What I Heard at DTC National 2024

I had the privilege of speaking at the DTC National Conference sponsored by Xpectives Health this year, which meant I also got to be part of more than a dozen sessions about healthcare marketing and how to reach today’s consumers. Many important conversations were centered on the challenges of engaging consumers while ensuring data security and preserving consumer trust.

Here are four takeaways that mirror how we at Luckie Health think and how we strategically approach marketing opportunities:

  1. Shorter attentions spans mean embracing good storytelling, authenticity and personalization. Front and center in the minds of healthcare marketers is the fact that attention spans have become significantly shorter in the past 20 years. It was appropriate that this topic kicked off the first day of the conference. Dealing with reduced attention spans doesn’t make the job of a healthcare marketer impossible, but it does make it more difficult. Marketers who embrace good storytelling, authenticity and a focus on personalization in all marketing efforts will win in this new world.
  2. Consumer behavior can be understood without our disclosing personal information. Despite HIPAA concerns, pending limitations on cookie use, and legal regulations at the state level limiting the use of consumer data by healthcare organizations, there are still multiple ways to better understand both the beliefs and behaviors of consumers without disclosing personal information. Data analysis techniques like using “clean rooms” and de-identified data, for example, give marketers ways to establish dialogue while protecting personal data and remaining compliant with current regulations. We as marketers need to acknowledge that the avalanche of digital data is overwhelming to interpret, but wrestling with the data to find insights will create better UI and UX and quite possibly lead to the resurgence of direct mail!
  3. Healthcare consumers are people first. To build trust and relevance, we need to stop thinking all patients who have a specific condition are the same and instead take a more human-centric approach to understanding, segmenting and building dialogue. Consumer groups are made up of individuals with varied interests, cultures, beliefs and challenges. Targeting “groups” versus individuals erodes the relevance and reception of our messages.
  4. Marketing success may require broadening your audience. Marketing’s over reliance on looking at sufferers (or patients) as the only audience worthy of interaction compounds the challenge of building trust and staying relevant. To be successful, we need to involve everyone who influences the health decisions of those living with an illness. Let’s move beyond tried-and-true market research methods and take a more innovative approach to understanding the impact of a stakeholder ecosystem.

What’s my most important takeaway? Consumers are over-saturated with content, both relevant and mis-targeted. In healthcare marketing, where consumers are paying closer attention, the implications of not addressing these facts multiply quickly. Luckie Health has collaborated with many clients to better target their most desirable consumers, establish connections and build loyalty. If you are wondering how to establish a richer relationship with consumers, give us a call.