We’re officially more than half-way through 2012. It’s a good time to pause and look at what we’ve experienced in healthcare marketing in the first half of the year and what we may expect as we round the bases to December.
WHAT WE EXPERIENCED THIS YEAR (SO FAR)
- Now that the Supreme Court has upheld the most controversial elements of the law, systems are continuing their sprint to develop wellness-based models of healthcare delivery. On tap is the development of Accountable Care Organizations, which many of our clients are developing.
- More and more hospitals are merging or integrating with other providers, emphasizing branding – to communicate wholly new brands to the marketplace – or to communicate existing integrated networks of care.
- Search marketing and online advertising continues to surge as more health systems are shifting their ad dollars to capture the online audience and offering new digital tools to engage health audiences.
WHAT THE REST OF 2012 MAY LOOK LIKE
- The Election Season is upon us, which will make our healthcare messages much harder to break through the political advertising clutter, especially in swing states. Our advice: increase your traditional media spend in September through mid-October, and return after the election for two solid weeks before Thanksgiving.
- The healthcare reform debate will continue on and trusted advisors (your health system) should lead the conversation about what the new law means to your patients. Use your website and community magazine to have deeper, more involved conversations with prospective patients. And, don’t forget your physician audiences. They are as likely confused about the law and its impact as your prospective patients. Healthcare communicators can be seen as knowledgeable resources in this confusing landscape.
- More and more health systems are awakening to the opportunities in engaging men in their healthcare communications. We’ve seen a tremendous increase in interest and engagement on this topic as we’ve presented our case studies at conferences this year. Given how the economy has forced so many men to take on more of the household duties, it’s no surprise men are becoming an important demographic for the healthcare conversation.
For more reading, see what we predicted 2012′s trends would be.
How has your 2012 shaped up so far? We’d love to hear from you.