TRENDS: Embracing Digital Change

UPDATE – 2018 Trends playbook available for download

The 2018 Healthcare Marketing Trends Playbook is available! It goes a step further than previous years, including ways to leverage each trend for quick wins and impactful, lasting influence on your organization. It also includes examples from leading marketers who are leveraging trends for maximum impact.

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Investing in digital media technologies

A major trend for 2014 is the ongoing transformation of healthcare marketing brought on by digital media technologies. Marketers have been forced to develop new competencies in social media, search, mobile technologies and targeted online advertising. This year we’ll see these media more fully integrated and implemented with greater sophistication and success than ever before. And we’ll see and report measurable returns on our digital investments.


  • Social media: While popular social media platforms such as Facebook, and Twitter will still be essential, marketers will need to establish a presence on Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram and others to continue to build audiences.
  • SEO/SEM: Search and paid search have become an integral part of our inbound marketing strategies, bolstering web traffic and driving patients to online content to satisfy their appetite for information.
  • Mobile: It’s estimated that 75% of the world’s population has a mobile phone; most with access to the Internet. Healthcare marketers must adapt content to the mobile market with messaging, site layout and content appropriate to the consumer’s stage in the decision process.
  • Targeted online ads: Online display and ad retargeting will increase visibility on the web, and help maximize marketing budgets to reach younger, connected audiences.

Designing for Mobile Consumers

Embracing responsive design and mobile apps
The use of mobile devices and apps continues to grow, with a large percentage of users searching for health information and tracking their health with mobile apps. Healthcare marketers who respond to this trend in 2014 will be positioned to engage proactive patients with mobile-friendly websites and health-tracking applications.

Patients are using mobile devices to find health information where and when they need it most.  A research study titled, “The Digital Journey to Wellness: Hospital Selection,” reported that 61% of patients used their mobile device while at home; 27% at work; 20% while out of town and 16% while in the doctor’s office. And of those who found information about a hospital on their mobile device, 44% scheduled an appointment. ( Not only do healthcare websites need to be viewed on multiple kinds of devices, the content should be relevant to the patient’s stage in the decision process.

The use of mobile health apps will continue to grow in 2014. According to Pew Internet, seven in ten adults in the US have tracked a health indicator using a mobile device. Some of these people are tracking health indicators for others, or will share the findings with another person. This is another opportunity for hospitals and physician practices to connect with patients using branded content and services delivered over mobile devices.

To read more, download the white paper, “Healthcare Marketing’s Top Trends for 2014” here.