Healthcare Marketing for a Changing Patient Journey
People are taking ownership of their health like never before, and that’s leveling-up the importance of an already critical job in healthcare — the healthcare marketer.
A healthcare marketer stays up to date on the latest medical treatments, creates marketing material for their products and cultivates trusting relationships with physicians. Ultimately, the healthcare marketer’s role is to give physicians the information they need to determine the best course of treatment for their patients.
Traditionally, physicians have been the primary decision makers when it comes to medical care, but with increased access to information — thanks to the internet and health technologies — health decisions are now frequently being made by patients and their healthcare teams.
For healthcare marketers, this means having to be adept at speaking to and educating a broader audience, from healthcare professionals to consumers and their families. And being part of the conversation of their health journey, from pre-diagnosis to end-of-life care.
“Marketing tactics must reach patients wherever they are: at home, on the go, or in the clinic while they’re with their physician or waiting on test results,” said Jessica Morog, a marketer in Abbott’s Diabetes Care business.
“We have to meet with patients and understand the differences in their priorities and their emotional triggers, and we know these differ across the board.”
Patient Centricity Changing Healthcare Marketing
Marketers working in healthcare must have a firm understanding of:
- legal and regulatory environment
- science and medical innovation
- how to reach diverse audiences, including — healthcare professionals, patients, and caregivers
Healthcare marketers must keep up with the pace of innovations and solutions as the tools and tactics used in this field are constantly evolving. They need to reach people beyond in-office conversations, by creating material for social media, websites, digital advertising, printed media, and short-form and long-form videos.
Direct-to-patient/consumer marketers typically come from a consumer marketing background. Healthcare marketers can also come from that space, but the role is more focused on marketing to physicians, and requires an understanding of clinical marketing, market analysis, and market data experience in a B2B environment. No two healthcare marketing jobs are alike. Even within a single company, the responsibilities, strategies and tactics used by healthcare marketers can vary widely.
For instance, marketers in the medical device field may need to develop information like surgical techniques, monitoring charts, and information about side effects and other contraindications. While those marketing to patients may develop collateral like patient education guides, a patient forum, or products and services to help improve medical adherence.
Regardless of if you’re marketing to doctors or patients, “Marketers have to reach them physically, digitally, and emotionally at the right moment of their lives,” Jessica said.
A Need for Healthcare Marketers
As the healthcare market grows due in part to increased understanding of health conditions, more tailored therapies, and new patient demographics, marketers that can bridge the gap between patient care and patient knowledge are more in-demand than ever.
Abbott is committed to investing in healthcare marketers through on-the-job training and formal education courses.
Pursuing a career in healthcare marketing is a path of continuous learning that makes a positive impact on people's lives. Learn more about our current marketing opportunities.