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Trend or Fad?

As seasoned healthcare marketers, we make it our business to know the difference between trends and fads. Fads are fleeting; they come and go. Trends have longer staying power; although, they might be a bit slower on the uptake. Solid trends can ignite change and influence behavior. But which trends are the ones to follow? Which trends are valid? Most importantly, which trends are right for your business, and which are wrong?

With more than 25 years of experience across all aspects of healthcare communications, we are a team of savvy healthcare marketers who knows the business. We have the insight to decipher what might be a passing fad and what trend has the power to move the needle. Here are the top practices we hold close to our hearts as we navigate the sea of healthcare marketing fads and trends for our clients.

Power to the patient and their healthcare providers

They are seeking forums of like-minded peers where they can glean and share information. They want personalized content, and they want options. They want to feel that they are supported and have all the information they need to make informed decisions for the best care. And they want to be heard. When devising your marketing strategy, first LISTEN then take notes when patients speak—whether it’s via surveys, polling, or social media listening. Marketing to the specific pain points voiced by both patients and healthcare professionals is a strategy that is here to stay. As it should.

Don’t lose sight of “old-school” marketing

Traditional advertising has taken a back seat in the ever-evolving age of digital. Everyone wants to get on the digital bandwagon—paid social, paid search, SEO—but where does that leave traditional marketing? Is it dead in the water? Not at all! The best approach is integration. The fact is that traditional marketing and advertising have staying power. As dependent as people are on their devices, they are also actively seeking ways to spend more time AWAY from them. They are looking out car windows at billboards, watching buses inch along wrapped in impactful advertising, switching on their radios and hearing spots aimed right at them. Old school doesn’t mean old-fashioned. In fact, we created a video direct mailer for TriSalus Life Sciences that made quite a splash with them and their customers.

Don’t go it alone

Having a long tenure in the healthcare marketing space may make you think you’ve got it all covered. But while the basic principles of healthcare marketing may remain the same, the tools and methods are constantly changing. Luckily there are resources out there to help you stay relevant with your target audience and adapt based on their needs and level of engagement. We know it takes a village to not simply remain relevant but to be on the leading edge with the very latest tools. Some of our favorite resources to help stay on top of these adaptive marketing needs are Relative Insight, Sprout, and DemandJump, to name a few. Nobody knows it all, but if you know where to find the best answers, you can stay ahead of the rest.

Don’t skid off the slippery slope of social

More and more patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals are turning to social. And each has their favorite platform, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, or even TikTok. These are the channels they frequent to gain insights, exchange information, and seek support. If anything is clear, it’s that social media can be incredibly influential—if used correctly. In the pharmaceutical space, it’s critical you are keenly aware of the rules and the regulations when it comes to social. You know how to keep close tabs on comments; how to nurture a supportive social environment; and how much safety information is just enough. You also know the difference between posting for posting’s sake and posting relevant, impactful, sought-after material. Being personal and human with your content is necessary for the best potential engagement. After all, it’s not called “social” for nothing.

This is just the tip of the wide, wild world of determining if something is a trend that’ll work for you. Ultimately, it’s about knowing where to look and who to ask when you’re faced with the question, “Will this work in my favor for the long term? Or is it just another passing fad?”

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