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Posted By Geonetric on 06/09/2021

Will Digital Strategy Lead Healthcare’s Rebound in 2021?

Get answers to this and other top digital marketing questions with the 2021 Healthcare Digital Marketing Trends Survey

By: Ben Dillon

As we kick off the 2021 Healthcare Digital Marketing Trends Survey, I’ve been reflecting on the 2020 survey results. Despite tight digital marketing budgets in 2020, one area that got a lot of love (and resources) was strategic planning. This was particularly true for digital leaders where digital strategy was the:

  • #3 area where leaders outperform everyone else
  • #2 area where leaders out-staff everyone else
  • #2 area where leaders are planning to add staff this year

And maybe this should be no surprise. Many healthcare organizations were getting into uncharted territory BEFORE the pandemic turned everything in our industry on its head for a year and a half. But navigating that chaos couldn’t happen by executing on the plans that we had in-hand. New thinking, a lot of analysis, and the ability to adapt as circumstances changed were required throughout the crisis.

To power all of that strategy, healthcare organizations needed data and insights to understand what was going on around them. That’s where the Geonetric’s & eHealthcare Strategy & Trends’ Healthcare Digital Marketing Trends Survey comes in.

Looking at 2021 

This year that insight and data are even more critical as marketing and digital marketing strategists steer their organizations out of the pandemic to find their footing in the new normal. That’s what this year’s 2021 Healthcare Digital Marketing Trends Survey seeks to answer. This research will share

  • What are your peers thinking about in 2021?
  • Where you should focus to stay competitive
  • What it will look like for your organization to “level up” your digital engagement

The data from 2020 sets up many questions we need answers to in 2021 and beyond. Will last year’s trends continue, specifically around decreased budgets, shifting marketing priorities, and halting digital transformation initiatives? Consider:  

  • 40% of healthcare organizations cut marketing budgets in 2020 while 20% cut digital marketing budgets. Are your competitors’ budgets rebounding in 2021?
  • Booking appointments and filling schedules became top priorities for digital marketers throughout the crisis. What’s going to compete for top priority now?
  • A lot of organizations pumped the breaks on major digital marketing and digital transformation initiatives during the pandemic (although a surprising number hit the gas instead). What’s most important to them as they look to create the digital healthcare experience of the future? And how are you doing compared to them?
  • Telehealth made major strides as in-person care options closed, but how are they holding up now that in-person is an option again? And - how is that impacting healthcare organization’s digital strategies?


“I look forward to checking out this report each year. It is a huge time saver and the insights into what’s trending in our industry helps our team to have confidence in our efforts while keeping an eye on what digital innovation might make the biggest impact next.” – Michael VanPutten, Digital Media Supervisor, Bronson Healthcare


Be part of the conversation 

We hope you will share your thoughts on what our collective new normal will look like and answer the questions on all our minds: What about healthcare digital marketing is going back to normal – and what will be forever changed?

As always, a special thank you to our 2021 Advisory Board for helping to vet questions and uncover new areas that need to be analyzed.

If you are in marketing or digital in a healthcare organization or if you’re part of an agency or solution provider supporting healthcare organizations, please take a few minutes to share your perspectives.