Overcoming 5 Common Healthcare Marketing Challenges

Steven Franklin, Product Marketing Manager

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Healthcare marketing is hard. Healthcare marketers face all sorts of challenges from a changing regulatory landscape to increased competition for awareness to strains on internal resource capacity. Let’s talk about these challenges and how you can use health education content to face them head-on.

Challenge: Decreasing patient loyalty

Patients are less loyal now than they were in the past. This includes fewer patients with a primary care provider and less loyalty to healthcare organizations. For example:

Solution: Use your content strategy as a cornerstone for increasing patient loyalty. Content can provide the information, resources, and help that patients aren’t finding in other places. If they see you as a trusted source of information and resources, you may boost loyalty from your patient population.

  • Provide valuable information. Create content that offers valuable information, like educational articles, blog posts, or videos that address your audience’s specific healthcare needs and concerns. This helps establish your organization as a trusted source of information and expertise, which fosters loyalty.
  • Personalize the content. Use data and insights to understand your audience’s demographics, healthcare needs, and preferences. Then, create content that will resonate with them along various points of their healthcare journey. This personalized approach makes customers feel understood and valued, leading to increased loyalty.
  • Leverage email marketing. Use email marketing to deliver relevant and personalized content directly to your audience's inbox. Segment your email list based on their interests, healthcare needs, or previous interactions, and provide tailored content. Regularly sending helpful and informative content via email keeps your organization top-of-mind and reinforces loyalty.
Medical team meeting


Challenge: Trust and credibility

Many consumers are skeptical of marketing messages, and nowadays skepticism toward healthcare marketing can be even worse. Healthcare consumers today do not want to be sold. They want a credible relationship they can trust for information and help.

Solution: Leverage a holistic strategy to build credibility and trust.

  • Provide transparency with patient testimonials and real reviews of your organization.
  • Deliver evidence-based, clinically-reviewed health education.
  • Offer helpful resources that treat the whole person, including their mental health and wellness.
  • Participate in community-based health education activities.

When you provide relevant, focused information, you become a trusted resource for patients and members.

Challenge: Competition for attention

Since the healthcare industry is highly competitive, cutting through the noise is key for successful marketing. Delivering a personalized message through the right channel at the right time can help get the attention of your audience.

Solution: Targeted email. This is one of the best ways to personalize marketing.

Use your list segments to send personalized information that meets patient and health plan member needs. Messages that connect the users to relevant resources will help attract attention and improve engagement with your organization.

As always with any personalized communication, be sure you are following all HIPAA and privacy regulations.

Challenge: Rapidly changing health landscape

The healthcare industry is continually evolving. Two of the biggest changes we’ve seen in recent years are shifting consumer expectations and changes in settings of care. In fact, your organization may already be preparing to venture into new territory such as specialty clinics, employee services, virtual care, or maybe even an acquisition. Healthcare marketers need to adapt quickly to these changes and adjust their strategies accordingly to stay relevant and effective.

Solution: Use flexible health education to quickly adapt and change to consumer needs.

  • Create consumer-centric health education. Healthcare consumers are looking for easy-to-understand information and they want it to feel personal. Your content strategy should include a library of multi-language and evidence-based health information that’s focused on the consumers you want to attract.
  • Integrate flexible health education in a central location that’s readily available no matter the care setting or location that patients visit. Having a cohesive, comprehensive, and centralized location for patient education will allow you to attract patients across your service lines and marketing channels.
  • Consider content as a service to support your needs. This kind of programmable content can be rapidly deployed to scale and support new services.

Challenge: Conversions

Attracting patients with your marketing content is only the first step. Converting them into patients who follow through and actually schedule appointments or clinical services is the ultimate goal. If you are attracting new potential patients with your efforts, but not getting results, you may want to rethink your strategy.

Solution: Provide clear and easy ways to engage with your organization.

  • Leverage calls to action. Make sure your health information includes calls to action that encourage potential patients to engage with your services.
  • Make it easy to connect with your services. Your marketing content should live side by side with services that are readily available, like information on physicians and clinics with immediate availability, or self-scheduling options.
  • Match your content and calls to action. Make sure your calls to action match the content you provide. For example, if you’re educating a patient on diabetes, your call to action could be “Make an Appointment” alongside a list of endocrinologists with availability.

By combining a variety of these techniques, you can help overcome some of the most common challenges in healthcare marketing.

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