The future of hospital marketing: focused marketing

Use this tactic to reach out to narrower, more focused audiences

When it comes to the dynamic world of search, it may feel like every day there is an advancement or piece of research that contradicts everything you’ve ever learned. Although this can be frustrating, there are ways to refine your strategy and keep up with impending changes. In 2017, we believe hospitals and health systems should shift their attention from big picture strategies, such as writing a bunch of content for larger audience groups and start developing targeted content for smaller, niche audiences.

Here’s why:

Larger medical centers and services such as The Cleveland Clinic and WebMD are dominating search queries and practically own all broad search terms. One way to combat keyword ownership is to create content that is super specific to niche groups. Niche audiences tend to be passionate about their interests, values, and hobbies. If you create content that speaks specifically to their interests, then you’re likely to engage these consumers before the competition. It may seem counterintuitive to target fewer people, but you’re engaging with quality leads or people who have a need for your services.

Here are examples of some companies that are owning focused or niche marketing right now:

Whole Foods

There are many different types of grocery stores. From locally owned mom and pop joints to national chains, how do brands compete? Whole Foods has made a name for itself by selling organic, sustainable foods to health-conscious consumers. It reaches out to its audience by using social media, specifically Facebook and Instagram, to provide everything from helpful recycling tips to vegetarian recipes. Whole Foods carved out a sizable share of the market by catering to a specific consumer group and continues to succeed. To learn more about what Whole Foods is doing right, check out its website.


Many brands steer clear from this taboo topic, but a recent video by Ikea highlights the subject of divorce in a compelling way. An emotional spot, the advertisement targets audiences that have overcome something difficult in their lives. The overall campaign concept, “Where life happens,” reflects the idea that life isn’t always about special moments, but real moments. Big brands don’t tend to take risks like this, but I bet Ikea is reaping the benefits. Click on the video to learn more:


A recent video by H&M captures the idea of “modern feminism” and attempts to redefine what it means to be a “lady.” The ad is a slideshow of women doing what they want, eating what they want, and dressing how they want. In the wake of the 2016 presidential election and other high profile industries addressing gender norms, this campaign is certainly reaching out to a new generation of women who don’t believe in traditional feminine notions. Check out the ad here:

How it can work for you

Niche marketing can help your hospital engage with smaller audience groups. Your next orthopedic campaign could feature women who participate in marathons. Or your next maternity campaign can focus on moms who are into fitness. Your target audience may decrease in size, but your variables of engagement are going to increase significantly. To learn more about focused marketing and other hospital marketing trends for 2017, download our white paper now.