2024 Health IT Marketing Predictions
As the digital transformation wave continues to reshape the healthcare landscape, marketing strategies within this niche are also poised for a transformation. Hear what our experts predict for Health IT marketing in 2024.
And join us for the next few weeks as we look at what we might see in 2024.
Carol Flagg, Director of Sales and Marketing for Answers Media Network and Healthcare NOW Radio
Linkedin: Carol Flagg
Email campaigns and letting go of your click, click, click mindset. 2024 will bring continued challenges to email marketing in the form of open rates and click throughs – but opportunities exist including the trend in interactive email campaigns.
If you’re like me, your email mindset has been to get the subscriber to click through because that is our favorite metric. Except that that particular metric has likely been on the decline. We need to stop the “click through” mindset for lead nurturing, and instead, focus on keeping the subscriber’s attention on a campaign longer than a nano-second with the use of interactive widgets. Your 3rd party email vendor is already likely optimized for web and mobile so think about using carousels, animated videos, animated buttons and calls to action, roll over effects, surveys, quizzes, accordions, event widgets, event countdowns, etc., etc. Explore the various options available to you with a mindset of campaign engagement, not clicking off to go to one of a dozen or more landing pages embedded in your campaign. Create a more appealing, and frictionless experience for your email subscribers and you may just get them more interested in your company.
The past 12-24 months has been tough for Health IT marketing and sales. With many hospitals struggling with tight margins, the budgets aren’t there to make the big purchases. It has forced marketers to really think about where to put their time and money to make the connections and move buyers down the funnel. I’ve realized that it’s time to cut loose a lot of things that “we’ve always done” and focus on strategies that are more likely to really drive results. One of the most glaring cases of this for me, and I expect for a lot of marketers, is X (formerly Twitter). I’ve been on the fence about deactivating it, but after doing a small survey I found that people were overwhelmingly in favor of turning it off because I’ve talked to several people since then and it seems we all agree, it doesn’t drive business and doesn’t really serve the brand-building purpose it once did. I think many will let X go the way of the Dodo in 2024. And there may be other “we’ve always done it that way” things that follow suit in favor of better options.
Digital health investors in 2021 had big dreams, but the economic hesitancy of 2022 and 2023 didn’t yield the growth results they were expecting. Marketing has been tapped with even more aggressive expectations in 2024 to supplement, yet market hesitancy will last at least until after the election. Successful 2024 campaigns will focus on mid- to bottom-funnel, resting on targeted relationship building with influencers, buyers, and blockers. However, companies should get creative on how they leverage PR and events to accomplish this, with people becoming more skeptical of traditional marketing tactics.
Championing the community will be the playbook for VBC moving into 2024. In the new year, independent practices will need to get creative in the transition to VBC, but it’s the industry’s responsibility to support in their effort to do so. In 2024, we’re going to see smaller providers being innovative with their approach. Instead of acquisitions and consolidations, new types of collaborative networks will sprout up; hybrid MSO-ACOs. In the same vein, ecosystem-oriented design and national platform-to-platform data exchange shrink wrapped for independent practices will be essential, especially when it comes to network wide data access for population health initiatives, identifying high-risk patients, supporting interventions, and closing gaps in care. The question is no longer ‘how long until VBC is here,’ it’s here now, but the industry needs to think critically on ‘how does fee for service end,’ which relies on the smallest providers transitioning.
Forever the optimist, I foresee health IT marketing aligned with the great strides our industry has made in 2023 with a focus on equity, transparency, and interoperability. We’ve come a long way in making healthcare more user-friendly for patients and clinicians, but there is still great work to be done. Marketers have an opportunity to artfully craft and develop a storyline that is essential to the evolution of this concept, holding readers and content accountable for the information disseminated. Factors like automation and augmentation will undoubtedly play a role, but the real crux of the story is revealed in video interviews, exhibit halls, podcasts, and the unavoidable Zoom rooms. As every marketer can attest, we all have a story to tell.
Bridget Seay, Executive Director of Customer Experience & Commercial Consulting at Epocrates
Linkedin: Bridget Seay
When it comes to the trends in pharma marketing for 2024, the “top trends lists” regardless of the source, all contain the usual suspects, video, omnichannel, AI, and social, which have all been thoroughly debated. However, there are a few interesting additions that I will certainly be paying attention to this coming year. Most notably, the rise in importance of in-app advertising, particularly within mobile apps that play a role in the point of care support decisions for HCPs. Mobile app advertising on apps like our epocrates app, not only allows advertisers to be present at the point of care, it allows them to capitalize on other top trends by leveraging in app video ads, thought leadership and personalization. All of which results in a greater ROI for our clients, and more thorough clinical support for our HCPs and their patients.
Andrew Johnson, Executive Director of Commercial Strategy at Epocrates
Linkedin: Andrew T, Johnson, MBA
Without a doubt, Artificial Intelligence is up to bat in 2024. Will it be a swing and a miss; or a batter on base? Initially, not a homerun, but there is still significant near-term upside for pharma marketers who are looking for new and innovative tools to reach high value audiences leveraging AI for content ideations, targeting strategies, or decision making. I think one of the most promising areas for AI in the near term is the analysis of data to make predictions about future behavior. With the opportunity to analyze mass amounts of information using AI tools; we now have to balance what we thought to be true about our own data and this new intelligence generated by machines. My bet is on AI over the long-haul.
Post COVID-era; pharma companies across the globe are realizing the long-term commercial growth plans they previously set need to be replotted against broader macro-economic headwinds. This includes smaller pharmaceutical companies fighting to keep operations funded while continuing to move their pipeline of drugs through late-stage clinical trials and mid and large cap pharma companies resetting broader revenue & growth expectations; amidst rising inflation which will continue to impact manufacturing, supply chain, and ultimately drug costs across the global market. The collision of inflation and broad reaching regulatory changes is real, almost cataclysmic, as pharmaceutical and life science companies will need to take their once “recession proof mindset” and pivot how they go to market in future years as the year 2023 becomes an economic baseline moving forward.