In just the last year, Millennials (adults ages 18-34) have become the largest generation in the U.S. labor force, officially surpassing Gen Xers, according to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by the Pew Research Center. The healthcare industry needs to take notice, as this group of young people presents new and distinct challenges.
We are on the precipice of some of the most profound changes in veteran healthcare since the Veterans Administration was elevated to a cabinet position in 1989.
Rosuvastatin, imatinib, sitagliptin-just a few of the magical molecules worth billions of dollars in sales over the last few years. Many of us are thankful for these life-changers, but we've also seen duds whose performances haven't matched their promises. Change is underway in the U.S. healthcare system, and it doesn't matter if you voted red or blue-we all deserve affordable, quality care. It's no longer about selling the magical molecule, and lower drug prices aren't a gateway to better care either.
Healthcare marketing is in the midst of a dramatic transition. This transition is being dictated by the behavior and preference of the patients and physicians we serve. While we are generally less dependent on mass media, we are still very much under its spell. The allure and tradition of mass media continues to shape strategies and execution in ways that we may not realize.
My father is a doctor, and now he's also a patient.
In 1964, media visionary Marshall McLuhan coined the indelible phrase "the medium is the message," all but predicting the Internet and how advances in communications technology would come to shape the symbiotic relationship between what is said and how. The ascendency of digital, social, and mobile has progressively empowered once-passive consumers, now equal partners in content selection, redistribution and even creation. The good news is that digital channels provide unprecedented opportunities for targeting and personalization; the bad news is audiences now control how and with what they engage, tuning in and out as they desire.
For both patients and healthcare professionals, undiagnosed illnesses and rare diseases are some of the most frustrating cases. Often, symptoms span a broad spectrum and these conditions are little understood, so there is tremendous difficulty in establishing a diagnosis.
Have you ever gotten excited by an innovative idea, one of those "first of its kind" creative executions, the one that's going to put you on the map at your organization? Then only to submit it to MLR (Medical, Legal, Regulatory) and have it come out the other end, 18 months later stripped of all innovation and creativity? Or have you ever gotten so frustrated by the end product or process that you kill the program and forfeit the $75,000+ you spent on it in the first place?
Healthcare and pharmaceutical marketers will spend nearly $2 billion on digital advertising this year, a 15% increase over 2015 spending. But while these advertisers are ramping up their testing of digital, little has changed in the way they approach the challenge of building a target audience.
Last winter, I went online and bought a parka just in time for the New York cold snap. Like any right-thinking modern person, I researched it online, read the reviews and eventually bought the parka that met all of my expectations. Once it arrived, I was very happy with my purchase. Until I discovered that my cozy coat was haunted.