Digital health vendors need to adapt healthIT marketing strategies for a new set of challenges in the endemic phase of COVID-19

From Pandemic to Endemic -- 4 Tips for HealthIT Marketers To Navigate the Next Phase

Just a little more than two years after the WHO declared the  COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic, it seems as if we’re starting to truly make our way from pandemic to endemic. 

TSA is no longer enforcing the mask mandate on planes and trains, businesses are forgoing testing policies and procedures in the workplace, and restaurant dining is back in full swing. Just as we were getting used to our “new normal,” things are shifting yet again. 

For tech companies – and healthIT marketers, in particular – this adaptation to new ways of business and life brings new opportunities. 

Healthcare Technology Marketing Strategies in a Post-COVID World

  1. Communicate Tangible Value. Just six months ago (as Omicron descended), I was still talking to clients about how to adapt to healthcare buyers’ changing challenges, goals, needs and wants during the pandemic. At the time, decision-makers from hospital CIOs to independent physicians were focused on slowing the spread and serving patients via virtual methods. Fast forward to today, healthcare organizations’ top challenges aren’t necessarily patients and infection spread. Instead, they’re struggling with increasing cybersecurity threats and poor revenue optimization. Therefore, healthIT vendors must clearly communicate a product’s value proposition and the ROI it can provide to the bottom line. 
  1. Who’s Your Buyer, Anyway? Speaking of buyers, physicians and other healthcare staff are leaving their jobs at record rates. According to a new survey by Elsevier Health, one in five healthcare workers quit their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, with even more planning to leave their positions by 2025. Many organizations have new stakeholders juggling a variety of roles and responsibilities. As a result, the personas that existed at your customers’ and prospects’ organizations the last two years may no longer exist. Thus, it’s important to update your persona book for relevancy, identify your new decision-makers, and then target them accordingly. (Don’t forget to keep your CRM scrubbed to account for turnover, too)!
  1. Capitalize on Face-to-Face Interaction. Fewer COVID-related restrictions mean more opportunities for in-person facetime. Take this year’s HIMSS 2022 conference, for example. While attendance was not quite as high as pre-COVID levels, there were more exhibitors, sponsors and patrons than compared to 2021 – with experts anticipating an even greater jump in presence next year. Furthermore, at this year’s inaugural ViVE conference, many of our healthIT clients alluded to greater SQLs than from trade shows in the past. With the majority of healthcare workers facing extreme digital fatigue, it will be critical for healthcare brands to get back to in-person shows for quality and authentic touchpoints. 
  1. Cutting Through the Clutter. It’s well-known that healthcare is an extremely competitive and saturated industry. In fact, healthcare mergers and acquisitions surged in 2021, and the private market remains bullish on digital health. As a result, in 2022 and beyond, a focus on traditional PR will no longer cut it for healthcare technology brands. Integrated campaigns are needed now more than ever to siphon mindshare from competitors and showcase product differentiation. From media relations and social media to inbound marketing and lead generation, healthIT companies must deliver on a variety of tactics to create buzz and brand awareness while also delivering nurtured, qualified leads to the sales team. 

See this case study which details how ARPR created and deployed a multi-channel campaign for client RxBenefits that resulted in a 7-point boost in Domain Authority (in just 4 months), as well as 50 media placements, 60% of which contained backlinks.

Cortney Johnston Williams
As Alloy's health IT senior account director, Cortney brings her strategic vision, media relations chops and hunger to the forefront to PRopel What's Possible for all of her clients.