The healthcare marketing landscape in 2023

The new normal is no longer new.

All industries are trying to keep up with “the new normal” since the pandemic but no other industry has been impacted like the healthcare industry. For the healthcare industry, the new normal is no longer new; what IS new and normal is uncertainty on how to connect with patients.

Healthcare professionals are facing both burnout and having to keep up with consumer expectations. Smith and Jones just released a report on marketing trends in the healthcare space for 2023 and you can get your free copy here. I recommend you read it and in this post, I will show you how to use the data-driven insights from the report to better market your healthcare company in 2023.

Consumer behavior in the healthcare space

When a potential consumer is engaging with a healthcare brand, they crave personalized content. It’s a marketers job to provide thought leadership content to a target audience in the right place at the right time.

Personalized content involves having your contacts segmented in your marketing automation platform. This way you can drip thought leadership content to the right demographics and your audience will be way more likely to engage with your business.

As if your medical practice didn’t have enough competition, retailers like Walmart are offering healthcare services creating a new need for the most convenient healthcare possible.

Keep in mind that your patients are most likely coming from different age demographics. While Gen Z and millennials love the ease of making online appointments, baby boomers prefer to make appointments in-person or over the phone. This means your customer service needs to be stellar.

Loyalty and profitability

Your patients are your customers and you need to give them a reason to keep coming back. Retaining a current patient is more cost-effective than using budget to get new patients. Of course we recommend that you do both, but healthcare practices often overlook the value of loyalty.

Interestingly, patients report ease of experience matters more than a provider’s college degree when choosing a healthcare practice. They value bedside manner, appointment reminders, televisits, patient portals, and even valet parking.

Make your healthcare services as accessible as possible to keep them coming back. Telehealth visits became very popular during the pandemic. Now that the pandemic isn’t as scary as it was almost 3 years ago, telehealth visits are down but not by a ton. There are many patients who still value this option when interacting with their caregiver.

2023 Healthcare marketing trends to note

Going into 2023, there are some new tools to add to your marketing toolbox to ensure that your practice remains profitable and appeals to your current and future patients. Gain the competitive edge with the following trends:

  • Growth marketing: Use actual data to shape your marketing campaigns. We have access to so much technology that the days are gone when marketers needed to guess whether or not their strategies were working. Growth marketing allows you to experiment with different strategies to continuously improve your efforts.
  • A/B testing: You’re probably used to A/B testing your email marketing efforts. And that’s great. But there are other areas that you can experiment in more so that you can test the waters before fully implementing your new creative idea. Try A/B testing your Google ads, your social media sponsorships and the video content you promote.
  • Implement texting: 98% of texts are opened so it’s a great strategy for keeping your current contacts engaged. Start with appointment reminders or refill updates. Then, experiment with implementing some marketing messaging into the content that you text.
  • Leverage testimonials: Gather quotes from your happiest patients and use them as marketing materials. Use testimonials on your website, on social media and in your email marketing. When choosing a healthcare service, patients want “social proof” that their peers value your practice.
  • Brand partners: Connect with local TV personalities and even influencers to expand brand awareness and earn media to leverage in your marketing efforts.
  • Earn awards: When potential patients are comparing healthcare practices, one thing that sticks out to them is the awards a practice has earned. There are plenty of healthcare trade publications that you can submit your business to and demonstrate your accomplishments to earn an award that you can boast about on your website.
  • Social listening: Monitor what is being said about your business on social media. It will identify brand sentiment and even surface happy patients you didn’t realize you had. Glean UGC from your social listening efforts that you can promote.
  • Geo personalization: Personalization when it comes to the location of your practice is critical when appealing to new patients. They will be searching for providers near them, if a practice is taking new patients, which services are offered at a location near them, and information about if your practice takes their health insurance.
  • Embrace digital transformation: Using the right technology such as marketing automation platforms, patient portal, EHR solutions, etc. all have the potential to streamline workflows at your healthcare business to make you more efficient. Efficiency means better patient care which means returning patients to keep your practice thriving.

Revisit your leadership philosophy and staffing challenges

Unfortunately, there is a lot of turnover in the healthcare industry and it’s impacting patient care. Staff members who have stayed at their current jobs are experiencing a double workload.

It’s blatantly apparent that healthcare professionals need to realign roles and responsibilities.

Patients are reporting unhappy experiences with their level of healthcare more than ever before. One of the reasons is that healthcare practices are understaffed. It’s very important that your practice works hard to retain the fantastic employees you already have.

When it comes to recruiting new employees, data shows that reaching potential employees works best when implemented at multiple touch points. This can be a combination of social media ads, billboards, geofencing, reaching out to employees at competing brands, and even radio.

Communication, recognition and personal connections are all crucial for keeping up morale.

Keep the communication lines open with weekly staff meetings. Give your employees a reason to stay with perks and flexible schedules.

Final thoughts: How to embrace the new normal

The new normal still feels a little new. The healthcare industry faces more challenges than ever and caregivers need to stay competitive.

Meeting current and potential patients where they are at is crucial. Implement a multi-channel marketing strategy that touches patients in different phases of their buyer’s journey.

To get even more healthcare trend data going in to 2023, download this free trends report!

Kristen Matthews is the senior marketing director at Overit and has been a digital marketing thought leader for over a decade. She loves to collaborate, so you can email her at kristen.matthews@overit.com to connect.