Healthcare Association Marketing Trends

Posted by Elise Van Buskirk on May 21, 2009

The old adage that “time flies when you’re having fun” really hit home for me this morning. As I was reflecting on the last ten years I’ve spent in the professional working world, I realized that one of the common denominators in each of my positions has been healthcare. 

I began my career on the public relations side, working with healthcare systems and big pharma. That interest has carried over into my role in the recruiting world. In the last four years at Paladin, I’ve worked with nearly 30 healthcare associations, providers, insurers and pharma companies, providing a vast array of talent for marketing, creative, programming, membership, training, event and communications departments.  Working with marketers and creatives in this space has allowed me the opportunity to stay abreast of trends, pressures, challenges and nuances in the field.

To get an even deeper understanding of these trends, I launched a survey of my healthcare association clients last month. The goal was to better understand the marketing, membership and staffing trends within these organizations.  I think you’ll find the survey results interesting.

A few key findings:

– The healthcare association world is a “healthy” one, despite the turbulent U.S. economy. The majority of respondents noted that their overall membership base in continuing to grow and that from an organizational perspective, they plan to continue expanding in other markets.

– As with many organizations, healthcare associations are embracing the new social media movement and offering new online and interactive forums to help their members and employees communicate. Facebook and Linked-In are becoming the top social media tools in the communications arsenal of these organizations.

– In order to remain competitive, healthcare associations are expanding their product and service offerings in 2009, including e-learning programs, online conferences, and social  media tools.

I encourage you to review the full survey findings in the hope that you’ll be able to leverage them as you continue to build marketing and communications campaigns and products for your members this year.

I also welcome your insights and hope you will help create a larger dialogue on this topic.  Feel free to comment here, or to contact me off-line with questions, ideas, suggestions, requests or additional resources:

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