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ACA Magnifies the Importance of Advertising Agencies in Healthcare

smiling advertising agency teamWith reforms like the Affordable Care Act (ACA) changing the way that Americans think and make decisions about healthcare, businesses in the industry (from hospitals to pharmaceutical companies and insurance providers) are being forced to reevaluate the business models and marketing strategies that had served them well in the past.

These companies are finding that they must change how they approach their customers and potential customers.

Consumers are seeking to become more involved and informed in their healthcare choices and have been searching much more frequently for providers who can prove that they are both knowledgeable and interested in serving the individual. This desire to take ownership of their health could be hardwired among proactive consumer segments, and born of necessity among more reactive segments as c2b solutions research has demonstrated.

In order to remain relevant and profitable, the healthcare industry must learn how to speak to the empowered consumer.

That’s where the advertising and marketing agency steps in.

In recent months, agencies have found themselves at the table with insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and other care providers alike because their creative services are essential to the conception of successful messaging and rebranding campaigns for the healthcare industry.

A key dynamic in the journey from client to marketplace

Because the consumer is interested in knowing more, agencies are in a unique position to leverage their services to help businesses change their messaging to ensure that it’s coherent and engaging to freshly empowered healthcare consumers.

Healthcare providers, insurance plans and pharmaceutical companies are looking for partners who are able to develop messaging that delivers the kind of informational content and brand image that consumers are looking for in a provider. These advertising agency deliverables include:

  • Enhancing company websites that consumers consider as credible and consistent sources of healthcare information and guidance.
  • Creating whitepapers, brochures and email campaigns based on data from company products, services, science and healthcare market research.
  • Developing health care strategies and creative content fit for the changing healthcare landscape.
  • Integrating a health company product or service into a magazine article.
  • Emphasizing the differentiation from competing healthcare products and services.
  • Identifying and networking with thought leaders in the healthcare landscape.
  • Building strong media relations with key industry blogs like Kaiser Health News and FiercePharma.

The broad scope of creative content allows companies to optimize their messaging in a way that increases their ability to attract and engage with new customers.

Key Content Goals for Agencies and their Healthcare Clients

With the right marketing plan, an agency can help clients in the healthcare industry build digital communities of advocates and loyal customers:

  • Building a profile of the target audience (the ideal consumer or consumers)
  • Creating content that appeals to the ideal consumer (both written and design)
  • Developing results-based strategies that incorporate business goals and benchmarks

Marketing agencies are able to optimize messaging across all platforms, from websites and guest columns in magazines to logos and digital resources, effectively answering the question of whether a company is credible, reliable, capable of bringing differentiated value to its customers.

Agency Benchmarks for the Healthcare Industry

While the healthcare industry is in desperate need of marketing services, it’s worth pointing out that innovation and reinvention are required on both sides of the equation. An Agency must optimize its own messaging to show that it can deliver meaningful and measurable results for healthcare clients by proving:

  • Its marketing strategies can target consumer behavior and decision-making
  • It has access to superior data on health care consumer attitudes, behaviors and motivations
  • Its consumer insights lead to robust business development

Agencies must be ready to deliver marketing strategies and creative content that brand healthcare clients as experts and leaders in their industry. The ACA is accelerating the shift to consumerism, and it is critical for agencies to understand how to help their clients connect with empowered consumers.

Image credit: stockbroker / 123RF Stock Photo

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