4 Trends in Healthcare Marketing for 2024

Healthcare marketing trends are hot topics in today’s digital, ever-changing world. 

With 2024’s first quarter nearly complete, new headlines concerning the healthcare industry continue to pressure the already complex market, bringing racing twists and turns to Marketing, Creative, and Digital professionals nationwide. 

With over 30 years of experience partnering with healthcare brands ranging from small insurance companies to Fortune 500 medical device organizations, we’ve sat down with one of our experts, Client Experience Manager Abby Acker, to step into the driver’s seat and outline four key trends that we’re seeing from behind the wheel.

1. Personalization is Topping the Charts

Personalization is everything to consumers today, and they aren’t afraid to show it. The proof is in the numbers: As studied by McKinsey, 71% of consumers expect companies to personalize interactions and 76% experience frustration when they don’t receive it. 

Thanks, in part, to the rise of new digital mediums, shifts with the COVID-19 pandemic, and unpredictable economic swings, consumers are hungry for healthcare interactions that span beyond the one-size-fits-all approach. By tailoring messages, healthcare marketers open doors to acquire new customers, build loyal relationships with existing patients and improve experiences on all ends of the marketing cycle. 

Personalization has rapidly moved to the forefront of consumer decision-making, and healthcare organizations that focus on it are likely to reap the rewards of returning patients, recommendations, and loyalty during 2024 and beyond.

What This Means for Healthcare Marketing

Increasing demands for personalized marketing efforts mean new strategies, content plans, and communication initiatives that make a meaningful impact on consumers. It means curating experiences beyond the foundation, showing consumers that their support is appreciated, encouraged, and recognized amid the swings of today’s market. 

Whether it be targeting social media messages, e-mail campaigns, blog posts, or other marketing touchpoints, shifting strategies based on consumer actions to foster personalization and credibility is something we expect to see at the top of priority lists for marketing leaders this year. This is especially true as we navigate emerging economic and societal happenings in the wake of years of unknowns. 

Adding fuel to the fire, with only 33% of healthcare marketers reporting successful content marketing plans, curating personalized experiences provides a pocket of opportunity for marketers to reach new audiences and acquire shares of the consumer pool. 

At the bottom line, the past few years have posed numerous new challenges for consumers (to say the least). By creating marketing materials that make customers feel appreciated, part of a community, and acknowledged personally, healthcare marketers can start a chain reaction of loyalty amongst stakeholders.

2. Generative AI is on the Radar

As with many facets of the world, Generative AI is making its way into the healthcare marketing industry at a staggering pace – with uses spanning from targeted SEO to increased patient engagement and strategy development. 

Outlined straight from Jill Collins, CEO, and Chief Strategy Officer at Audacity Health, AI in healthcare marketing can be a positive tool for…

  • Drawing audience insights and understanding stakeholder needs
  • Assisting with curating personalized content that matters to consumers
  • Optimizing performance and highlighting insights from analytics 

Spanning multiple realms of the marketing profession, from social media to data, AI is a helpful tool to sift through audiences, supplement skill gaps, and conserve work time for other marketing projects.

What This Means for Healthcare Marketing

While Generative AI has positive and negative implications for marketers within the healthcare space, the rise of AI means a lot of new skills, new guidelines, new tools, and new ways of doing things. 

As we’ve seen in previous years, platforms like ChatGPT and Google’s Gemini have taken the professional world by storm. While best practices and regulations come to light, 2024 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for the healthcare industry in terms of adding efficiency and speed to audience engagement and outreach. Doubling down on the growth experienced during 2023, we expect 2024 to bring an increased need for AI software to remain competitive in today’s healthcare market and free up time previously devoted to repetitive tasks.

The rise of AI also allows healthcare teams to keep a steady pulse on shifts in consumer decision-making, which is a vital skill for long-term growth. For marketers, this opens doors to develop and update strategies needed to remain top-of-mind for consumers and stick out as first-choice providers in the healthcare industry.

3. Sustainability is a Must

The healthcare industry is far from exempt as demands for safer, greener business practices grow worldwide. Looking into 2024, healthcare institutions remain positioned at a unique crossroads between sustainability, social responsibility, and operations – especially as the advocates and responders for patient quality of life. 

With multiple organizations on the frontlines of ensuring healthcare practices meet environmental expectations, such as the World Health Organization and Health Care Without Harm, studies show that healthcare organizations can do their part by making “simple changes to hospital architecture, more environmentally friendly management, the use of safer chemicals, water, and energy saving measures, and the purchasing of environmentally friendly goods.”

2024 is merely the tip of the iceberg for sustainability in organizations of all industries, with those in healthcare well-poised as critical drivers of the movement.

What This Means for Healthcare Marketing

Simply put, sustainability in healthcare operations means shifting responsibilities, new green skills, and many added roles in the marketing sphere

As those commonly responsible for the first impression organizations make on consumers, marketing and creative professionals play a pivotal role in representing and portraying organizational sustainability initiatives. Whether it be a graphic designer crafting materials for a campaign, a copywriter producing a green-focused blog, or a marketing manager meeting cross-departmentally to uncover the facts, green skills for healthcare marketers are no longer a nice-to-have; They are a must. 

So, this year, we fully expect skills like social listening, strategy development, content curation, relationship management, and audience benchmarking to move to the front of marketing operations. In combination with the emotional connection consumers seek regarding their healthcare decisions, marketing teams will face increasing demands for green-focused content, making this one topic for marketing leaders to keep a close eye on this year and beyond.

4. Leaders are Looking for Specialized Talent

The healthcare industry is, without a doubt, one massive piece of the pie for today’s market – and growth projections only show signs of significant improvement. In fact, in 2021, healthcare expenditure in the United States alone totaled over $4.3 trillion ($12,914 per person), and by 2028, this number will rise to an estimated expenditure of $6.2 trillion. 

To remain competitive and prepare for the long term, healthcare marketing leaders of all scopes reportedly turn to outside expertise, with content development, strategy implementation, and lead conversion specialists driving the pack. Today, nearly half of healthcare marketing teams (48%) outsource at least some of their content development efforts, supporting the current and future shift to specialized talent.

What This Means for Healthcare Marketing

Healthcare marketing leaders turning to outside-the-box hiring points to a few core positives: optimism for the job market, opportunities on the horizon, and career development.

In essence, to support the industry’s projected growth, those with skills in the Marketing, Creative, and Digital fields will be pivotal in supporting, nurturing, and engaging current and potential consumers in the healthcare field. 

As we look ahead to the remainder of 2024, we expect leaders to continue turning to outside, specialized talent to support team and organizational marketing needs. With many teams (36%, to be exact) boasting at least 1-3 content specialists today, the coming years will be pivotal for contract, freelance, and shorter-term opportunities in the marketing realm as leaders look to build the strategies and plans needed to make an impact in the competitive industry.

Celarity Can Assist with your Healthcare Marketing Needs

Since 1993, Celarity has been partnering with highly respected brands within the healthcare industry. Our clients include world-renowned hospitals, Fortune 500 medical device organizations, and small to midsize insurance companies. We’ve also had the privilege to work with top-rated health services and cutting-edge technology companies.

Whether you’re a healthcare marketing leader looking to build your team, a professional searching for opportunities in the field, or simply interested in keeping tabs on the future of the healthcare industry, we are here to help! Reach out to us today to continue the conversation.

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