3 Trends Shaping Healthcare Marketing in 2018

To remain competitive in an ever-evolving industry—healthcare and life sciences organizations will be pivoting their focus in 2018. Especially for Marketing, Sales, IT, and Operations.

Seismic recently surveyed 200 healthcare and life sciences leaders in these departments to better understand what top companies’ market approaches will be for the coming year, including the role of technology in these efforts.

To benchmark your organization for 2018, here are the top trends that will be shaping healthcare marketing in the coming year:

Consumer Engagement is a Top Priority

Creating humanized experiences in a digital world is extremely important in the healthcare and life sciences industry. Value-based care is underway, and with an intense focus on improving patient outcomes, organizations need to create a marketing mix that not only gains traction, but also promotes a deeper level of engagement with their consumers.

In 2017, organizations were heavily focused on digital marketing as they realized the benefit of understanding, and complementing, their buyers’ journey. Email campaigns, content, social media, and dedicated websites were among the top performers for digital marketing efforts. For 2018, however, healthcare and life sciences organizations will be altering their strategy.

Fifty percent of survey respondents stated that events and mobile applications will take a stronger stance in the coming year. By providing touchpoints both digitally and in-person, organizations will be able to meet their consumers where they are, create personalized experiences, and deepen the level of engagement.

The Role of Technology is Changing

With engagement as a top priority in 2018, organizations will need the right tools, resources, and processes in place to effectively do so. The survey found that technology investments in the healthcare and life sciences industries will be increasing across the board, but especially among organizations predicting major growth.

Seventy-one percent plan to increase IT spend in organizations forecasting revenue growth of greater than 10%. This is because healthcare organizations find the investment and utilization of technology will create better internal collaboration, more productive sales cycles, and increased revenue.

Although investments in technology will be a popular trend, high revenue organizations have higher adoption rates in sales enablement, content management, and marketing automation. Yet, they sited implementation and onboarding time and communicating business need as barriers to adoption.

Marketing and Sales will be Better Aligned

Forty-nine percent of survey respondents stated that stronger alignment between marketing and sales will be a primary goal in the coming year. This is largely because marketing wants to be able to prove their efforts to revenue and create more efficient sales cycles.

However, marketers still struggle when calculating content ROI. In fact, 61% stated that better analytic tools will be a top priority in 2018. After all, without these tools, none of their other goals can be achieved. These data systems permeate throughout every business activity, and data and performance measurements are often viewed as the backbone to any organization.

While many KPI trends were revealed, the sales revenue KPI is becoming increasingly popular when it comes to marketing activities and, for measuring the ROI on their efforts. However, only 7% of marketers in organizations with more than 1,000 employees are utilizing this KPI. To prove value to leaders and the rest of the organization, the sales revenue KPI is an absolute necessity for marketers in 2018.

Learn more about the other trends found in the 2018 healthcare industry trends report here.