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So just what are we up to these not-so-slow summer months you may be wondering? Well, I’m glad you asked (or that I did for you!). At the moment, we’re deep in the process of developing a strategic marketing plan for one of our health system clients. This gave me an opportunity to research some statistics on how healthcare consumers are engaging with digital outlets (versus so-called “traditional” outlets like print, broadcast, outdoor, etc.) as they navigate the treatment research and decision-making process.

In addition to discovering that a whopping 69% of healthcare marketers are now actively engaged in content marketing programs (although only 21% have a documented strategy! True North Custom), I thought I’d share some other compelling findings:

  1. There’s been an average increase in YouTube traffic to hospital websites of nearly 120% from one year to the next. (Google) Translation: If you’re not producing video segments related to the services you offer, you’re missing out on this traffic-generator. 
  1. >77% of prospective patients are using search engines prior to booking an appointment. (Google) Where else are they going?
    • 83% to hospital websites
    • 54% to insurance company websites
    • 50% to health information websites
    • and 26% to consumer-generated reviews
  1. Search actually drives three times as many visitors to hospital websites as compared to other referral sources. (Google) So what types of topics are they searching for before they get there?
    • First determining, then diagnosing symptoms and conditions
    • Researching treatment and procedure paths and alternatives
    • Reviewing medical professionals as well as facilities 
  1. Of the prospective patients researching hospitals from a mobile device, 44% will end up scheduling an appointment. (Google) If your website isn’t responsive, with clear and easy scheduling tools, your giving healthcare consumers a reason to look elsewhere.
  1. In fact, by 2020, 66% of U.S. health systems expect to offer digital self-scheduling. (Accenture) So if you’re waiting to pull the trigger on this technology, you’ll end up waiting for (and losing) patients, too.
  1. At least one in three American adults have gone online to help diagnose a medical condition and 64% would be willing to have a video appointment with a clinician. (American Well) You can learn more about our own assessment of the telemedicine landscape by downloading the results of our recent survey The State of Telemedicine: 2017 Industry Growth Forecast” here.
  1. 66% of Americans are willing to help manage their own healthcare through the use of mobile apps. (Makovsky/Kelton) If you build (and brand) them, they will come. In fact, 52% say they even want access to data from their EMR related to physician notes. Healthcare consumers increasingly want access and control and the more you offer them, the “stickier” their relationship with your organization. 
  1. 41% of health executives have perceived a staggering 50% or higher growth rate in the availability of organizational data. (Accenture) This means actionable information from which to make impactful marketing and business decisions, but it also requires an investment in technologies that empower this date and make it secure.
  1. Of the total digital ad spend available, healthcare and pharma – combined – represents only about 3%. (eMarketer) While still far outpaced by other industries, digital spend attributed by health systems is expected to average about 25% in 2017. That number doubles to 50% by 2020, however – a major shift from more traditional outlets.

So where are you seeing significant shifts in your marketing allocations as you adjust to respond to changing consumer trends? Share your insights with us or feel free to reach out to learn more!


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