epocrates Inaugural Healthcare Media Leadership Summit Explores the Future of Healthcare Marketing

Marketing experts highlight innovative approaches to succeed in increasingly competitive, digital market

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–epocrates, an athenahealth, Inc. company that delivers digital clinical decision support to clinicians, brought together industry thought leaders for its inaugural Healthcare Media Leadership Summit in New York City on September 26, 2023. Coming at a pivotal time as healthcare clinicians are overburdened by work and overwhelmed by traditional marketing techniques, the Summit explored how pharmaceutical brands can successfully engage clinicians at the moment of care, breaking through today’s crowded landscape. The experts addressed timely topics, including multidimensional storytelling, personalization at scale, and point-of-care media in a post-pandemic world, exploring how to effectively shape the future of healthcare media. The event left attendees with key takeaways and tactical applications to pave the way for innovative marketing approaches.

Understanding the Post-Pandemic Impact and Importance of Point-of-Care Media Among Patients and Physicians

The healthcare experience has been digitally transformed since the COVID-19 pandemic, with 53% of all U.S. adults using the internet for health and wellness purposes, and two out of three adults willing to use a mobile app recommended by their doctor. Similarly, for clinicians, nearly 85% are using telemedicine in their practice. Speaker Jaime Brewster, national sales director of the media division at Kantar, uncovered the evolving landscape of point-of-care media and its significance in the post-pandemic world. With digital education materials serving as critical sources of health information for patients and healthcare professionals alike, brand messaging at the clinician’s office can help empower patients about their medications, or prompt conversations about prescriptions that might be right for them.

Uncovering the Impact of Multidimensional Storytelling

Misinformation thrived during the pandemic with social media being a key driver. At the height of the crisis, over 78% of the public believed or were unsure about false medical statements. Tapping into trustworthy content is critical in healthcare marketing, but there’s an opportunity to take it a step further, building on where we’ve been and taking storytelling from trustworthy campaigns to effective connections. Kissa Fernandez, creative strategist at Meta, detailed this evolution on how pharmaceutical marketers can build connections with entertainment, driving the multidimensional storytelling of the brand to entertain, capture, immerse, and spark human connections with the right audience. No longer is it enough to hit your audience with mobile-optimized advertisements, it’s about creating a mobile experience with your marketing to engage your audience in the story.

Navigating New Norms with Personalization at Scale

As expected in other industries, it’s imperative to shift the mindset of personalization in healthcare from a nice-to-have, to a need-to-have. Over 80% of consumers are more likely to consider a brand when they receive a personalized experience. Doug Weinbrenner, senior vice president of engagement strategy at BGB Group, detailed that while pharmaceutical marketing has been slower to grasp this concept of personalization, the industry is starting to see the shift and implications for tailored patient and healthcare professional experiences, transitioning to fostering genuine connections and addressing individual needs. When patients feel understood, trust deepens, improving adherence to treatment and brand loyalty. Moving forward, pharmaceutical brands will have to determine avenues to create an omnichannel brand approach. Personalization will need to be at the core, harnessing applications of artificial intelligence for real-time data, while considering imperative considerations of patient privacy.

Effectively Engaging Today’s Clinicians

This year, epocrates is celebrating 25 years of serving clinician users and pharmaceutical brands. The epocrates clinician ranges in specialty, occupation, and experience level with varying informational needs. Casey Jenkins, vice president of product at epocrates, presented on how to effectively engage with today’s clinicians, highlighting the latest technology innovations. Grounded in user research, he explored how brands can more effectively and efficiently drive content engagement and targeting sponsored content across applications. As tools including drug referencing technology remain critical for all clinicians, there’s an opportunity for brand leaders to deeply understand activity and patterns, creating a tailor-made experience for each healthcare professional. Additionally, Jenkins offered attendees a first look at some of the app improvements on the horizon.

“Healthcare professionals are consumers too, so it’s important to build creative that resonates with them as multidimensional individuals. But we’re also continuing to see a rise in healthcare professionals as content creators—more and more, they’re leveraging social media as a place to share their knowledge and expertise with broader audiences, which presents a growing opportunity for brands,” said Fernandez, creative strategist at Meta. “It’s important for marketers to come together like we did in NYC, to think strategically about how we begin to transform the way we tell brand stories and take more ownership of the health narrative on social. Building with that multidimensional mindset and partnering with creators will be a key step in fully embracing the evolution of social media marketing in healthcare.”

“It was a privilege to converge with industry leaders for an informative discussion around what’s next for healthcare marketing, from collaboration to innovation,” said Jenkins. “As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, marketing must do so alongside it. Deeply understanding your target prescribers and the topics they care about using data and analytics is step one in maximizing return on investment and effectively targeting communications in compelling ways. We’re looking forward to meeting again next year and seeing how the conversation continues to evolve.”

The annual Summit powered by epocrates reinforces the company’s commitment to advancing thought leadership in the industry – never stagnant, always innovating. This gathering showcased the importance of bringing key stakeholders together to discuss the future of healthcare media, where conversation drives transformation. To learn more about how epocrates can support your brand’s marketing goals, visit our website today: https://www.epocrates.com/advertise.

About epocrates

Since 1998, epocrates, an athenahealth, Inc. company, has served essential, clinical content to more than one million physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals. Centered around unparalleled drug prescribing and safety information, the app provides fast answers and trusted decision support in seconds at the point of care, enabling clinicians to focus on delivering the most effective and personalized patient care. Our Medical Information team is committed to providing accurate, current, unbiased, and clinically relevant information, which is why epocrates has been rated as the #1 medical reference app for over a decade. For more information, please visit: www.epocrates.com.


Hannah Purviance

[email protected]

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