeing vaccine communication as a health care crisis planning effort as well because of misinformation and the complexity surrounding the problem.
- We have to become more strategic with our crisis communication planning. We need to build in systems and processes for it so we can be more nimble and information can cascade to those who need it. One idea may be to build a page on our website to house all new information as it happens and direct our patients to that resource page.
Theresa’s crisis planning predictions
- This pandemic has given us opportunities to communicate in new ways. We are seeing health systems do more reaching out to their constituencies and stakeholder groups through webinars and emails.
- This has shown us that crisis communication planning is not just episodic and it’s not just for large health systems and hospitals, it’s for everybody.
Stephen’s crisis planning predictions
- Because health care has been in “crisis” mode for virtually a year, health systems will implement agile strategic planning models that account for crisis communications while addressing the need for long-term planning and vision.
- Health systems will recognize that crisis communications have a significant part to play in addressing the long-term strategic goals for the organization. For example: how we engage patient-consumers in crisis communications now has long-term strategic implications, such as whether or not patient-consumers believe their providers are trusted sources of health information and care delivery.
KEY TAKEAWAYS from our 2021 health care marketing predictions webinar
1. Health care consumerism is going to accelerate as a trend, especially as price transparency evolves.
2. Consumerism is making patient experience paramount.
3. Social media is the “Wild, Wild West” and it is incumbent upon us to create and provide vetted, credible information that helps consumers make good decisions about their health.
4. Providers are the most trusted source of health information for patients right now. This is our opportunity to step up to fill the messaging void.
5. The pandemic has shown us that crisis planning is not just episodic. We must become more strategic with our crisis planning.
Contact Theresa or Chris:
Theresa Jacobellis, President & CEO, PrescRXptive Communications. Host, Healthcare Confidential podcast.
Chris Boyer, Principal & Senior Digital Strategist @chrisboyer LLC. Founder and Show Host, touch point media.
Join Us for Our Next Campfire Session
Hailey Sault is a health care marketing agency that creates human connection for brands. For more patients and appointments. More engagement and advocacy. More memorability and market share.
We host these Campfire Sessions to discuss the issues and opportunities facing health care marketers. These are webinars without boring slides, bullet points, and sales pitches—just great insights shared by and for our marketing colleagues. We hope you’ll join us around the virtual Campfire.