If you thought that we have seen all the evolution there was for the healthcare market, think again! The healthcare market is set to continue its onward journey towards adapting modern tactics that can help retain their position amongst their competitors. A favourable factor is the positive approach of the consumers and patients to the digital health services. However, it is this very factor that is likely to drive the marketing efforts in the upcoming year. This article talks about 7 consumer-driven trends in the healthcare marketing industry that you need to look out for in 2022!
7 Upcoming Healthcare Marketing Trends
1. Personalized Patient And Medical Staff Portals
The excessive dependence on digital mediums and gadgets in the healthcare industry among others during the pandemic soon turned inconvenience into convenience for both patients as well as the medical professionals. This convenience is likely to be improvised further by personalizing the healthcare market by means of introducing personal portals for patients and doctors on the hospital/firm’s website.
Personalized experiences are expected to rise immensely and to do that; you need to remember two things. First, modify your portals on your websites and mobile apps, you need to ensure that the personal health information is well protected and in compliance with the healthcare privacy laws. Second, allow your patients to choose their own medical specifications and provide them with direct access to the medical information and customized content.
2. Assisting Patients At All Levels Of Marketing Funnels
Focusing all marketing efforts on the bottom of the funnel is not going to be enough for fulfilling all demands of the consumers. In order to remain client-focused and cater to all the needs of the patients, healthcare organizations will have to develop a strategy which focuses on all levels of marketing funnels.
This is because the approach of the patients is not always linear and they can approach the concerned organization at any stage. They may begin with a call or get to the social media page or maybe just approach you through the website. Healthcare organizations therefore need to come up with a plan for each level of the funnel and owing to the urgency of matters, the best way to do this is by increasing the scope of the services you offer, through different techniques like advertising, SEO, updated web designs, etc.
3. Increase Of Consumerization
Another predicted trend is related to the drastic increase in consumerization of the healthcare industry. An example of this recently is how consumers resorted to taking a home test for COIVD-19 rather than waiting in long lines for their turn. There has been an increasing trend in the healthcare consumers and patients in seeking out the facilities and medical assistance on their own terms.
Now there are two other trends that are responsible for the rise in the consumerization trend. First is the increased expectancy of a better experience with the increased spending on healthcare. Customers are now looking for hassle-free services and transparent services from the concerned organizations and physicians. Second, new technologies are helping doctors provide patients with innovative solutions. So consumerization is the upcoming big deal!
4. Improved SEO
With an increase in consumerization in 2021, and in 2022, since consumerization is likely to go further up, healthcare marketers have shifted their focus to SEO as well. Again this is the result of excessive digital and technical dependence since the past 1-2 years. And consumers have adapted to this system well. In 2022, healthcare organizations are likely to prepare a more comprehensive SEO strategy to improve their healthcare marketing approach.
The SEO strategy for 2022 needs to be focused on user-friendly website landing pages that cut down customer inconvenience and can add high-value content. Another important thing for 2022 SEO strategy is to focus on conversational practices and entity-focused keyword practices. You have to make the strategy consumer-focused and one that eases the patients’ journey with you.
5. Social Proof Is The Ultimate Deal
Family and friends’ recommendations about doctors and physicians are a thing of the past. An interesting upcoming healthcare marketing trend is social proof instead of the word-of-mouth recommendations. The practice already started but is likely to be at its peak in 2022. Patients are now looking for testimonials and digital reviews before booking their appointments with doctors and physicians or resorting to any medical solutions.
Healthcare marketers are presenting social proof in the form of video storytelling, live-streaming, and physician look-ins. Now, marketers are planning to innovate and expand their e-commerce strategies and the most effective ideal ways are increasing the visibility through social media engagement, community involvement through health campaigns, question-answer interviews to answer patient queries, ratings and reviews on medical channels, among others.
6. Data Restrictions Put A Block In Reaching Patients
While the remaining trends show a positive growth of the healthcare marketing industry, the increase in data restrictions may be a bit of a problem for marketers. Sharing private health information with other health organisations is strictly prohibited according to several data restriction rules and acts in play. And these are only likely to get more rigid and stricter. Avoiding these regulations can be seriously problematic for marketers.
Digital targeting depends largely on the data available through different sources. The browser cookies are being updated according to new rules but in truth, cookies are now getting redundant. Only recently, Apple has brought in several data use and privacy rules with the release of iOS 14. Cyber security risks need to be approached keeping in mind the technology integrations and data collaborations. Healthcare marketers need to develop a privacy onboarding program with detailed audits that reveal the real risks.
7. UX Is Going To Lead To CRO Gains
The website design is not going to play as important a role in 2022 as compared to the user experience offered by the healthcare marketers. In the upcoming year, healthcare organizations need to shift their focus to updating their websites and adding tools that improve the user experience and ease the patient’s digital needs. You need to begin with the homepage because your patients mostly interact with the homepage first.
Catering to the patients’ needs should be the first priority of healthcare marketers. Search Engine Optimization, accessibility to information, engagement tools such as email support and chatbots, easy navigation and clear site structure, to-the-point and value-adding content are the key factors to work upon when it comes to improving user experience. Another thing to keep in mind is to bring down all the processes to the minimum of steps. For example, booking an appointment should not go beyond 3 steps. 2022 is set to be super competitive and a good UX can help you bag several gains when it comes to CRO.
Some Important Statistics
- According to Pew Research, 66% of the internet users look for more information about a medical problem or disease online.
- Yext has claimed that there are as many as 100 billion Google searches related to healthcare each year!
- According to Statista, the total digital ad expenditure of the healthcare sector is likely to cross $11 billion by the end of 2021!
- Lead Generation Institute has concluded that the average cost of a healthcare lead is $162.
- According to RevLocal, 68% of potential patients form an opinion about a medical professional/firm just on the basis of reading 1-6 online reviews.
- Accenture has revealed that only 2.4% of healthcare appointments are scheduled online.
Global digitalization is largely changing the dynamics across all industries, and healthcare is adapting to these at a rapid rate too. Healthcare marketers need to understand that the future is entirely in the hands of their patients and there is an excessive emphasis on consumerization. However, things are not just one directional and centered solely on clients. New firms are constantly revamping the traditional models and 2022 demands a multi-focused approach from marketers.