Meaningful healthcare marketing in 2019


Meaningful healthcare marketing in 2019

We are lucky to have clients and colleagues that share our values. So we thought it would be valuable to bring together what we believe will be the most meaningful groundbreaking, marketing supertrends for the coming year, along with insights, innovations and standout strategies from our network.

"Our belief is that spotting trends is key for survival in today’s busy world. Our intent is that you can begin to use these ideas, inspired by real-life examples and key strategies, to guide, support and drive life-changing campaigns in 2019."

Ricky Conaghan - Creative director - HATCH


We are lucky to have clients and colleagues that share our values. So we thought it would be valuable to bring together what we believe will be the most meaningful groundbreaking, marketing supertrends for the coming year, along with insights, innovations and standout strategies from our network.

"Our belief is that spotting trends is key for survival in today’s busy world. Our intent is that you can begin to use these ideas, inspired by real-life examples and key strategies, to guide, support and drive life-changing campaigns in 2019."

Ricky Conaghan - Creative Director - HATCH



"Meaningful marketing means creating positive change to people’s lives. It’s about knowing what matters to them and knowing how you can add and enhance that - whether it’s providing a sense of community, a deeper sense of  personal wellbeing or technology that helps people live life to the full."

Ricky Conaghan - Creative Director



In 2019 health, wellness and self-improvement obsessed customers will continue to try out and test different ways to improve their health. They will increasingly experiment and tweak their lifestyle with everything from monitoring their health metrics (diet, fitness, sleep) daily via trackers and apps to micro-dosing with nutrients and supplements.

The most important thing for these consumers is a sense of control and empowerment around their own health.


Pulsario - saving lives remotely

Heart disease is the world’s No.1 killer and demand for cardiovascular care is outstripping supply. Pulsario aims to transform patient heart management with remote healthcare monitoring that can predict and prevent avoidable heart failure problems, improve quality of life and ultimately save lives. It uses patients medical data, comorbidity and heart failure data to analyse their care, provide daily updates and immediate alerts to their caregivers if something requires attention; all done remotely via an app.

“The idea is not to simply speed up what we already know, but to improve and change the way we monitor, engage and treat heart failure patients, our mission is to save more lives.”

Kevin A Courville, MD, FACC

Timeshifter - new app uses algorithms to combat jetlag

This app promises the cure for jetlag using algorithms that adapt to the users own sleep patterns, flight plan and preferences. This new concept is backed up and endorsed by astronauts and F1 pilots.



Johnson & Johnson pioneer intelligent contact lenses

Named one of Time's Best Inventions of 2018, and set for growth in 2019 Johnson & Johnson’s Acuvue Oasys contact lenses intelligently respond to changing light conditions. Not only do they correct your vision but they automatically reduce exposure to bright light, filter out blue light and block UV rays.


Using data to satisfy the need to be seen

In the same way health-obsessed consumers want control over their health, they expect highly personalised experiences from brands. This will lead to a trend towards hyper-personalisation in 2019, when we’ll increasingly witness data, AI and even DNA being used to meet this need. There is great potential for all brands to offer a more personalised experience across all digital platforms.


Adidas created 30,000 personalised videos

Even video can be used in a hyper-personalised way, as Adidas proved when they created 30,000 personalised videos for everyone that ran the Boston marathon. An incredible feat that earned them considerable press and brand love.

Nestle trials DNA personalised diets

Nestle is now piloting a program in Japan to test out DNA personalised diets and supplements, using a blend of genetic testing, artificial intelligence and photos of meals that users submit via an app. The ‘Wellness Ambassador’ program automatically recommends lifestyle changes and specially formulated teas, smoothies and supplement capsules - not dissimilar to Nespresso capsules.

“In the 21st century, innovation is using the internet and AI to solve problems that our customers didn't realise they had, or problems they had given up on. Younger consumers don’t pick a brand, they go searching for one. When people talk about brand marketing, I'm just thinking, 'what's that?'”

Kozo Takaoka, CEO, Nestle Japan

Pheramor - new DNA matched dating app

This new dating app is using DNA compatibility as a basis for its matchmaking algorithm. After users submit a cheek swab using a specially-created kit, a team of in-house scientists can sequence the specific genes associated with attraction. This allows them to match up users that might be sexually compatible.



Talking to the forgotten demographic

Health brands are still ignoring their older customers in favour of younger consumers. They do so at their peril. This demographic aren’t like their parents were at their age. They use tech, they feel young, they have more to spend than younger generations and care deeply about their health and wellbeing.

Sadly, even when brands do market to the older generation, they don’t do enough to challenge stereotypes and instead, make people feel even older than they are.


  • 72% of marketers underestimate how much consumers 55 and older spend (Age of Majority report, 2017)

  • Only 13% of those aged 50 and over believed that the health industry was most likely to represent them in a way they related to (YouGov 2017)

  • 46% of over-50s said they felt their age group is patronised (Mintel)

  • Over 50s spend, or the ‘grey pound’ accounts for over £320bn of UK spending (Coniq)

  • By 2025, the EU’s 50+ population will have increased from 199 million to 222 million, or 43% of its total population (Retail for the Silver Economy, 2018)


And don’t make the mistake of believing the older generation isn’t tech-savvy:

“Thanks in part to the readability of tablets, social media among the over-50s has increased by 30% in recent years with some retailers seeing up to 200% increase in sales for the over-50s, partly driven by online purchases.” –  The Raconteur

In 2019 it will be crucial for health brands to recognise the full potential of marketing to older adults and tailor campaigns accordingly. Challenging stereotypes of this age group is key, as is reflecting how products and services can be relevant to them specifically.


Branding goes beyond how you look

The unstoppable rise of voice assistants such as Alexa and Siri, along with wearables and frictionless mobile experiences, means brands are becoming more humane and emotionally engaging.

This is raising the bar for everyone and means that in 2019 you’ll have to consider not just what your brand looks like, but what it sounds, feels and acts like.

To win in this environment, your brand must adopt a human personality that speaks the consumer’s language – in other words, to become their buddy.” - Stylus (trend analysts)


Sustainability isn’t new, but in 2019 it will become mainstream

Every brand needs to look at its carbon footprint, reduce waste and find innovative ways to become more sustainable.

This has to go beyond a token gesture if it’s to stand up to the scrutiny of climate-conscious consumers.

Consumers will increasingly reject brands that don’t meet environmental standards and increasingly embrace brands that show true leadership and work to solve problems for everyone.


AllBirds - open-sourced renewable soles

The cult shoe brand invented a sole made out of renewable sugarcane rather than fossil fuels. More importantly, Allbirds is making the recipe open-sourced and available to the rest of the industry so that other brands can start incorporating it into their shoes as well. Swapping out a carbon positive raw material with a carbon negative one could have an enormous impact on the industry that generates significant carbon emissions.


Starbucks and McDonalds join forces to reinvent the takeaway cup

In a surprising move, McDonald’s and Starbucks are joining forces as part of a competition to source a global recyclable and compostable cup solution for the sake of the planet. A spokesperson for the initiative said, “A better cup will benefit the entire industry and we invite others to join us as we move these efforts forward.”


Wework bans meat to reduce its carbon footprint

WeWork, the real estate company that rents out and manages office space and famed for including free food and drink on premises, has announced that they will no longer hold any events that include meat and that staff will not be able to expense any meals that include poultry, pork or red meat.

“New research indicates that avoiding meat is one of the biggest things an individual can do to reduce their personal environmental impact, even more than switching to a hybrid car.”

WeWork co-founder Miguel McKelvey



All health technology should put consumers and patients in control

Customer experience will overtake price and product as the key differentiator for your brand in 2019.

As we explored earlier on in this report, patients are no longer passive in healthcare and are using the internet and health apps to great effect.

“From tracking personal metrics to forming communities around chronic conditions - comparing experiences, providing support and exploring different treatments - patients now expect to be the key decision makers in their healthcare journey.” 


“72% of businesses say that improving the customer experience is their top priority”-

“Companies with the strongest omni-channel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers, as compared to 33% for companies with weak omni-channel strategies” - Aberdeen Group Inc.

“In the U.S., the estimated cost of customers switching, due to poor service, is $1.6 Trillion” - Accenture

Huge potential for brands

This trend means there is enormous potential for all brands to recognise patient advocacy, offer a more personalised experience and differentiate themselves by serving people better across their entire digital footprint.


Making the patient the hero of your marketing

Video storytelling that gives medical advances and experiences a human face will be a key tactic for healthcare marketing and websites in 2019.

When you have a complex message or complex medical advances to communicate to the general public, it can be a challenge to educate without overwhelming.

It can also be a challenge to communicate in a positive way.

In the past, many companies based their marketing on agitating their customers’ fears. In today’s more cynical and savvy world, this scaremongering approach is becoming less effective.

From fake news to data privacy to social media backlash, people are more cynical of marketing than they’ve ever been.

“This means that in 2019, the key is to make your patient, not the brand, the "hero". Video is a particularly powerful medium for educating as it entertains; telling relatable stories that customers connect with.” 

3 examples of brilliant video storytelling...

The 70th birthday of the NHS

Around the NHS’ 70th Birthday, adverts communicated the advancements of the NHS through real patients' stories. The BBC production, How the NHS Changed our World, also put patients at the heart in a truly engaging and inspiring way.


Nike's jogger advert

With its depiction of an overweight runner finding his own "greatness" this ad by Nike manages to be empowering and overturn stereotypes without patronising. It’s still one of the most powerful pieces of video marketing from the past decade

Our campaign to educate investors on a unique solution to combat antibiotic resistance

Momentum Bioscience is developing a range of innovative diagnostic products to help combat antibiotic resistance and sepsis by providing early detection of the presence and absence of bloodstream infections.

We we're tasked with creating an animated explainer video that would educate and inspire potential investors in the company.


And there you have it. There’s some pure gold here that could really help you develop powerful and impactful marketing, branding and communications this coming year.

But if you’re to take one thing away, let it be this - in 2019 the health and pharmaceutical industry needs to do more to give patients control and meet their needs in a personalised way.

Perhaps you’ll do this by developing hyper-personalised technology? Or simply by delivering a more personalised customer experience?

Perhaps you’ll do this by recognising the enduring youthfulness of the older generation? Or simply by making patients the heroes of your video marketing?

“However you take your own brand forward this year, above all, the most important thing is that you show your audience that you care about them as individuals. Only then, will they care about you in return.” 

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great together!

Is there anything we can help you with?
Get in touch for a quick quote.