The Changing Face of Healthcare Marketing

The consolidation of agencies has been a factor in the advertising world since the early 1970s, but the pace of M&As in this space has quickened in the last year. Consider that in this past July alone Publicis Health purchased Payer Sciences, Huntsworth bought Giant Creative Strategy, UDG Healthcare acquired Create NYC and Smart Analyst, and Precision Medical Group got ETHOS. Additionally, consultancies such as Accenture, Deloitte, PwC, IBM, and McKinsey are investing heavily in agency acquisitions. So, the face of agencies as we currently know them is changing.

Our author, Jeff Berg, examines the reasons behind these mergers and the impact they can have on the agencies involved in our cover story. And as he points out, “mergers and acquisitions will continue, but independent agencies will also remain an important part of the picture—and new ones are being founded every day, often by unhappy staff of merged or acquired companies.”

Agencies don’t just need to adapt to a new corporate landscape, they also need to change to fit the needs of the targets they are trying to reach. The preferences for how today’s time-starved physicians want to get their information is changing. Jim McDonough breaks down results from a Frontline Medical Communications survey that details the channels that each specialist prefers, including everything from medical websites and journals to social media and even podcasts—which are gaining steam among cardiologists and EM physicians.

And of course, you don’t need to be reminded that patients are increasingly more involved in their healthcare and thus, health outcomes. But, I am sure you could use some advice and tactics to better engage with them. We have that covered in this issue’s Focus On Patient Experience section. In our Think Tank, 11 experts offer their tips for improving patient support programs beyond just offering financial help. And then another 12 experts answer key questions about building patient trust, getting through to empowered patients, and much more.

In closing, it is with sadness that we learned of the passing of industry icon, David Gideon, Co-founder and Executive Director of the Medical Advertising Hall of Fame, Founder and CEO Of CPS Communications, and also Founder and CEO of the PERQ Corporation. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family and friends.

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