Top Healthcare Marketing Trends 2018: Content Marketing, Patient-Focused Marketing, Marketing Technology Trends, and More

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Like any industry, healthcare has its share of challenges, and healthcare marketers are always striving to make an impact on consumers and influence public sentiment about not only their respective companies, but the industry as a whole. That’s where healthcare marketing trends come in; marketers need to be aware of the trends and what the competition is up to in order to give their companies and clients the all-important edge they need to come out on top.

To save you some time so you can hit the ground running with this year’s healthcare marketing campaigns, we’ve rounded up 50 articles, blog posts, and presentations focusing on the trends you need to know. Our top healthcare marketing trends come from leading healthcare marketers, successful marketing agencies, and other top thought leaders in the healthcare industry, and they are based on statistics and proven tactics for predicting marketing trends. Please note, we have categorized our trends to simplify your search process; otherwise, they are not ranked or rated in any way.

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Content-Related Healthcare Marketing Trends

1. Sponsored content beats traditional display ads

Sponsored content beats traditional display ads

Becker’s Hospital Review shares healthcare business, clinical, and legal news. Morgan Haefner’s article explores trends hospital marketers should know for 2018, based on the 2018 Healthcare Marketing Trends Playbook by Smith & Jones, including the fact that sponsored content is beating traditional display ads. As Haefner points out, ad-blocking software is behind the surge in sponsored content.

Three key points we like from 8 Healthcare Marketing Trends for 2018:

  • Educational ads appeal to consumers more than promotional ads
  • Sponsored content outperforms display ads in part because of ad-blocking software
  • Consumers use multiple platforms, and marketing campaigns should reach them everywhere

2. Wellness content

Wellness content

HIT Consultant Media, a leading source of healthcare technology news, analysis, and insights, provides resources for healthcare executives, physicians, and providers. They also share healthcare marketing trends for 2018 that providers need to watch, such as the value of focusing on wellness, based on PatientPop’s 2018 Healthcare Marketing Trends for Providers. Patients think about wellness, and providers can become trusted partners by adding value to topics that patients already consider important.

Three key points we like from 5 Healthcare Marketing Trends for Providers to Watch in 2018:

  • Providers can develop a relationship with patients by adding value through bogs, social media posts, and videos focusing on wellness
  • Engage people quickly online with patient education videos
  • Develop a relationship with patients via wellness content to become something they think about every day

3. Content marketing is in demand

Content marketing is in demand

A full-service healthcare digital marketing agency for physicians, dentists, and urgent care centers, GMR Web Team helps clients grow medical businesses and put patients first. Ajay Prasad’s blog post considers six trends for the year, including the fact that content remains king when it comes to healthcare marketing.

Three key points we like from 6 Healthcare Marketing Tends in 2018: How to Leverage Them:

  • Patients are researchers who want more content to answer their questions
  • Marketers can succeed with brand content, sponsored content, and guest posts including blogs, articles, videos, etc.
  • 33% of Americans goes online to determine a medical condition

4. Native content

Native content

Engaged Digital builds and manages marketing systems that generate qualified leads for companies using social media, marketing automation, and well-defined strategies. Their article, 5 Healthcare Marketing Trends to Watch in 2018, points out that healthcare companies in the United States increased marketing spend by an average of $4.6 million, and new marketing opportunities abound. One trend Engaged Digital focuses on is native content; it is flourishing on social media.

Three key points we like from 5 Healthcare Marketing Trends to Watch in 2018:

  • Consumers prefer when ads blend seamlessly into their environment
  • Patients are looking for answers online more today than ever before
  • Reach larger audiences by blending healthcare with social media

5. Video content

Video content

Relevance is a fast-growing digital publication focused on content marketing and content promotion. Martin Sumichrast’s Relevance article highlights seven healthcare marketing trends. He reminds readers that the goal is to approach potential consumers with intelligence and friendliness and points to video content as a trend marketers should not ignore.

Three key points we like from 7 Healthcare Marketing Trends You Should Be Aware Of:

  • Determine whether your content is best served via real-time videos or streaming videos
  • Video is more effective than text full of medical jargon
  • Use videos to introduce care or products and share success stories of current patients

6. Content marketing to increase website traffic

Content marketing to increase website traffic

True North Custom’s creative and analytical marketing strategists help clients make smarter decisions. Marketing manager Kayla Anderson shares marketing trends from the 2017 State of Healthcare Content Marketing Report in this article, which reminds marketers to rely on content marketing to increase website traffic. Anderson points out that those who do so see more growth in unique site traffic because consumers crave content.

Three key points we like from The 2017 State of Healthcare Content Marketing Report is Here:

  • The industry continues to adopt measurable digital content strategies and targeted direct marketing methods
  • 60% of healthcare marketers create at least one piece of content each day
  • Organizations miss opportunities when they leverage content in an ad hoc manner that does not tie into their broader business objectives

7. Smarter content

Smarter conten

Digital Republik is an award-winning global digital marketing company. They publish helpful information for marketers in The Digital Gazette, like this article on healthcare marketing trends. One such trend is to win patients with smarter content.

Three key points we like from Healthcare Marketing – The Latest Trends:

  • Your content should be authoritative and interesting; it also should be worthy of sharing
  • Attract customers with eye-catching, attractive, creative content
  • Consumers use the internet more now than ever before to find medical answers

8. Video over text

Video over text

BlaineTurner Advertising specializes in strategic communications and brand advertising for clients’ online, print, and marketing needs. Their 7 Healthcare Marketing Trends for 2017 article stresses that “live video is louder than words” and encourages marketers to put video ahead of text.

Three key points we like from 7 Healthcare Marketing Trends for 2017 article:

  • Increase video presence using social media and YouTube
  • Healthcare facilities can share stories on social platforms and create live videos for followers in real-time
  • Video enhances timeliness and connectivity and makes an educational impact

9. Wellness initiatives

Wellness initiatives

iHealthSpot provides medical website design, social media for doctors, medial SEO, and reputation management for doctors. In this article, they consider how healthcare marketing strategies will evolve this year and what some key trends will be, including wellness initiatives.

Three key points we like from Healthcare Marketing Trends to Watch for in 2018:

  • People seek information online to improve their mental and physical health
  • Medical practitioners should share engaging wellness content on websites, blogs, and social media platforms
  • Supplement your wellness initiatives with news articles from authoritative publications relating to your specialty

10. Quality over quantity

Quality over quantity

McCauley Marketing is a Georgia-based medical marketing, advertising, and public relations firm that designs successful customer-oriented campaigns. Their healthcare marketing trends article encourages healthcare marketers to start the year strong by building a marketing plan with an eye to the trends for the year, such as putting quality over quantity.

Three key points we like from Tips for Your 2018 Healthcare Marketing Plan:

  • People want valuable, helpful information they can use rather than finding content that sells to them
  • Develop your reputation as an expert with strong content
  • Set yourself apart with high-quality, original content that matches your brand

11. Mixing traditional and digital strategies

Mixing traditional and digital strategies

Modern Healthcare provides an award-winning healthcare business news, research, and opinion. Jan Greene’s Modern Healthcare article acknowledges that patients have to spend more out-of-pocket for healthcare and are shopping around for providers; as a result, providers have to work to convince consumers that they offer the best quality at the most affordable price. The best approach to engage these consumers is to mix traditional and digital strategies in a customer-centric way.

Three key points we like from Healthcare Marketers Reshape Ad Strategies:

  • It is challenging to reach consumers in today’s fragmented, information-overloaded world
  • Balance traditional methods with targeted digital approaches
  • Use targeted marketing to attract people to a specific service

12. Business stories

Business stories

Surf Pacific is known for transforming businesses and driving profitable growth with their market-leading 360 Marketing Solution. As they point out, the way to optimize your effectiveness is to create a healthcare marketing strategy. And, the best way to approach your strategy is to use the trend of building a business story to appeal to the broadest possible audience.

Three key points we like from How to Get Ten Times More Impact from Every Piece of Healthcare Marketing We Produce:

  • Business stories should engage all types of consumers
  • To build your story, create a unique selling proposition that puts you in the hearts and minds of potential and existing customers
  • You will write an effective business story when you think like a publisher instead of a marketer

13. Less invasive digital ads

Less invasive digital ads

A full-service marketing communications agency, Villing & Company specializes in branding, PR, web, and video. Diane Doyne’s article explores healthcare marketing trends success, especially for hospitals. One trend Doyne highlights is creating less invasive digital ads and opting for more personalized ads instead.

Three key points we like from Five Healthcare Marketing Trends for Success in the Fourth Quarter and Beyond:

  • Use MarTech tools to identify user interests and deliver personalized content
  • Make your content relevant with paid search, native advertising, and retargeting
  • Rely on retargeting to remind consumers you are there when they need your services the most

14. Specialty provider strategies

Specialty provider strategies

A trusted leader of patient and physician engagement solutions at the point of care, PatientPoint is on a mission to improve every doctor-patient engagement. Their chief client officer, Linda Ruschau, takes a look at healthcare marketing trends in this article, which reminds readers that marketers are expanding their budgets and increasing their non-traditional advertising spend. One trend that caught our eye is strategies for specialty providers.

Three key points we like from PatientPoint Views: Linda Ruschau on 2017 Healthcare Marketing Trends:

  • You can target niche audiences via specialized providers with point-of-care marketing
  • Provide educational content in key settings
  • Strive to become part of meaningful conversations between patients and physicians

Medicine-Related Healthcare Marketing Trends

15. Payers and providers are blurring the lines

Payers and providers are blurring the lines

Managed Healthcare Executive delivers analysis, insights, and strategies to healthcare executives at health plans and provider organizations so they can pursue value-driven solutions. Lindsay Resnick’s Managed Healthcare Executive article considers the transformation healthcare has been undergoing and the challenges marketers face as a result. One such challenging trend is that the line between payers and providers is blurring.

Three key points we like from Six Healthcare Marketing Trends for 2018:

  • Insurers are becoming providers, and health providers are becoming payers
  • Healthcare marketers need to adapt to hospitals venturing into the insurance business to control patient lifecycles
  • Embrace a mix of brand, direct, and content marketing in addition to customized customer experiences

16. The rise of precision and preventive medicine

The rise of precision and preventive medicine

Cramer invents, crafts, and fuels content-driven experiences to achieve more for global brands. Their article examines the trends and policy changes in medicine that have significant impacts on patient and physician behaviors. For example, as precision and preventive medicine rise, the focus shifts to individual patient’s wellness, early detection, screening, etc.

Three key points we like from Five Trends that are Transforming Healthcare Marketing:

  • Medicine is shifting from a treatment-based approach to a prescriptive, preventive one
  • There is an increasingly holistic approach to healthcare
  • The Precisions Medicine Initiative (PMI) ushers in a new era of medicine that joins researchers, providers, and patients in developing individualized patient care

17. High-value care is on the rise

High-value care is on the rise

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) advances science and health by providing access to biological information. Their Top 10 Healthcare Market Trends in 2017 considers the way in which new policy leaders change the healthcare landscape and how high-value care is on the rise. Marketers will need to consider this trend and its impacts on consumer behavior.

Three key points we like from Top 10 Healthcare Market Trends in 2017:

  • There is a coverage policy shift to alternate sites of care
  • Determining higher-value care sites is a priority
  • There will be organizational changes by purchasers, payers, and providers as consumer behavior shifts

18. Improve employee culture

Improve employee culture

Smith & Jones is the healthcare marketing agency that exclusively focuses on making a difference. They are known for their Healthcare Marketing Trends Playbook, which guides marketers through emerging trends and how to leverage them. One trend they emphasize for 2018 is improving employee culture, especially as some healthcare organizations name marketing leaders to positions as heads of culture.

Three key points we like from 2018 Healthcare Marketing Trends Playbook:

  • Patient satisfaction drives revenue, so executives focus on addressing internal culture problems
  • Issues with hospital employees is a top reason for patients giving them low satisfaction marks
  • Hospitals with the best cultures inspire employees to provide better care

19. Virtual consultations
@skaradvertising Virtual consultations SKAR is a full-service advertising agency specializing in healthcare, financial, and retail and helping brands evolve their marketing. The healthcare marketing trend they highlight is virtual consultations to help physicians build bonds with patients and increase the likelihood of acquiring new patients.

Three key points we like from Healthcare Marketing Trends: Video Consultations:

  • Videos educate consumers and increase the number of consultations physicians can provide
  • Video consultations boost consumers’ exposure to physicians’ expertise and the number of patient referrals
  • Build credibility and promote physicians more affordably than using traditional advertisements and television commercials

20. The out-of-pocket ecosystem

The out-of-pocket ecosystem

Lindsay Resnick is a healthcare advisory firm connecting marketing, healthcare, and insurance. In 6 Healthcare Marketing Trends for 2018, they look at the trends that will have the most impact in the new year, including the out-of-pocket ecosystem. Currently, 33% of Americans report healthcare is their largest financial burden.

Three key points we like from 6 Healthcare Marketing Trends for 2018:

  • High-deductible health plans are the norm
  • Consumers carefully watch their healthcare budgets as high-deductible plans create financial hardships
  • Consumers are comparison shopping, so marketers must deliver reliable, consumer-friendly information that helps them make decisions

21. The value of time

The value of time

Callbox provides appointment setting and sales lead generations solutions to help businesses increase revenue via multi-channel marketing. Rebecca Matias’ Callbox article explores healthcare marketing trends and emphasizes the value of time for both doctors and patients.

Three key points we like from Top Healthcare Marketing Trends to Expect in 2017:

  • Convenience is becoming king, as patients want prompt, convenient appointments
  • Doctors require real-time information about patients
  • More personalized communication increases convenience and gives doctors the information needed to optimize their time with patients

Patient-Related Healthcare Marketing Trends

22. Consider influence marketing

Consider influence marketing

Practice Builders is a leading healthcare marketing firm focusing on helping physicians grow their practices. Director of marketing and product development for Practice Builders, Alex Mangrolia considers how to evolve healthcare marketing strategies in the new year, including focusing on the trend of influencer marketing. For example, statistics show that patients increasingly book appointments based on references from social networks.

Three key points we like from Top 10 Healthcare Marketing Trends for 2018:

  • Take advantage of word-of-mouth posts on social networks
  • Build instant authority for you brand via influencer marketing, even if you are new to the market
  • Influencer marketing engages patients, which increases appointments and referrals

23. Patient journey path mapping

Patient journey path mapping

Franklin Street is a healthcare brand consultancy building patient-centered brands. Megan Walworth’s article examines the benefit of patient journey mapping as marketers need to build campaigns that convert prospects and ensure patients have a positive experience.

Three key points we like from Health Care Marketers: Why It’s Time to Map Your Patient’s Path:

  • Marketers can increase patient acquisition and patient loyalty with patient journey path mapping
  • Marketers must understand the patient’s journey in order to “positively impact the steps, decision-making, and experience of the patient”
  • Mapping is critical to personalizing messages and making them relevant so the audience does not feel like you are marketing to them or trying to sell something to them

24. The growing healthcare-consumerism connection

The growing healthcare-consumerism connection

Spectrio is a full-service marketing provider specializing in customer engagement using on-hold messaging, overhead music, and digital signage. Their article details six trends for healthcare marketing and communications, all of which are rooted in the broader consumerism trend that continues to grow in healthcare.  It is essential for marketers to recognize that patients increasingly are becoming customers.

Three key points we like from 6 Top Healthcare Marketing and Communication Trends in 2017:

  • Patients have similar expectations for healthcare companies as for non-healthcare companies
  • Patients expect outstanding customer service, convenience, and value, and they want healthcare companies to meet those expectations
  • Patients turn to the internet to determine where to take their business, which is why some hospitals make their facilities mirror hospitality centers

25. Personalization


this stage of the game, marketers must prioritize personalization, and healthcare marketers are no exception. Brand experience design firm White Rhino specializes in building trust between consumers and brands in healthcare, and they point to personalization as one of the most significant consumer trends for healthcare marketers to watch.

Three key points we like from 4 Consumer Trends Healthcare Marketers are Watching:

  • Using consumer data is a must for healthcare marketers who want to get personalization right
  • Marketing technology tools should be in a healthcare marketer’s toolbox so they can deliver relevant content to people at the right time
  • Combine educational content with personalization to build trust with consumers

26. Pharmaceutical companies are increasing engagement with patients

Pharmaceutical companies are increasing engagement with patients

MDG Advertising is a full-service advertising and interactive agency that has become one of Florida’s top healthcare marketing companies and branding firms. Their article explores seven trends healthcare marketers need to focus on to help brands make progress with patients. One trend that stands out is the fact that pharmaceutical companies are prioritizing patient engagement to build trust.

Three key points we like from 7 Healthcare Marketing Trends to Follow for Better Outcomes in 2017:

  • Pharmaceutical companies should increase engagement to help justify prices and demonstrate value in addition to regaining patients’ trust
  • Patient engagement hinges on user-friendly mobile apps and valuable services that give patients immediate access to healthcare information
  • Marketers need to engage with patients early and regularly and provide helpful tools and information

27. Retention marketing

Retention marketing

PatientPop is an all-in-one practice growth platform empowering healthcare providers to thrive in the digital age. Their healthcare marketing trends article emphasizes engaging current patients with retention marketing to help providers increase their revenue and improve continuity of care.

Three key points we like from Healthcare Marketing Trends 2018: Retention Marketing:

  • Retention marketing is a strategy for encouraging existing patients to book more appointments and purchase more services and products
  • Blogging is one retention marketing strategy to engage patients meaningfully and prompt them to take action
  • Create targeted email lists of patients most likely to respond to messages and encourage them to book appointments or take advantage of special promotions

28. Build relationships rather than brands

Build relationships rather than brands

Link360, an inbound marketing agency focuses on visibility, reputation, and engagement. Founder Elizabeth Yarbrough examines three healthcare marketing trends specifically for physicians in this article, which also acknowledges that digital marketing makes it essential for them to beat the competition by capitalizing on the internet and the right trends. One such trend is to build relationships rather than brands because trust and credibility are so important to patients.

Three key points we like from 3 Key Healthcare Marketing Trends for Physicians in 2018:

  • Work to build relationships with new and existing patients via content and social media marketing
  • Consider your marketing strategy an extension of the practice to help design experiences for patients
  • Your content and social media marketing should portray your practice’s personality so patients feel like they are experiencing your practice even when they are online

29. Reputation management

Reputation management

Marketing Essentials helps organizations attract, capture, and convert online leads into revenue via inbound marketing. Patty Cisco’s Marketing Essentials article dives into healthcare marketing trends and emphasizes reputation management as being essential to gaining a competitive edge.

Three key points we like from Top 5 Marketing Trends for Healthcare in 2016:

  • Word-of-mouth marketing remains important to healthcare audiences who look to referrals from family, friends, and co-workers but who also rely n online reviews of healthcare providers
  • At least 60% of patients use online patient reviews before choosing a physician
  • Use online review sites and social media to encourage reviews from your satisfied patents and plan to incorporate a reputation management plan for your online brand

30. Rising consumer expectations

Rising consumer expectations

Agency Spotter connects brands with creative agencies, design firms, and marketing service providers. Their healthcare marketing trend article features a podcast with Ellen Donahue-Dalton, head of marketing at Medecision, and includes a full transcript of the interview. The trend that stands out most is the fact that consumer expectations continue to rise for the healthcare industry.

Three key points we like from CMO Talks: Consumer Healthcare Marketing Trends from Medecision’s Ellen Donahue-Dalton:

  • Marketers can’t afford to go slowly with the tried and true tools to meet consumer expectations because they are rising too quickly to keep pace with marketing plans
  • Healthcare companies need to learn from the ways in which big industries approach consumerism
  • Consider how consumers engage with products and services and how they use tools when engaging with and choosing healthcare companies

31. Patients are consumers

Patients are consumers

(e)Merge offers innovative healthcare marketing solutions and specializes in patient-centric marketing initiatives and mystery shopping services to enhance patient experiences that drive referrals. Their chief speaking officer, Jamie Verkamp, explores healthcare marketing trends in this presentation, which centers on the overarching trend of patients as consumers.

Three key points we like from New Year, New You? Top Healthcare Marketing Trends in 2016:

  • Patients want access to information 24/7, so marketers need to be prepared to share information at any time
  • Patients are more discriminating in healthcare service purchases because they have to spend more out of pocket
  • Patients demand better healthcare experiences and will not hesitate to go to your competitor for a better experience

32. Target Millennials

Target Millennials

MNI Targeted Media, Inc. reaches audiences through extensive targeting technology. In her MNI article, Christine Guo explores the healthcare marketing trend of reaching Millennials. As Christine points out, Millennials rely on the internet and healthcare forums for information, so they avoid the expense of healthcare until they face medical emergencies. As a result, marketers need to work to show Millennials the value of healthcare.

Three key points we like from Millennial Marketing Trends: How Healthcare Marketing Reaches Gen Y:

  • Millennials are greatly influenced by mobile and social advertising
  • When it comes to marketing to Millennials, keep in mind that word-of-mouth recommendation from friends and family are more effective than direct messages from brands
  • To optimize Millennial advertising, be authentic, use content marketing strategies that communicate various tips and strategies that align with your brand, and use mobile advertising and social channels

33. Prioritizing patient experience

Prioritizing patient experience

PwC Health provides a distinctive point of view on health system reform, trends, and issues for providers, payers, pharmaceutical companies, life sciences companies, and employers. Their Top Health Industry Issues of 2018 predicts that this will be a year of resilience in spite of the uncertainty surrounding healthcare and reminds healthcare marketers to prioritize the patient experience.

Three key points we like from Top Health Industry Issues of 2018:

  • Consumers are moving to center stage in addition to health reform, additional risks, and uncertainties
  • Move beyond patient experience as patient satisfaction scores, apps and tools, and redesigned web portals and begin to approach it as changing behavior to improve outcomes
  • Truly catering to patients and redesigning care around them requires transforming how care is delivered

34. Radical convenience

Radical convenience

The Forum for Healthcare Strategists is a premier source for professional development for healthcare marketing, strategy, and physician relations executives. Debbie Reczynski’s Forum article summarizes a series created by Franklin Street documenting how providers can best use six trends for their healthcare brands. The one that stands out most to us is the trend for radical convenience.

Three key points we like from 6 Essential Healthcare Marketing Trends You Ought to Know (and Leverage):

  • Consumers increasingly measure brands by radical convenience
  • Patients want everything, and they want it faster than ever before
  • Marketers need to move toward radical convenience by asking how easy they can make it for patients to get the care they need, make an appointment, know their care is coordinated across providers and insurance companies and pharmacies, find resources on your website, and find a community of others experiencing similar health situations

35. Patients as researchers

Patients as researchers

Your Practice Online specializes in building world-class medical websites for physicians, surgeons, and hospitals. Their article, 7 Medical Marketing Trends for 2018, highlights trends to implement for growing your practice in 2018 such as patients becoming researchers.

Three key points we like from 7 Medical Marketing Trends for 2018:

  • Patients look for answers and review online before visiting a doctor
  • 72% of people who use the internet looked online for health information within the past year
  • One in three adult Americans has turned to the internet to identify a medical condition

36. Traditional marketing for patient acquisition

Traditional marketing for patient acquisition

Buxton Co. uses consumer data and predictive modeling to assist organizations in reaching and serving customers more effectively, efficiently, and profitability. This article recognizes that new patient acquisition falls on healthcare providers, who have more marketing tools at their disposal than ever before to appeal to prospective patients. As such, healthcare executives understand that they can use various strategies for patient acquisition, but they continue to use traditional advertising to market to prospects.

Three key points we like from Why Traditional Advertising Isn’t a Dead Healthcare Marketing Trend:

  • Abandoning traditional media in favor of enhanced digital options is not the answer for patient acquisition
  • Traditional advertising can create calls to action that funnel people to specific landing pages, utilize special redemption codes, prompt prospects to share social media hashtags, and more to create a seamless, trackable customer experience
  • While consumers use the internet to find providers, they do not have much trust in ratings websites; marketers need to use a mix of traditional and modern media outlets to reach new patients

Technology-Related Healthcare Marketing Trends

37. Social messaging apps are marketing platforms

Social messaging apps are marketing platform

Healthcare Success is a leading healthcare marketing and medical advertising agency for hospitals, doctors, and practices. Stewart Gandolf’s Healthcare Success article, 10 Healthcare Marketing Trends to Watch in 2017, emphasizes the need for marketers to approach social messaging apps as marketing platforms. Marketers need to continue to make use of Facebook and Twitter, but they also need to use social messaging apps that are becoming more popular, especially with Millennials.

Three key points we like from 10 Healthcare Marketing Trends to Watch in 2017:

  • Make use of apps such as Snapchat and WhatsApp
  • Consumers place a premium on convenience
  • New advertising and marketing possibilities emerge from chat apps

38. Mobile conversion

Mobile conversion

TopWhale Marketing specializes in digital marketing, PR, and design. They stress the importance of mobile conversion for healthcare marketing in their article, which also considers digital platforms versus traditional channels, research versus self-diagnosis, real-time video, and telemedicine.

Three key points we like from Healthcare Marketing Trends in 2017:

  • Nearly half of patients researching hospitals on mobile devices schedule an appointment
  • Your website must be mobile responsive
  • The number of smartphone-only internet users is rising, so your content must be optimized for mobile devices

39. Increased consumer dependence on digital platforms

Increased consumer dependence on digital platforms

A full-service reputation and crisis management consultancy, Martin-Wilbourn provides marketing, public relations, advertising, digital, and social communications support. Their healthcare marketing trends center on digital technology and asserts that increased consumer dependence on digital platforms is one trend marketers need to address.

Three key points we like from Digital Healthcare Marketing Trends:

  • Consumers increasingly depend on digital platforms to search for health-related information and make decisions relating to their own care
  • Traditional healthcare marketing methods may no longer work because of the growing dependence on digital
  • A strong website presence is more important than ever

40. Healthcare geomarketing

Healthcare geomarketing

CARTO is a platform for turning location data into business outcomes. Peter Murray’s CARTO article highlights location intelligence, and healthcare geomarketing in particular, as the healthcare marketing trend to watch in 2018. As Peter points out, geomarketing already has been adopted quickly in consumer-focused transactional industries, such as retail.

Three key points we like from The Healthcare Marketing Trend to Watch in 2018:

  • One challenge with geomarketing in healthcare is the compliance regulations that make it difficult to access data
  • Healthcare gradually has embraced geofences, targeted marketing, and location intelligence
  • Healthcare is expected to overtake retail as the largest sector of the location market by 2020

41. Voice technology

Voice technology

Phase2 is a leader in web development, design, and strategy for some of the world’s most influential organizations. Oliver Tree, patient experience manager, shares digital healthcare marketing trends in this Phase2 article; he focuses on voice technology as one of the trends for the year. The article also includes a podcast featuring the digital marketing team at Northwell Health discussing how they use Amazon’s Alexa to engage patients.

Three key points we like from 2018 Digital Healthcare Marketing Trends That are Here to Stay:

  • The number of voice-enabled devices in the United States is expected to rise from 45 million to 65 million in the next year
  • Healthcare marketers need to plan, budget for, and implement voice-enabled assistants and devices
  • Healthcare companies should use the power of voice assistants to more effectively engage patients and transform the digital patient experience

42. Location-based advertising

Location-based advertising

HealthLeaders Media is a leading source for news, intelligence, and strategy for senior healthcare executives. This HealthLeaders Media article examines how customer relationship management (CRM), nice audiences, and location-based advertising can lead to acquiring more patients.

Three key points we like from 3 Hospital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2017:

  •  Targeting patients by niche group is not enough; you need to target patients by location
  • Use digital tools like geofencing and geoconquesting to facilitate location-based advertising
  • Use data from location-based advertising to determine how well your targeted messages bring patients to your organization

43. Telehealth


Core is an integrated marketing communications agency helping companies say what they need to say and put it into practice to create total brand alignment. Their healthcare marketing article reflects on the Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development conference (SHSMD 2017) and points to telehealth as a trend to pay attention to in the coming year.

Three key points we like from Healthcare Strategists and Marketers Envision “Transformation” at SHSMD 2017:

  • Telehealth is a disruption that healthcare marketers cannot afford to ignore
  • Telehealth gives patients and caregivers a means of communicating and collaborating to address health challenges
  • Telehealth results in delivering more collaborative healthcare service to consumers more quickly and addresses the issues of waiting for consumers to “come to a slow and siloed system”

44. Digital marketing

Digital marketing

EVR Advertising is a full-service marketing communications agency delivering innovation in design, digital, social media, PR, and more. Jeff Eisenberg’s EVR Advertising article examines the most significant healthcare marketing trends, including digital marketing, that should make their way into your strategic plan. Even though healthcare has been slow to adopt digital marketing, marketers cannot afford to do so any longer.

Three key points we like from Our Take on Healthcare Marketing Trends that Matter:

  • 84% of patients research hospitals both online and offline
  • Searches drive nearly three times more visitors to hospital sites than non-search visitors
  • Your website must serve as a robust marketing platform because 88% of interested consumers follow up by visiting websites, and 62% move on if the website does not meet their needs

45. Data stories

Data stories TopRank Marketing is a digital marketing agency serving enterprise B2B brands with a focus on attracting, engaging, and converting customers. Joshua Nite’s TopRank article reminds marketers that they need to vary their routine and use different types of content to appeal to audiences differently. That’s where the data stories trend comes in for healthcare marketers.

Three key points we like from Don’t Skip Leg Day: 7 Content Marketing Must-Haves for Healthcare Marketers:

  • Bring context, narrative, and emotion to your data rather than focusing on the statistics and numbers
  • Help the people in your organization get more meaning from the data by telling data stories
  • Tying emotion to data makes it more likely to inspire change

46. Stay active with social media

Stay active with social media Practis is a digital agency for the health industry that provides solutions for local marketing, patient acquisition, reputation management, and HIPAA compliant forms. In this article, Practice examines five can’t-miss healthcare marketing trends for the year, including the need to stay active with social media.

Three key points we like from 5 Healthcare Marketing Trends for 2018:

  • Engage your audience by remaining active on social media
  • Determine the peak times of engagement and optimize them
  • Only create as many social media profiles as you can keep up with on a regular basis: “a ‘dummy’ account that’s never updated is just as bad as one with terrible posts

47. Reliable video content

Reliable video content The New England Society for Healthcare Communications (NESHCo) joins healthcare marketing and PR pros. This article is the fourth in their series of healthcare marketing trends for 2018; it highlights reliable video content because 24% of consumers using social media for healthcare information now seek out videos and images posted by patients.

Three key points we like from An Inside Look at Our Fourth Healthcare Marketing Trend for 2018:

  • More than 40% of consumers claim that information they find on social media networks affects how they deal with their health
  • Healthcare marketers have a responsibility to combat health misinformation with content from qualified clinicians
  • Video is valuable because it is easily accessible, is available on all social media platforms, and increase your organization’s brand awareness while widening your audience reach

48. Prioritizing the multichannel customer journey
@Adobe Prioritizing the multichannel customer journey Adobe is a leader in digital experiences, and Econsultancy is an authority in research, analysis, and advice on digital marketing, social media, eCommerce, SEO, mobile, and technology for businesses. Together, these companies offer 2017 Digital Trends in Healthcare and Pharma, a digital intelligence briefing that takes a look at the transformation healthcare companies need to undergo because of increased consumer interest and participation, including prioritizing the multichannel customer journey.

Three key points we like from 2017 Digital Trends in Healthcare and Pharma:

  • Marketers need to focus on customer journey optimization efforts across multiple touchpoints
  • Larger healthcare organizations are the most likely to prioritize multichannel campaigns and journeys and to combine online and offline data
  • Use content to meet the needs of consumers who play an active role in their healthcare choices; 29% of organizations will prioritize content marketing, and 63% of healthcare and pharma companies plan to increase investment in social media marketing

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