CMO Magazine — 5 themes that will drive healthcare marketing strategy in 2019

Informative article from Lindsay Resnick (EVP Wunderman Health) on that healthcare marketing strategy teams might want to scan — 5 Themes That Will Drive Healthcare Marketing in 2019.

Lindsay opens his article reinforcing an important idea that we’ve highlighted in previous posts about healthcare marketing.

What Industry Boundaries?

Healthcare is experiencing many of the same challenges being faced by those in other industries. As customer expectations have been reset by disruptors in retail, hospitality, banking and new technology players in healthcare — hospitals and health systems must adapt and see the world through the same set of eyes (and experiences) as their customers.

We’ve always taken the tact here at Trajectory that the real magic happens for clients when we combine deep industry intelligence with focused imaginative stretch. And given that industry boundary lines have dissolved from the POV of today’s more informed and enabled consumer, the practice of seeking outside category inspiration is important to ensuring brand relevancy. We’ve written about this here: the shift to consumer-centered care.

Mr. Resnick also points to the fact that today’s empowered consumers are creating new (less linear) paths to purchase based on their newfound influence. Which means (as we’ve written here) that a hospital, health system or service line brand needs to regularly be in the line of sight of a customer to be chosen and more regularly in their subconscious, ready to be recalled at the moment of choice. The big impediment to growth (quoting Byron Sharp in his book How Brands Grow) is usually that most buyers hardly ever notice or think of our brand, and that its physical presence is limited.

The Zig-Zagging Customer Journey

According to Resnick, “people prefer brands to want them, adapt to their demands and play by their rules. And they are quick to make comparisons and judgments on how the companies they do business with stack up against each other.”

The upshot is that prospective customers are now dictating the rules of engagement. They dictate when and how they want to engage with brands, and their journey is anything but a linear path. Healthcare marketing strategy must take into account what micro-moments matter to customers so that a particular brand — out of the growing number of options — is considered, helpful and trusted. Regardless of a healthcare organization’s business objective — whether it’s to raise awareness, acquire or retain customers, change attitudes, revitalize a clinical service line or to drive web traffic — they need to be where their prospects are.

5 Key Themes That Will Drive Healthcare Marketing Strategy

You can view the article here, but in case you don’t have time to even scan it now, the five key important themes include:

1. Data Personalization: delivering actionable, individual insights; to create a 360-degree view of the customer

2. Digital Transformation: it’s not digital strategy (important point that can’t be reinforced enough!), it’s strategy for the digital consumer.

3. Customer Experience: whatever your nomenclature, CX will go beyond journey mapping as healthcare companies commit to cross-functional efforts across customer life cycle touchpoints. Important point is the cross-functional requirement to make this happen; and to ensure that marketing promises can be fulfilled.

4. Health Inertia: Motivating and engaging those who might fail to take the steps they need to live healthier lives and face personal health challenges — by helping them navigate a complex financial and clinical ecosystem.

5. Modern Marketing: The three-way convergence of brand, direct and content to deliver relevant custom conversations crafted around a value exchange to cultivate profitable customers.

Overarching takeaway for those setting healthcare marketing strategy: be there and be useful. Put another way — your (brand) growth strategy is their (customer) growth strategy.


Trajectory is a healthcare marketing agency combining deep healthcare industry expertise with a fresh perspective to move customers, brands and business upward.  To talk about changing the trajectory of your healthcare marketing, reach out.


Eric Brody

Eric Brody is President of Trajectory, launched in 1999, the specialist health & wellness branding and marketing agency using every moment to move customers, brands and businesses upward. Prior to Trajectory, Eric served as EVP and Management Board member at Interbrand (the world’s most influential brand consultancy). Before Interbrand, he held senior marketing positions at Beiersdorf Inc. and L’Oreal and advertising account management positions at Marschalk and Benton & Bowles.He has also taught as an adjunct professor at Seton Hall’s Graduate School of Communications and has lectured at Wharton Business School and Emory Goizueta School of Business.