A look back at hospital marketing trends: Return on community (ROC)

2016 hospital marketing trends wrap-report

Note: This is part of a series of blog posts related to our 2016 Hospital Marketing Trends White Paper. We will review and discuss one trend a week, and provide feedback about what happened in 2016 and what to expect in 2017. If you’re interested in finding out more, then download our 2017 Hospital Marketing Trends white paper today. 

Due to significant changes in government and our current political climate, the future of healthcare is more uncertain than ever. Although we can’t really predict what’s in store for next year, when you’re informed about the past, planning for the future is easier.

We recently challenged our agency to review our 2016 Hospital Marketing Trends white paper and report about what stayed the same and what changed for the future.

Here’s what we came up with:

What we said:

A common theme in 2015 marketing was creating campaigns that spoke to larger, social issues. Some popular examples are The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, Always’ “Like a Girl” and Coke’s label-less cans campaign to fight prejudice. While these cultural issues are universally applicable, community hospitals can address issues specific to their communities. For example, healthcare brands can address the problems of obesity or childhood vaccinations. In an attempt to educate its community on preventive medicine, reduce the number of expensive ED admissions, and improve population health.

What happened:

Preventative healthcare campaigns gained momentum in 2016. However, not on a localized scale, but on a commercialized scale. Companies such as ZocDoc and Apple leveraged population health issues to promote preventative care to their targeted audiences. ZocDoc created an “Unsick Day” initiative that asks offices to close one day a year so that busybodies can make time to visit the doctor. Apple launched an advertising campaign for their Health App that promotes better eating habits, sleep patterns, and more exercise. Hospitals and health systems are transitioning from volume to value. Marketing preventative care and giving back to the community is more important than ever. Hospitals should jump on this trend quickly before the competition does.

– Sharon Lawless