Industry analysts have released their predictions for marketing trends in 2016. We’ve culled through predictions from Smart Insights, HubSpot, Marketing Profs, Forbes and other publishers to identify the marketing trends most applicable to healthcare marketers.
Mobile marketing will dominate. Mobile was huge in 2015. In fact, it was the first year that mobile traffic finally outperformed desktop traffic, and Google responded in kind by phasing out websites that aren’t optimized for mobile. This bodes well for healthcare marketers whose audiences are Physicians and other clinicians, since their mobile use is high. It could be tricky for healthcare marketers who are trying to reach other types of decision-makers, though, since this audience is most likely to use a desktop. Your best bet is to ensure that your website is at least optimized for mobile.
Use of marketing automation will increase. A Smart Insights ongoing poll shows that 20 percent of marketing stakeholders believe that marketing automation will have the “greatest commercial impact in 2016.” This is no big surprise, considering that the ability to automate email marketing, segment audiences and track results allows companies to “stay lean, focused, as profitable as possible without compromising on quality.”
More marketers will leverage location-based technologies. Location-based technologies like radio frequency identification (RFID) and blue tooth low energy (BLE) are going to be gold for healthcare marketers, particularly at tradeshows and other events. RFIDs, in particular, can be used in wristbands and apps that allow event attendees and organizers to interact and share experiences on various social media outlets.
Video ads will become more prevalent. Customers and prospects will start seeing more video ads in search results, not only because more marketers will be making them but because Google is testing the waters to determine how responsive audiences are to them. This trend could be important for healthcare marketers, as recent estimates say that emails with videos can increase open rates by 20 percent and double click-through rates. Recent studies have also have shown that Physicians and other decision-makers are interested in more on-demand content.
SEO will become more focused on related terms and synonyms. Google’s algorithms keep getting smarter and smarter, which presents new challenges and opportunities for healthcare marketers. Rather than focus on individual keywords, healthcare marketers should be thinking about groups of related core terms and their synonyms, and then creating relevant pages for those terms. On the one hand, this means more work; on the other hand, it opens up possibilities for a wider range of topics and far more interesting content.
The rise of wearable technologies and virtual reality technologies are also topping many marketing trends lists, but both are still in the nascent stages of development. Because of their allure and potential to be popular with consumers, healthcare marketers in the medical device sector would be wise to keep their eyes peeled for new marketing opportunities with these technologies.