The digital impact on healthcare marketing


Here’s a smart, quick and timely read on – The Digital Media Revolution and Its Impact on Healthcare Marketing. It’s an interview with Rose Glenn, SVP of marketing and PR at Henry Ford Health System.

She discusses digital media and CRM in the highly competitive healthcare marketplace, and where the rules of marketing are changing. A few of her important points include:

1. The need for her marketing and communications teams to work in a much more integrated and comprehensive fashion to optimize content across all platforms.

2.As consumers are shopping around for their care more than ever before and using sites such as Healthgrades and Yelp to learn about other people’s experiences on physicians and hospitals, it’s important to develop a comprehensive strategy that takes into account the other credible places online that patients turn to for information.

3.To break through the noise and stay on the cutting edge of digital communication, you have to understand consumers better and provide valuable content. We are taking a much more individualized approach when it comes to engaging different stakeholders.

4.Both the healthcare industry and the marketing discipline are changing rapidly. Keeping pace and making sure you align resources with the best way to acquire and retain your customers is a big challenge. You have to be on top of understanding and being responsive to customers’ needs.

5.The call for transparency is another big challenge. People want to know the price of their healthcare and what others think of the physicians who work at a health system. It is important to use the same retail models as TripAdvisor, Yelp, and others for healthcare consumers.

We think Rose nails it in respect to her team needing to work in a much more integrated and comprehensive fashion to optimize content across all platforms. Our Trajectory point-of-view in respect to healthcare marketing is similar. All points are now melding together. Service into experience. Digital into physical. Consumer into producer. What was once siloed is now integrated.

So it’s incumbent on healthcare marketers to create integrated and seamless brand experiences that blend together. To not only build ongoing relationships beyond individual transactions, but to enrich people’s lives. Another way to say this is that it’s not just about creating revenue growth, but mutual growth. In our view, the two can not be separated.

We also appreciate Rose’s reference to TripAdvisor and integrating a “star rating” into their website in the future. We wrote this little thought piece a few months back – TripAdvisor, How Would Your Healthcare Brand Fare – which imagined a time when healthcare systems and hospitals were reviewed right alongside hotels, restaurants, etc. on TripAdvisor.

While this might sound far-fetched, who really knows. But the bigger point is that the relationship between healthcare brands and consumers has fundamentally and irreversibly changed. How healthcare marketers acknowledge and get out in front of this change by melding physical, digital and other experiences dictates the future trajectory of a health system’s brand, customers and business.


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.