We’ve all heard the old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” While this may hold true for your refrigerator, it’s not necessarily true for your marketing plan. In fact, the most successful brands are the ones that identify new trends and seize hidden opportunities, ones that competitors often overlook. What worked for your business five years ago will likely not be as effective today. Let me say that again. What worked for your business even one year ago will likely not be as effective today. The bottom line is that market trends change – and so too should your strategy.
The Growing Digital Trend
If I were to write a book called “21st Century Marketing for Dummies,” the main focus on trends would be the shift toward digital. A whopping 70% of consumers will perform online research on a brand before ever even setting foot inside a physical store. Consumers spend countless hours educating themselves about their purchase options and typically know more about a product or service than your sales team. Many consumers will go so far as to opt for a completely digital transaction if it’s possible to avoid visiting a physical location or picking up the phone.
This means that your brand needs to be digitally accessible. Of course, the degree of digital accessibility you need for success will vary depending on a number of factors, namely your target audience and how digitally-savvy they are. However, chances are that if your brand is in the dark ages, it can probably perform better with the implementation of some proven digital marketing techniques.
Go Mobile or Go Home
According to the Pew Research Center, 64% of Americans owned a smartphone in 2014, and this number is constantly on the rise. For those who are more digitally-savvy, our smartphones are always an arm’s length away, as we use them throughout the day for personal and professional communication, performing online research, and staying entertained on social media and news sharing websites.
Google's Mobil Algorithm Changes
A perfect argument for the importance of mobile is the recent change to Google’s algorithm. Starting on April 21st, 2015, Google officially began to factor mobile-friendliness into how websites perform in terms of search engine rankings.
What does this mean to you? If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, your website performance – and overall brand performance – will take a hit. If Google’s mobile algorithm changes don’t emphasize to you the importance of shifting your marketing strategies toward mobile users, I don’t know what will!
Healthcare’s Digital Struggle
Out of the all of industries providing goods and services, healthcare has to be among the most stubborn when it comes to trend adaptation. Even today, I continuously hear business leaders say things like “most of our patient population are baby boomers and they're not using social media” or “we don’t get reimbursed extra money for a mobile strategy, so who’s going to pay for that expense”? You’re going to be the one paying the price in the long run if you don’t start making some changes.
Do you know how many Google searches are performed related to healthcare? 120M for psoriasis, 495M for HIV, 94M for rheumatoid arthritis, 96M for prostrate cancer. Multiple sclerosis is the most commonly searched among chronic disease.
A shocking number of healthcare brands still don’t understand the overwhelming role that digital plays for the average consumer – from researching symptoms of possible medical conditions to reading up on the latest health technology to browsing physician reviews and recommendations.
If your brand hasn’t embraced the power of evolving market trends, you’re running the risk of being left behind. Healthcare has become a commodity. Use these growing trends to create a competitive advantage, gain market share, nurture your customer relationships, differentiate your offering, and break through the healthcare haze.
Let us know if you need a marketing partner to grow, differentiate, and win!