5 Keys to Maintaining Your Edge as a Future-Focused Healthcare Marketer


Today, healthcare marketing has many faces.

There’s the social media marketer, the content marketer, the data marketer, the strategic marketer—sometimes, all of the above rolled up into one. No matter the role or level of responsibility, all marketers work toward the same goals: understanding the audience they’re trying to reach and perfecting the message to increase traffic, engagement, and—ultimately—revenue and outcomes.

In healthcare, it can be a struggle to break through existing barriers and structures to implement new ideas. When this roadblock proves unyielding, some marketers may accept the status quo and stop trying to spark change. But that doesn’t mean the quest for new approaches and understanding of differing ideas should cease.

Whether you’ve been on the job eight years or eight months, never lose the fresh-faced wonder and curiosity of being new to the scene. The perk of a career in marketing is that the industry never stops evolving. Just when you think you’ve learned all you could, a new practice or idea pops up. Applying design thinkingto your marketing process also means that you’re never finished innovating and exploring avenues for growth.

Follow these five steps to ensure you approach your role as healthcare marketer or strategist with fresh, future-focused eyes:

  1. Connect with Your Purpose

    Do you remember why you went into healthcare marketing in the first place? Was it to help people learn about medical treatments available at a state-of-the-art facility? Was it to effectively communicate and reach the public about health and wellness? Remembering the why behind the career choice, what inspired you, and what felt important can help you rekindle the excitement and purpose you once felt.

  1. Connect with Your Organization’s Purpose

    What are your healthcare institution's purpose and mission for growth? Tapping into vision, values, and goals provide a connection to the mission, allowing you to look ahead with renewed insight. By learning where your healthcare institution has been and where it hopes to go, you widen your understanding. From there you can see if you’re reaching those goals, and decide if your current actions support the vision. If you’re unsure that your actions line up with overarching purpose, find opportunities to improve, define barriers and draft plans to overcome.

  1. Uncover the “Why”

    What is driving your marketing initiatives? Are you establishing the organization as a thought leader? Are you revamping existing marketing efforts to obtain a greater reach? Maybe redesigning brand and voice? Or are you simply trying to be a healthcare facility that patients feel they can come to, no matter the need, concern, or joy, to receive empathy and compassion? Stay in touch with the marketing initiative. Keep the goal in sight, but question existing parameters to allow room for change.

  1. Make Yourself Uncomfortable

    Many people find comfort in routines. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Innovation, however, can’t coexist with the status quo. Don’t settle for being comfortable with processes and procedures. Step outside yourself and your team and view marketing initiatives as a patient or potential consumer. Find flaws, ask probing questions, and praise successful endeavors.

  1. Create Challenges for Growth and Learning

    In healthcare and marketing—two industries that never stop moving—you should always be on the lookout for new information. Continue your education to widen your knowledge of the marketing and healthcare worlds. Seek out training seminars and ask for departmental approval to host internal training for the team. Research ways to streamline processes and reduce time wasters to make the most of your days. Spend time learning about your institutions’ departments and workers, too. Maybe you’re about to feature a specific service in a new brochure, but your interactions with that department have only ever been straightforward and clinical. Spend a day shadowing a doctor to see first-hand what they do and how their services are received. By learning through them, you can create materials that say more than just facts.

Dave Chlastosz