Posted: May 15, 2017

Last week I attended the Healthcare Marketing and Physician Strategies Summit in Austin, Texas for the first time with a group of colleagues from Influence Health. The conference is known for great sessions on important topics in healthcare marketing, from strategy to data and communication and engagement. This year a record 800 healthcare marketers, strategists, and physician relation executives attended.

I’m the new Event Program Manager at Influence Health, so it was important for me to understand what you, our audience, find engaging and useful. In particular, I attended the summit in hopes of identifying important healthcare marketing and physician relationship challenges and learning how to tackle them head-on. And because Influence Health has been preaching the consumer engagement gospel for a while now, I was glad our team also got the opportunity to share our best practices, services, and “remedies” for hospitals and health systems that may be struggling with the new generation of consumers and the ever-changing healthcare marketing environment.

One common theme I saw in sessions was the importance of building a strong brand by building relationships with patients using technology and your organization’s digital presence. Branding is imperative. How many times do we remember an ad but not the organization?

Another huge topic was how digital experiences affect all experiences, such as:

  • Data analytics can improve your site for the consumer. 
  • Design a site that is for the patients – not the providers.
  • Speed is huge for user experience. 49% of consumers will leave a website if not loaded after 10 seconds.
  • People spend an average of 5 hours a day on a mobile device, and there was a lot of discussion about the importance of a mobile friendly experience.
  • Search, especially on mobile in those “near me” moments is essential. Are you where your healthcare consumers can find you? If not, your competition is.
  • Your organization’s online reputation matters. 61% of patients look at online reviews before selecting a doctor, so your online digital presence needs to be optimized.
  • Consumers want compelling, relevant content and personalization online messaging. In fact, we think the next “big thing” in healthcare marketing is the personalization of content.

As my first healthcare marketing conference, the best part was seeing how many companies we have partnered with that have found success and long-awaited marketing wins. It’s exciting to see the healthcare industry catching up to the rest of the retail and marketing world. Healthcare marketing is no longer just called to bring in patients, it also has to influence what consumers do and say about an organization before and after services are rendered. I would say that the overall takeaway from HMPS17 was that healthcare organizations have goals for better digital experiences, including wanting consumers to find accurate information, first and foremost, then wanting them to engage and learn as well as access healthcare services online. Luckily, it seems like we’re set up to help tackle those goals and healthcare-specific challenges already.

Want to learn more about digital experience strategy and discover how your organization can improve consumer engagement? Request a free healthcare marketing assessment.