The pros of broad-spectrum health marketing

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Change is everywhere. Pharma pipelines are thinner and generics are coming online fast. Devices are gaining in sophistication and efficacy as technologies continue to advance. Hospital systems, preparing for healthcare reform and challenges to reimbursement qualifications, are in a race for market share. And insurers are looking to build their brands before 2014 health exchanges come into effect. 

What does this mean to us, the brilliant minds who build strategies and brand preferences for healthcare clients? Opportunity.

For many healthcare marketing firms, pharmaceuticals are 90% or more of their client base. That's a sustainable balance when blockbuster drugs are launching each year, but the battle to win business gets tougher as more healthcare agencies fight for fewer formulations. 

Agencies that take a broad-spectrum approach to healthcare marketing, i.e., develop expertise in multiple sectors rather than focusing their resources on just one area, can create a business model that's good for the agency, client and the patient. 

Broad-spectrum marketing allows you to see and understand patients from all angles. Understanding someone's perspectives as she becomes a member of an insurance program affects how you see her journey through a hospital system. And understanding the experiences she has with care providers and insurers provides insights that make for better advertising as well as better patient-ed programs.

It's one thing to look at a patient profile and read that a 65-year-old man needs a new prescription. It's another thing to know that a 65+ senior male who supplements Medicare with a local insurer, needs homecare support, is a little apprehensive about technology and already feels he takes too many pills, will need information to help him understand why the prescription is right for him and motivate him to take it as prescribed.

Having a complete picture of a patient helps improve care delivery. Broad-spectrum healthcare marketing is an opportunity for agencies to expand and strengthen their expertise and gain a fuller understanding of the interconnected parts that contribute to improved health. This helps them provide extra value to their clients, while adding revenue to bottom lines.

Kerry Hilton is President and CEO of HCB Health

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