It’s 2015! What’s new in healthcare marketing?

2015 healthcare marketingPOST SUMMARY: While few would dispute that the pace of innovation has picked up, the outlook varies from one company to another — and many appear to be relying more on mergers and acquisitions than homegrown R&D to deliver new products. A record $250bn worth of deals was struck in 2014, and bankers and executives predict more this year as companies tap plentiful cash and cheap credit. But, eventually there won’t be as many companies to purchase and once again the focus is going to turn on marketing to meet sales goals.

It’s 2015 and as most biopharma people return to work change agents are needed to make marketing relevant again.  What kind of change and what has changed so much?

1ne: Patient Engagement: As pressure mounts to include patients in improving their health outcomes, patient engagement strategies have become a priority for many healthcare companies. However, there has been no clear vision of what patient engagement looks like in today’s world of value-based care.  In the midst of this chaos there is tremendous opportunity for organizations to transform patient relationships.  The Patient Engagement Market Expected to Reach $13.7B by 2019 as patients with the lowest engagement generate 21% more health costs.


2wo: Doctors don’t care about health apps -As mHealth news reported nobody has figured out how to make consumers — patients — care about mobile health technologies and that is about the same for doctors.  Over the holiday a friend of mine asked me to sit in on some qualitative research with PCP’s and the majority said that they don’t care about health apps until they have assurances that patients are using them right and that the data is accurate.

Close to 75 percent of adults do not use a fitness device or app to track their weight, diet, or exercise, according to a survey of 979 US adults conducted by research firm TechnologyAdvice.

3hree: Insurers are going to have a bigger say – The backlash against the cost of some drugs is going to continue and eventually an insurer is going to draw the line in the sand for other classes of drugs like the ones used to treat cancer. Who will be the first one to say “we will not allow this cancer drug to be prescribed for our patients because the cost-benefit analysis does not support its administration.

4our: Patients want more “urgent care” clinics – Patients want to be able to see their doctor on “their” time and urgent care clinics are springing up to meet their needs.  The number of walk-in retail clinics in the U.S. has risen 20 percent since 2009, to 9,400 last year, according to the Urgent Care Association of America. Operators also see new demand for convenient healthcare services as more than 10 million people are insured under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.


5ive: Biopharma websites have to move from online brochures to engage patients – Your patient engagement strategy must fit the needs of the patient. In the end, the solution is about them, not you. No matter how beautiful, technical, or medically sophisticated your website is, if patients don’t use it, your investment is wasted.


I’m excited because there is a wealth of opportunity.  Time to roll up our sleeves and get to work.