Hospital and health system marketing is constantly changing, which means we are forever learning. Conferences are a terrific way for DMD to discover new trends—as well as challenges—and share our own expertise with others attending.
This marketing sphere is also very diverse. We attended conferences that covered everything from growing obstacles in physician recruitment to recent considerations surrounding medical device marketing.
My colleagues Bridget Westley, Lynne Triana, and I put our heads together to come up with a few takeaways from 2017’s conference lineup.
MVC: Most Valuable Conference
There were two healthcare conferences DMD attended this year that were of particularly great value. The American Hospital Association’s Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development (SHSMD) was held in September. This society is the largest and most prominent voice for healthcare strategists in planning, marketing, communications, public relations, business development, and physician strategy. You can imagine the wealth of information this conference provided, but many of the presenters’ key points revolved around the importance of physician engagement in all marketing touch points. In fact, "engagement" was a top buzzword that infiltrated many presenters’ sessions.
Many of presenters’ key points revolved around the importance of physician engagement.
The other insightful conference was the 21st Annual Healthcare Internet Conference (HCIC), an industry-wide meeting of the minds to assist marketers in embracing and leveraging the increasing convergence of the web, technology, marketing, operations, and connectivity.
These are large, influential hospital conferences, and the attendees are high-level marketing executives and digital decision makers—exactly the individuals with who we are actively looking to build strategic partnerships.
MSC: Most Surprising Conference
This was the first time DMD exhibited at the HCIC conference. Given this conference is Internet-focused, the attendees were extremely knowledgeable about how the healthcare industry is advancing in that digital realm. An added perk was that many of the exhibitors were agencies with whom DMD endeavors future collaboration in terms of physician data and other digital services.
From case studies to emerging technologies, this conference provided a number of clues about the digital future of healthcare.
Hospitals invest most of their monies in consumer marketing, but they are beginning to see the importance of putting dollars toward digitally engaging with the physicians in their referral markets.
Also, many hospitals are still using internal or unreliable third-party data. This is where DMD can really shine, by providing clients with high-quality data that is first-party sourced, third-party verified. Once marketers and decision makers understand and recognize the consequence of using bad data, the opportunity for success increases exponentially.
Finally, marketers are really starting to grasp how impactful it is to utilize digital channels to increase their referral networks and improve brand strength and awareness.
The future of digital presents an exciting—albeit complex—space for healthcare marketers to consider. We anxiously await what the 2018 event roster has to offer and what DMD can contribute to this ever-evolving industry.