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To read predictions from Boehringer-Ingelheim and Regeneron, click here.
To read predictions from data, analytics, branding and health media leaders, click here.
A sustained focus on health equity and decreasing disparities in how consumers are accessing needed care, treatment and preventive services will continue to be a top priority for healthcare brands and companies. This includes improving upon AI algorithms — which are being widely used and adopted across healthcare right now — to ensure they are helping to better diagnose and manage the biggest health needs of underserved communities, and not perpetuating systemic inequities in our healthcare system. — Stephanie DeViteri, managing director – health, MSL
2024 will be about redefining innovation without an obvious global problem to solve, and beyond AI, it’s most interesting to see what’s happening with the care-ification of retail, where healthcare experiences are starting to look more and more like those we have with our non-healthcare brands of choice. As this trend proliferates in the year ahead, healthcare brands will need to focus deeply on their audience brand experience, both for patients and HCPs. Successful brands will realize that winning starts with the relationships they build and the authentic experiences they offer in the must-win moments that define their brand in the minds and hearts of their key audiences — while the rest will fall back on the quick fuel refill that M&A offers. — Jamey Hardesty, SVP, senior strategy director, Jack Health
The disparity between privately-owned and equity-owned/platform agencies will be more apparent than ever before. Placing priority on dollars over a culture of trust and empowerment will ironically bring them further from their goals than they realize. They’ll still win awards, though. — Robert Heller, president, Heller
In the advent of AI, creative output will exponentiate. While everyone is trying to figure out who owns AI-generated creative, one thing is for certain: AI-generated creative will multiply ideas that used to be limited by sketch artists’ vision (or sometimes lack of….), and because of this, what an agency can ideate will accelerate accordingly. This could very well be the rise of the boutique agency, generating high-quality creative to rival that of the big agency guys. — Didi Discar, principal, i2Vision
Amazon’s increasing influence in healthcare signifies the ‘digital retailization’ of healthcare and the rise of healthcare memberships like the One Medical Membership for Prime Members. With AI integration, these memberships will offer precise diagnoses, personalized treatments, and predictive insights. Expect tailored healthcare and wellness memberships based on genetics and lifestyle, emphasizing mental health and proactive wellness through wearable technologies. — Stephen Clements, chief creative officer, Code and Theory
In 2024 we’ll see AI disruption plateau (temporarily) and in its place will be real-world examples of how GenAI can be positively leveraged in healthcare communications. We expect that an era-defining moment could happen if we can figure out how to create compliant, regulated GenAI content. — Bryan Roman, EVP, creative technology, GSW
If 2023 leaves us with any clarity at all, it is this: There is no path back to a less complex, pre-pandemic healthcare environment. For healthcare marketers, the new normal means an increased number of marketing and communication goals to support, but with new data restrictions fully taking hold in 2024, many of the go-to digital channels will lose efficiency. This new reality will, we believe, force a long-needed sea change to occur for organizations across the spectrum of care. A change focused on coordination and collaboration across the C-suite to better serve and implement leadership’s vision of success. Breaking through siloes to develop cohesive strategies and new metrics will enable CMOs and CCOs to drive success for their organizations toward goals the president/CEOs have articulated. The way forward is linking our efforts, objectives, messages and, most of all, our dialogues with each other. No category is more ready for this step forward than healthcare. — Maurya Overall, principal, Boathouse
Increasingly, pharma marketing and public relations efforts have been embracing the voice of the patient, both individual patients and advocacy groups. Making that emotional connection when it comes to drug therapy is critically important. In the coming year and beyond, we’ll see an increased focus on the voice of the provider and how specific drug therapies are helping them help their patients. Clinical data of course will remain paramount, but creating emotional connections to pharma brands is so important, especially when it comes to standing out in crowded drug categories such as GLP-1s and other recently approved and pipeline drugs to treat obesity. — Jodi Amendola, CEO, Amendola Communications
AI will continue to grow in usage especially as marketers seek to develop relevant and captivating content to reach their target audience. However, at the same time, there will be an increase in discussions on the ethics of AI. Should it be used? When is it appropriate to use? Pharma marketers, especially the small to midsize companies, will come to the realization that data collaboration is required. With the ever-encroaching cookieless world and the normalization of privacy, it is imperative for marketers to look for data that helps them get a better understanding and smarter activation of their target audience. They’ll realize all the data that they have, their partners have, the third-party partners have. They need to all work together for a complete data set review. — Jay de la Cruz, SVP global media, Underscore Marketing
We will continue to see small and midsize pharma companies acquired by the larger pharma companies. These smaller companies will have had to demonstrate success and growth potential. — Audrey Sudran, senior director global media, Underscore Marketing
There will be a resurgence of personal promotion in pharma. It has taken the market time to recover from shut-downs and no-see challenges associated with the pandemic. We are starting to see pharma brands once again bolstering up their sales force and investing in training and additional tools to support reps’ success in the field. Consistently, we see the impact of combined personal promotion and non-personal promotion on scripts, underscoring the importance of a personalized approach to changing HCP behaviors.
Broad segmentation will fall by the wayside. We have seen an increased focus throughout 2023 on segmentation and ensuring our media strategies are tailored to specific audience groups. The focus has only intensified over the back half of the year and has been a focal point in all of our 2024 conversations. 2024 HCP media efforts will be hyper-personalized, and broader approaches of targeting a full target list of HCPs, without taking a segmented approach, are not likely going to continue. — Susan Quinn, VP global media, Underscore Marketing
There will be a large number of new medical devices centered around using AI to properly diagnose patients, prompting at least one lawsuit alleging the AI algorithms run afoul of another device’s patent. — Sean D’Evelyn, general manager, digital modeling, Peregrine Market Access
The implications of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) will not only impact Medicare Part D business, but commercial space as well. As a result, we’ll see payers move toward tighter management, more restrictive formularies, and a larger push towards lower cost therapies. — Curtis Wander, partner, director of content strategy, Peregrine Market Access
In 2024, the burden of the Inflation Reduction Act will force more health plans to divest out of Medicare Prescription Drug Plans. — John Guarino, founder and managing partner, Peregrine Market Access
- With all the talk around AI, more brands and agencies will develop proprietary AI tools or license deals that involve customization to prepare organizations and their staff for ways to provide client services more efficiently and effectively. It’s not enough for the tech and data folks to own AI capability; they need to extend it organization-wide.
- There will likely be some M&A activity in the e-pharmacy space, as managing big inventory and lower prices limits how many can operate as stand-alone businesses
- Pharma and bioscience companies that have invested in health equity solutions, such as ensuring diverse participation in clinical trials and improving access and affordability for minority and disadvantaged communities, will start educating the public about the benefits and learning that may inform healthcare
- As the abortion access debate extends into the political season, consumers will increase the intensity of their demands for increased investment in women’s health research and solutions
- There will be many new startups and investments in solutions to address Alzheimer’s beyond medications, to expand help for both patients and caregivers
- As the public trust for institutions continues its downward slide, successful marketers will develop more localized strategies to educate and offer solutions — Ivy Cohen, Ivy Cohen Corporate Communications
In the coming year, healthcare providers will become better acquainted with the uses for and limitations of Artificial Intelligence. Specifically, we’ll get a better feeling for where it can have a positive impact, how to manage it, and how to advocate for its use to internal and external stakeholders. We will become less fearful of using AI correctly. As the saying goes, “AI won’t replace us. But someone who knows how to use it correctly will.” — Andy Semons, founder, strategic planning partner, IPNY
Recently, we are seeing that organizations are taking this time to invest in getting operational and foundational aspects in place for when the market opens back up, such as refining their positioning and building out brand value. I anticipate that we will see more of these efforts from even more organizations in 2024. — Krystle Buntemeyer, CEO, Scorr Marketing
The trade show landscape for health science organizations is coming to the end of a multiyear evolution. In the recent 11th annual Health & Life Sciences Marketing Trends Report, trade show spend continued to increase in 2023 as more than one-half of respondents said their companies increased trade show investment. Trade shows are making their way back and attendance is up. However, the goals, budgets and tactics of the pre-pandemic world are no longer enough to stay competitive, get noticed, and capture leads in a way that’s meaningful. The shows might look the same, but what it takes to be successful and actually illustrate ROI requires a new strategy: to create a meaningful trade show spectacle, it has to be personal. — Cherie Squires, senior director of trade shows and events, Scorr Marketing
Rather than generative AI fueling content, AI will help drive in more efficient, segmented and targeted ways to leverage traditional channels. Utilizing segmented and automated printing, alongside innovative strategies such as website retargeting, list cross-matching, personalization, video embeds, QR codes and individualized URL tracking, companies using AI will blend the traditional with the efficiency of a modern omnichannel mix. — Todd Green, SVP, omnichannel marketing, Brick City Greenhouse
As the economy heats back up, pending a soft landing, we expect marketers will be under increasing pressure to demonstrate that their brands will follow suit. This will put greater pressure on agency teams and the potential for more account movement between agencies. — Fred Kinch, founder, content lead, Brick City Greenhouse
Many companies and marketers have realized over the last year that they can do more with less. We expect this trend to continue with more project-based assignments and greater movement toward smaller boutique agencies where clients can get more senior-level attention rather than being lost in a large holding-company agency. — Renee Wills, co-founder, client lead, Brick City Greenhouse