healthcare marketing thought leadership 2021

KNB's President Predictions for 2021

By Chintan Shah

Now that we have officially moved on from 2020, let’s look forward to what 2021 will bring. Healthcare marketers and communications teams will continue to be challenged by the pandemic. It is even more incumbent upon those teams to create unique campaigns with relevant and engaging content and to leverage each communications channel in both efficient and effective ways.

healthcare marketing agenda 2021

Uncertainty has given way to opportunity

Healthcare vendors and technology companies saw the early part of the pandemic result in a slowdown in business. However, as the pandemic continued into the summer and fall, smart companies pivoted their business models and found opportunities. Those opportunities grew in Q4 and are at their highest levels as we enter 2021. Providers, payers, vendors and other healthcare organizations are looking to use both existing and new technologies in innovative ways in order to meet the demands of increased patient care. This is the time for healthcare marketers to seize the opportunity.

Digital marketing and advertising will continue to replace live events for lead generation

Conferences, trade shows and other in-person events are likely cancelled or postponed until Q3 at the earliest. That significantly impacts how many companies generate leads for new business. The second half of 2020 showed that digital marketing, especially search and display ads, made up a large portion of marketing budgets. Expect that to continue in 2021. However, with the higher volume of bidding for ad space, expect higher costs to own relevant keywords and generate impressions. With travel and exhibitions drastically reduced or eliminated entirely, most health IT companies will continue to invest in digital. One client with whom we partner shifted their trade show budget to a video campaign and broader Google search. After just a couple of months they noted that their lead generation was yielding more quantity and better qualified opportunities.

Creativity and relevance will be key for PR success

The pandemic continues to rule the media landscape. Healthcare news does not stray far from the core issues that the pandemic has created -- from patient cases to hospital resources and staffing to vaccine development and distribution. However, that increased focus has not completely eliminated the advancements and developments in interoperability, precision medicine, real-world evidence and medical devices. Reporters are facing pandemic fatigue and looking for ways to cover other news. By thinking outside the box, making intelligent associations, and most importantly bringing an end customer story to the media outreach, communications professionals can more successfully secure media coverage.

The new year brings along with it many of the challenges from the previous one. However, we have learned quite a bit from our experiences. The year 2021 will help separate the successful, creative, assertive healthcare marketers from those who are just looking to ride the wave. So be bullish about 2021 and make your mark.

To learn more about our President, read his interview here.

If you would like to discuss your 2021 goals, you can schedule a meeting on my calendar here. 

by Chintan Shah

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