Posted By Coffey Communications on 06/21/2022

Top takeaways from 2022 spring healthcare marketing conferences

Top takeaways from 2022 spring healthcare marketing conferences

Top takeaways from 2022 spring healthcare marketing conferences

At Coffey, we love sharing ideas with other healthcare communicators. That’s why we regularly attend many healthcare marketing conferences around the country. And with more conference venues returning to in-person events, it’s been exciting to see everyone face-to-face again this spring.

So far, we’ve been to the Mid-Atlantic Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development (MASHSMD) conference in National Harbor, Maryland; the Healthcare Marketing & Physician Strategies Summit (HMPS) in Salt Lake City, Utah; and the NE Society of Healthcare Communications (NESHCo) conference in Portland, Maine.

4 takeaways for healthcare marketers 

Healthcare marketing strategies are always changing. So attending conferences like MASHSMD, HMPS and NESHCo is a great way to keep current on practices that can help marketing pros.

We’d like to share a few takeaways from conferences we’ve attended this spring.

1. A consumer-first digital experience is vital. Several presenters stressed the importance of providing an exceptional web experience. They stressed that consumers don’t go to a healthcare website to browse content. They go there to find something of value—to complete a transaction. For example, a transaction might be logging on to your patient portal, finding a provider, finding directions or applying for a job.

Remember: The goal is to help health consumers complete a transaction in three or fewer clicks. So the question is, how will you make it easier for your visitors to do that? By focusing on meaningful content, you can provide a streamlined experience. Scale back content that people aren’t engaging with. Such content may not be meaningful to your consumers. It may even be hindering them if it takes them down the rabbit hole of clicks. Health consumers are impatient.

Is your website more than two years old? If so, it may be time to design your site to align with transactions and what health consumers’ preferences are today.

2. Placement of CTAs matter. Presenters from Johns Hopkins Medicine offered compelling data about the placement of calls to action (CTAs) on landing pages. They saw a dramatic reduction in conversions when CTAs were placed in the righthand column when compared to within the body copy. Two other health systems shared similar results from their data.

3. Digital is important, but it's not the only valuable channel. As a presenter from PeaceHealth noted, it’s important to understand how the communities you serve consume information. This will help you to deliver the right messages through the right channels. For example, if you serve a retirement or rural community, a significant portion of your target audience might prefer a printed piece, such as a custom publication. But that same channel might not be as effective in a college town like Eugene, Oregon, where social media is more prevalent.

It’s all about having a good marketing mix, and that includes direct mail. There are often situations where direct mail is very successful and even outperforms digital. Knowing when print has the edge and how to use it is important.

4. Tone matters for both internal and external communications. Be empathetic, caring and genuine. Hospitals will continue to face staffing challenges this year. It is important to be mindful of how your communications are being received. For example, featuring your nurses and doctors as hometown heroes can be great for your marketing, but can have a negative impact internally when you stop promoting it. Be genuine and caring with internal communications. Nurses, doctors and other providers need to have a voice. They deserve to be heard and to know that their work matters. Pizza parties alone won’t do.

Give your healthcare marketing a boost

All of the strategies we've covered here can provide value to healthcare organizations. But implementing them effectively and measuring the results takes time and expertise. Coffey can help. We offer a wide range of healthcare marketing solutions that are customized to your needs and goals. These include transactional websites designed with the consumer journey in mind, engaging direct mail campaigns, and digital content strategies that can help you promote your brand and services in search and beyond.

Putting the latest, most effective healthcare marketing strategies in play for your organization starts with a conversation. Call 888.805.9101 or email us and find out what Coffey can do for you.


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