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Trending Now: Hospitals

Opportunity: Outpatients Services Posted on Thursday, December 29 in Breaking Through the ClutterBuilding Your BrandIncreasing SalesMaking Your Marketing WorkReaching The Right Audience.

Hospitals are big business.

How big? Projected hospital care expenditure in 2015 will be $1.031 trillion, and it will continue to grow at an estimated rate of 6% annually through 2024.1 This growth is driven by several factors: increased reimbursements from federal funding for Medicare and Medicaid, growing private health insurance coverage, an aging population, and more disposable income with an improving economy.

The biggest revenue opportunities for hospitals are inpatient and outpatient care, which is nearly evenly split in terms of expenditure (54% and 46%, respectively).2 Consumers often have greater choice when it comes to outpatient services such as lab work, radiology, colonoscopies and physical therapy, as well as cosmetic and bariatric surgeries – and the increased competition from physicians and specialists who may also offer these services has created a battleground for a significant portion of revenue.

Identifying the prime target for outpatient care is critical. The lowest hanging fruit to target for outpatient services is adults 45-64. These folks are simultaneously caring for children while worrying about aging parent and other family members. They are also challenged with their own midlife health crises, which range from torn ligaments to heart attacks to autoimmune disease diagnoses among other ailments.

Hospitals have responded to the challenge of finding this prime target by expanding their media mix, which historically was largely comprised of traditional media.  Most now employ an omnichannel approach. Digital media has quickly become a cornerstone in their new marketing mix, with an average of 26.4% of dollars being allocated to digital, distributed across search, video, digital display and classifieds/verticals.3 Over the next four years, total digital spending in the US for the healthcare and pharm industry is expected to grow from $1.64b (2015) to $2.55b (2019), fueled largely by new products and more sophisticated data targeting, most notably in mobile, video and native advertising formats.4

Of all these options, native advertising has emerged as an especially compelling movement in hospital marketing. To be clear: native advertising is a format that creates an uninterrupted flow from site content to advertising, where ads effectively become a part of the content. In its crudest form, this seamless integration can be compared to digital advertorials. Native advertising is available across multiple platforms, including social and publisher sites (eg. newspaper.com).

Why is native advertising trending now for hospitals? On average, less than half of healthcare digital ad spending is invested in branding efforts (44%), which means those dollars must work harder in fewer channels to raise awareness about conditions, products and services hospitals offer.5 Native advertising has a range of flexibility in content, and the sheer amount of real estate and natural integration into site layouts create an attractive platform for educating target segments on not-so-easily-communicated topics, such as specialties, new services and even hospital mergers, and for showcasing existing content, such as case studies. Gen Xers (who largely make-up the sweet spot 45-64 age group) respond especially well to traditional media tactics that drive attention to complementary digital assets – making native advertising an even more attractive and effective solution.6

Below are a few examples of successful hospital native advertising campaigns for inspiration:

The Journal News: “Healing energy of Reiki and the mind/body connection"

The Indianapolis Star: “Indiana University Health’s Ask the Doctor”

Press & Sun-Bulletin: “Climbing the Family Tree”

 

If you’re interested in native advertising, contact us or call 607.798.1325. We’d love to talk more about this exciting opportunity and how it can work within your marketing efforts.

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1 “Table 06 Hospital Care Expenditures” NHE Projections 2014-2024 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Office of the Actuary 22 Jul 2015

2 Phillips, Jocelyn. “Stable condition: Extended insurance coverage and increased service prices will boost revenue” IBISWorld Industry Report 62211 Hospitals in the US IBISWorld January 2015

3 “Insights into Local Advertising – Health Care Vertical” BIA Kelsey March 2015

4 Petrock, Victoria. “The US Healthcare and Pharma Industry 2015: Digital Ad Spending Forecast and Trends” eMarketer May 2015

5 “For US Healthcare and Pharma Ad Spending, Balance Tips Toward Direct Response” eMarketer 27 May 2014

6 “Healthcare Marketing to Gen X: Take an Omnichannel Approach” eMarketer 30 Oct 2014

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