Health and beauty

Healthcare marketing and digital health: 5 trends to follow in 2022 – YM!

The revolution triggered by the pandemic has pushed the accelerator towards digital transformation in companies in the health sector. A turning point announced, in the era of Covid-19, a real strategic obligation. POLK & UNION – which launched an entire Division completely aimed at the Healthcare & Pharma world – has collected five major healthcare marketing trends to keep an eye on in 2022.

I profound changes brought about by pandemic they have changed people’s lifestyle and consumer habits, also influencing their interaction with health professionals and companies. More than before, at the center of it all are patients and healthcare professionals and it all revolves around keywords like innovation, communication, omnichannel, customer experience.

To meet these needs, health marketing in 2022 will have to include a new integrated approach, increasingly human-centered and supported by innovative and interactive technologies and platforms.

“Digital has now initiated the transformation of the Healthcare and Pharma world and therefore also healthcare marketing and communication strategies. In this context, digitally evolved pharma and, more generally, digital health represent a market full of opportunities in which every change is driven by new technologies “, he explains Alessia Sersanti, Co-Founder & Managing Partner Polk&Union.

The two keywords of the moment I am, without a doubt, integration and multi-channeling. It is now essential to structure strategy in digital marketing in an increasingly omnichannel logicbringing all the activities back to a single and coordinated action plan whose information and communication can be used through several channels simultaneously

The 5 trends to keep an eye on in 2022

1. Omnichannel

For consumers, the division between physical space and online space is increasingly blurred, if not invisible. Even in healthcare marketing, a successful strategy cannot be separated from a multi-channel approach that oversees as many touchpoints as possible.

The goal is to better prepare to meet the needs of potential new users whenever they are looking for useful information and resources, thanks to a increasingly advanced technology that facilitates and supports their exploration: from news in the medical-scientific field to in-depth studies on drugs and pathologies, from the resolution of health problems to tools and indications for improving the therapeutic path and the quality of life of patients.

In this scenario, even in healthcare marketing the customer journey is becoming more and more jagged and an omnichannel strategy also allows for greater amplification of the message just today patients and professionalseager only to find what they need, have become even more demanding than in the past, as well as in turn more involved and empowered. The point is to know who your potential customers are, what they are looking for, where they are willing to receive it and when (above all) and be able to be found through increasingly permeable and integrated channels.

2. Consumerization and storytelling

The two years of emergency they also accelerated the trend towards consumerization also in the field of health care. Patients now have opportunities unheard of until before 2020 to directly access services and information and approach the world of health with a consumer mentality, comparing services and results, choosing who offers them the best experience.

For those involved in healthcare marketing, it is time to be ready, with reliable and certified content and resources designed to measure: Patients and healthcare professionals also expect increasingly personalized services and tools. At the same time, knowing that they have the power of choice on their side, before relying on them, they want to know and be constantly updated to make a better decision.

In addition to the value of social proof, we must therefore not forget the importance of lead conversations with the right storytellingwhich highlights positive experiences (stories from patients, testimonials from operators and companies) to underline the value of one’s daily commitment to improve people’s quality of life.

3. Artificial Intelligence

With the pandemic, the demand for solutions related to artificial intelligence in the medical-pharmaceutical field and what at first might have seemed like a “more”, imposed by contingency, is now starting with ever greater determination to become a standard.

Like SEO, AI is becoming more and more conversational. The evolution of artificial intelligence is one of the most relevant healthcare marketing trends in 2022, starting from virtual assistants and chatbots which can play a concrete role of support in many processes, from making appointments online to the analysis and proposal of customized solutions for products or services, up to 24-hour assistance (for example, answering the most frequently asked questions) ‘freeing’ physical operators that they can thus concentrate on those activities in which the human element is essential and irreplaceable.

The also grow apps based on artificial intelligence for the healthcare and pharma worldsuch as those designed for example to detect symptoms and diagnose certain pathologies early, together with applications to support treatments for patients and professionals.

Medical devices, software, telemedicine, monitoring, research and diagnostic apps: theIoT (Internet of Things) in campo sanitario it is one of the most active development areas. Innovations useful for both patients and healthcare professionals to collect data and information for better care by increasing the range of action and also taking it outside hospitals and doctors’ offices.

In this evolution also the telemedicine, understood as the use of information and digital communication technologies to enable remote access and healthcare, it is increasingly requested by patients, with greater organization and personalization. The time has come to consolidate it, making it even more specific and performing, but at the same time it is important to direct and “educate” patients on its use, to exploit its full potential and make it a concrete option in their care path.

4. Seo Evolution & Voice Search

With a view to an ever-increasing consumerization of healthcare, which now sees people playing a more active role in researching, choosing and controlling their medical care, users are also changing SEO. The pandemic has also revolutionized this aspect, with the growing need to turn to Google and search engines to find information, while the algorithms have adapted to their needs becoming more and more user-friendly.

The searches will be increasingly colloquial (and therefore spontaneous) and less based on simple queries. A phenomenon also amplified by the increasing spread of voice assistants. According to Edison Research, in 2021 there were about 94 million people in the United States who are estimated to have at least one smart speaker, compared to 76 million the previous year. Users who use voice search with Siri, Cortana or Alexa generally do so by asking a question, as they would do with a real assistant.

People interact more and more naturally with technology and for those who work in health care marketing this trend is an opportunity not to be missed to be able to better reach their customers and help people find and receive care when and how they seek them. There voice search it also assumes a particularly important role for companies operating locally. Adapting to this increasingly ‘spoken’ future means moving forward already now with the optimization of sites for voice search.

5. Videos, Podcasts and Interactive Content

The approach video-first is one of the trends in healthcare marketing will continue to be predominant in 2022, with a trend towards short-form content, capable of better capturing the now frenetic attention of users, accustomed to platforms such as TikTok and Instagram. According to a recent survey by Hubspot of over 1000 global marketing professionals, 31% of them have already invested in short videos last year and 89% are preparing to spend the same amount or increase their budget in this regard also in 2022.

Pushing on less and less textual content, however, does not mean having less “content”. The other side of the coin, in fact, is the growth of podcasts in the medical field offering hours and hours of information and training to a part of the public who wants to know more and more about health, prevention and healthcare. The development of interactive content such as quizzes, surveys, guides, online tests that inform, entertain and convert, to increase the involvement of your audience of patients or professionals.

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