Year in Review: 5 Healthcare Marketing Trends

And how to use them to inform your 2023 strategy

Dec 15, 2022 | Kate Domin - Doximity Marketing Associate

With 2022 wrapped up, we’re looking ahead to 2023. Here are the top 5 marketing trends we expect to continue to dominate in the new year. 

Prioritizing Health Equity and Inclusive Language

Clinician audiences increasingly prefer more inclusive branding and marketing that demonstrates a clear understanding of their patients’ diverse experiences and needs. This means prioritizing inclusive language and health equity narratives in your organization and marketing campaigns. Done well, this content can be portrayed authentically while also elevating brand awareness, promoting workforce diversity, and increasing patient referrals. This can be done through marketing that demonstrates your organization’s inclusive culture, focusing on actions taken to advance health equity, and amplifying the underrepresented clinician voices. Simply put, applying an inclusion lens to branding and marketing helps communicate more accurate narratives that better reflect and connect with clinicians and patients.

Social Media Dominance

We’ve long known that social media is here to stay. According to Pew Research Center, 7 out of 10 Americans use social media. This massive presence means that social needs to be a part of your 2023 strategy, regardless of your goals. Your audience can help determine which platforms are most strategic for you. Specialized platforms, like Doximity, can be instrumental in reaching specific audiences, while general platforms like Facebook and Instagram can be valuable for broad consumer campaigns. Results from Doximity’s recent Physician Learning Report, based on a survey of over 600 physicians, suggest that social media platforms that are not specific to the medical community are not a preferred place for physician learning. Meanwhile, 63% of physicians surveyed prefer online platforms specifically for doctors when learning about research, clinical trials, treatments, and procedures. Doximity is the leading digital platform for medical professionals, with over 2 million registered users. Whether your goals are increasing patient referrals, building brand awareness among clinicians, or driving consumer appointments, Doximity has solutions for your 2023 goals. 

Hospital Rankings Matter 

Hospital rankings matter to physicians and patients. According to a recent survey of 132 physicians across seven states, physicians are very interested in achieving high-level performance on clinical quality metrics — with “driving high-quality care” as the main catalyst. More and more, patients are choosing hospitals and specialists based on rankings, reputation, and outcomes data. According to CMS, having quality ratings available to compare providers can empower consumers to make more informed healthcare decisions. A recent study found that over 80% of consumers search online before making a healthcare decision. For consumers, hospital rankings are one of many sources of information they consider when making an informed decision about their healthcare. Many hospitals already embrace rankings, seeing the value in data transparency. While rankings rely heavily on outcomes, many also base a significant percentage of their metrics on reputation scores from specialists, including the coveted U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings. Hospital marketers have an opportunity to use physician outreach to influence rankings. For more information, check out our e-book on the topic. 

Tailored and Personalized Content 

In the era of social media, marketers have the ability to segment audiences precisely, helping you reach the right audience with the right message at the right time. Research has shown that digital targeting and personalization increase the effectiveness of advertising. Additionally, with the rise of a more tech-savvy population, consumers not only expect but actually prefer personalized ads, enjoying ads that are tailored to their personal interests and habits. Healthcare marketers can and should use precision data when available to identify and communicate with their ideal audience, whether those are consumers, referrers, or candidates. But, be intentional about how you use data and personalization to create content. Harvard Business Review details the research social scientists have done regarding consumers and privacy, and share guidelines that can be applied in healthcare marketing as well. 

Telemedicine is here to stay

While some may have thought telemedicine was simply born out of necessity during the early days of the pandemic, it’s now obvious that virtual care continues to be a major modality for delivering care to a broad and diverse patient population. Over 370,000 unique clinicians used Doximity’s telehealth tools last quarter (quarter ending September 30, 2022), a new quarterly high. It’s important to consider how this shift to telemedicine might also warrant a shift in marketing and communication strategies for hospitals and healthcare companies. 

The migration to virtual care represents a fundamental shift in behavior. So, rather than just increasing awareness of your own virtual care services, now is the time to consider how your strategies and infrastructure are prepared for the move to digital. Are your content marketing streams full of useful information to capture patient search? Are your website and telemedicine experiences optimized for non-tech-savvy users? Are you prepared to reach physicians online, where they’re increasingly spending time? Asking these questions and more will help your team stay ahead of the curve as telehealth persists in popularity.