Within two years, hospital marketers are predicting that digital marketing will overtake traditional marketing channels in getting their messages out, according to a survey from Acsys Interactive, an interactive marketing and digital development company based in Farmington, Conn.
This "long-awaited but fast-moving shift" is related to several factors, according to the insights gathered from hospital marketers across the country who took part last year in the Crowdsourced Survey of Hospital Marketers. One reason is the rapid proliferation of digital channels--such as social, video, and mobile--in hospital marketing. In addition, the demand is increasing for marketing to step outside of its traditional role and improve the customer experience on other platforms--including those that have languished such as the intranet and patient portals, the survey found.
Among those surveyed, 66.3 percent said traditional channels--such as print, direct mail and radio--accounted for the core of their integrated marketing budgets today. This compares to 9.9 percent who said online channels--such as search engine marketing, display advertising and social media--were the core.
By 2013, those surveyed--including both large and small hospitals--said that balance is expected to shift, with 36.6 percent saying online channels will be the core and another 49.5 percent saying emphasis would be spread equally between online and offline. Only 11.9 percent said they expected offline to be the core of their overall marketing approach in 2013.
Surprisingly, though, only few hospitals had a plan in place for increasingly important aspects of the patient experience such as mobile and patient portals: More than half of respondents had no plan in place for mobile, while more than four in 10 lack a plan for a patient portal.