Key Takeaways: Healthcare Marketers Drive Change at SHSMD 2022

The annual Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development (SHSMD) conference pinpoints new opportunities.
Key Takeaways: Healthcare Marketers Drive Change at SHSMD 2022

After a two year in-person hiatus, Primacy is ready to report on the big thinking coming out of SHSMD 2022. Across the board, healthcare brands won’t be going back to “normal,” pre-pandemic practices. Communications, marketing and digital experiences are on a path to smarter, more responsive engagements with patients than ever before.

Welcome to the new normal.

This year’s conference was set against a rapidly changing marketplace featuring non-traditional entrants like Amazon’s One Medical, Walmart Health, and other digital health disrupters. These new options are evolving care delivery for a wide range of patient needs beyond the hospital, while putting pressure on admissions at more established institutions.

Meanwhile, healthcare organizations in attendance offered bold steps for influencing today’s well-informed healthcare consumer:

  • Mobile apps that combine Epic MyChart with custom developed features and content: Advocate Aurora Health’s LiveWell mobile app aimed at building long-term patient relationships.

  • An ongoing podcast series and documentary: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s nurse-powered podcast series and short film starring clinicians in underserved communities

  • Human-centered brands utilizing CRM and marketing automation technology like vertical-specific Cured and HIPAA compliant Paubox: Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s strategy to build a more human brand experience.

  • Digital tools aimed at prospective patients: Banner Health’s digital health assessments that target prospects not ready to make an appointment but willing to enroll in email drip campaigns.

Most anticipated were the Marketing & Digital Engagement, Innovation & Cross-Disciplinary Solutions, and Communications & PR sessions. These emphasized the need to build personal connections with patients through one-of-a-kind branded consumer content, personalized digital experiences, and automated retention solutions.

What this means for hospital marketers.

Major actionable conference themes for attendees included the urgency to:

  • Lead and drive change in response to ever-evolving challenges

  • Create people-centric approaches to keep up with digital savvy consumers

  • Expand digital front door strategies to focus on patient acquisition and engagement

  • Collaborate across marketing and HR to retain workforce

We also saw lots of new opportunities to evolve hospital marketing from a 1:many approach, to a 1:1, secure and personalized approach.

Interestingly, this is a strategy used for years by B2B demand generation marketing practioners that know how to move audiences through the stages of the marketing funnel until they become customers. As the industry evolves, so does the marketing, and today’s hospital marketers are applying demand gen techniques using a combination of branded content, lead generation, and customer engagement to nurture and grow patient volume.

The timing couldn’t be better. As forward-thinking healthcare marketers innovate with non-traditional approaches, patient expectations are evolving too, with an emphasis on more human-centered engagements and better overall outcomes.

Why this matters to Primacy.

This year’s case studies — designed to establish lifelong relationships — are prime examples of what we at Primacy believe are the next generation of hospital marketing strategies. They’re new initiatives that help personalize the patient experience and confront the ambitions of market competitors, while positioning hospitals as more than places for the very sick and emergency care.

Are you taking a fresh look at your healthcare marketing for 2023 with original branded content or personalized digital experiences that build connection and loyalty?

Have any predictions, insights, idea or projects you’d like to discuss? Let us know!

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