Holmes Report 19 Feb 2014 // 2:44PM GMT
By Tali MacKay and Alexander JutkowitzAn old adage decrees: “Just because you’re not sick doesn’t mean you’re healthy.” This is also an instructive message for anyone vested in the healthcare communications sector. A recent PwC report identified some of the biggest issues facing healthcare for 2014. Among them: social, mobile, and cloud computing; embracing new technologies; and rethinking key roles in the 21st century. Healthcare might not be ‘sick,’ but it could be healthier. [caption id="attachment_1669" align="alignright" width="150"] Tali Mackay[/caption] From creating compelling stories, to embarking upon fresh and engaging campaigns, to leveraging new information as it becomes available, and acting as a tech leader, healthcare—now more than ever—needs to be exceptionally interesting, relevant, and digital. That means dedicating concrete efforts to tracking and investing in new communications opportunities as they unfold. Here are four of the biggest and most exciting trends that healthcare marketers ought to have stakes in: 1. Create great content. Marketers in the healthcare realm are wise to find and hone a unique, compelling voice that stands out from the monotone echo chamber of run-of-the-mill health-related content. Be useful and interesting. Take a stance. Be a compelling authority. Just because the healthcare realm isn’t traditionally associated with riveting written content doesn’t mean that it oughtn’t be. There are great stories to be told, full of cutting edge technology, scientific breakthroughs, miraculous recovery, and most importantly, pathos. Whether it’s 140-character insights, interactive long-form pieces, or viral-worthy Tumblrs, crafting and publicizing great content isn’t just a wise idea. Leveraging healthcare stories is a must—especially as more patients gain access to information that was once exclusive to the health industry. Treatments, products, cost, and provider quality are just a few of the things now widely available to the public. The real strength lies in the stories we can tell from our unique vantage point. Alexander Jutkowitz[/caption] 3. Understand your data—and use it to your benefit. Big Data is everywhere and the healthcare industry, in particular, has experienced a windfall of information. While it can be easy to get bogged down in the numbers, truly understanding this data can be key to unearthing deeper insights, identifying patient and provider patterns, and learning more about the healthcare industry than ever before. With a working knowledge of data, the healthcare community can enhance productivity, cut down on costs, save lives, and encourage efficient resource use. It can also help boost the industry’s public image. Employing skilled data scientists and analysts can equip providers with entirely new ways to interact with consumers and patients, while making the overall healthcare experience more convenient, mobile, and relevant. According to PwC, only 27% of physicians are encouraging patients to use mobile health apps. Apps are a great way to connect with consumers, share vital industry information, and put the surfeit of Big Data to good use. Healthcare Trends Infographic by clicking on the hyperlink.