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How to Work in Healthcare Marketing

March 1, 2020  |  Category: Healthcare Administration

Healthcare marketing manager discusses strategy with doctor.

When the healthcare field first introduced marketing tactics in the 1970s, the purpose was to inform the general population about illness and promote available medical services. Today, healthcare marketing aims to grow a patient base through promoting wellness over illness. Effective marketing campaigns can reach individuals who were not previously receiving medical attention, and help establish a healthcare organization’s reputation, especially in a city or region with multiple major healthcare providers.

Healthcare Marketing Skills

While the field has evolved over the years, marketing has always been focused on introducing a consumer to a product or service. There are many types of marketing roles, ranging from communications to public relations to advertising.

Many marketing professionals have a bachelor’s degree in marketing or a related field. In addition, marketing managers usually have several years of experience in advertising or sales and may have a master’s degree in marketing. All marketing professionals should possess the following skills:

  • Understanding consumers: To create effective marketing strategies, these professionals must know their target audience: the consumers they are selling the product or service to.
  • Creativity: In a world of innumerable products and services, creativity is key to standing out from the competition.
  • Interpersonal communication: Marketers must establish an emotional connection with potential consumers. They can do this through excellent communication, making the consumer feel understood and valued.
  • Interdepartmental strategic planning: In addition to understanding their own products and services, marketers need to analyze those of the competition. By working with others in their departments and organizations, they can strategize how best to position and promote their brands.
  • Storytelling ability: People are naturally drawn to stories, and consumers are more likely to connect with an emotional message than with a collection of statements or facts.

Merging Marketing and Healthcare

Healthcare marketing differs from other types of marketing, as healthcare is a very different industry compared to entertainment or travel, for example. Across hospitals, outpatient facilities, home healthcare services, urgent care clinics, and more, healthcare marketers must work closely with medical professionals to set priorities in marketing campaigns for a range of services, from flu shots to cancer treatments.

In addition to keeping track of changes in the medical field, healthcare marketers need to stay current with media trends in the age of digital communication. Healthcare marketing no longer depends only on broadcast ads and billboards but has become more personalized to consumer needs. Patients can now access their healthcare information and communicate with nurses or primary care providers through websites, apps, and social media.

Job Outlook

As the population continues to age and more people need medical care, the healthcare industry will look to healthcare marketing professionals to help promote important medical services. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, marketing specialists make an annual median salary of $63,120. The employment outlook for this role is promising, as the BLS projects these jobs to grow 20% between 2018 and 2028, which is much faster than the average for all occupations (5%). The annual median salary for marketing managers is $132,620, according to the BLS, which projects the employment of these professionals to grow 8% between 2018 and 2028.

Learn More About Healthcare Marketing with AdventHealth University Online

Marketing positions are vital in hospitals, home healthcare, clinics, outpatient facilities, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities, but working in a healthcare environment requires a strong foundation of knowledge. Marketing professionals who want to work in healthcare can benefit from an advanced degree that helps them prepare to tackle the field’s unique challenges. Explore how AdventHealth University Online’s Master of Healthcare Administration in Strategy and Innovation, featuring a specialized curriculum, can help you pursue a healthcare marketing career.

Recommended Readings
Healthcare Administration: Salary, Careers, and Education
MHA vs. MBA: What Are the Differences?
What Do Healthcare Administrators Do?

AdAge, “The Kind of Healthcare Marketing That People Understand”
The Balance Careers, “Marketing Careers: Job Options, Job Titles, and Descriptions”
Becker’s Hospital Review, “The Future of Healthcare Marketing”
Entrepreneur, “Rethinking Healthcare Marketing”
Healthcare Business & Technology, “Four New Rules for Effective Hospital Marketing”
Modern Healthcare, “Healthcare Marketers Reshape Ad Strategies”
Studylib, “Healthcare Marketing: History and Concepts”
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Market Research Analysts