Takeaways: Healthcare Internet Conference

November 22, 2022 | blog | By Christina McKinney

I recently attended the 26th annual Healthcare Internet Conference, an event focused on all things digital for healthcare marketers. The primary thread that wove itself throughout the conference was the importance of breaking down the silos between operations, IT, and marketing to allow organizations to thoroughly track the patient journey and enhance their experience, all while monitoring ROI and optimizing marketing spend. In other words – it was all about the importance of focusing on your digital front door (aka, the buzzword of the entire conference).

The digital front door is every major patient touchpoint from a technology standpoint. It’s not just a website or any one single product, but rather a compilation of technology that enhances patient access and their experiences along the patient journey. In the world of on-demand consumerism, this is just what today’s customer expects – even in healthcare. After all, 73% of healthcare consumers expect companies to understand their unique needs.**

Focusing on your digital front door allows organizations to meet patient expectations by interacting with patients where they already are.

Here are four things to keep in mind when it comes to enhancing your digital front door:

1. The healthcare patient journey is not linear.

It’s emotional early on and more rational/cognitive later in the journey*. As marketers, we should be aware of this and adjust our content accordingly. We should also understand how patients talk about their healthcare and speak to them in that same way (as opposed to using healthcare industry terminology).

2. Our job as advertisers does not end at the click.

79% of new patient leads will not convert to become patients.** Today’s technology allows us to develop more personalized and dynamic web pages that speak to the patient based on what they are looking for.

3. We need to continue to provide resources and content to the potential patient.

53% of leads are more likely to become patients if they’ve engaged with branded content (newsletters, video, content, assessment/quiz, etc.).** And keep in mind that some content types and media channels may work better for different service lines. For instance, one marketer found that paid search was most effective for primary care, while for their cardiovascular services, Facebook ads were the most impactful.

4. Data is the backbone of media and marketing decisions.***

Aggregate your data for full funnel marketing intelligence. Breaking down the departmental silos will allow you to combine the various data sets vital to capturing ROI – media spend, impressions, traffic/clicks, inquiries, appointments, encounters. Develop a dashboard of this key information for real-time decision making on your marketing messaging and spend.

HCIC was a valuable conference connecting digital healthcare marketers across the U.S. Shared challenges were discussed, as were new innovations and best practices to help address those challenges. It is often said that healthcare tends to be behind the curve in marketing and innovation.

It is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic forced the healthcare industry to quickly evolve in our digital-first world.

And boy has it! While healthcare marketing seems to have more challenges than other industries with privacy and HIPAA protections, it was impressive to see how organizations have found innovative solutions to track and optimize data and effectively target patients despite those challenges. With this kind of momentum in the industry, I’m already looking forward to what new ideas and stories will be shared at next year’s event.


*Teri Sun, White Rhino ** Jessica Walker, Care Sherpa 2022 ***Salesforce State of the Connected Customer 2022

CHRISTINA MCKINNEY is an account director at LOOMIS, the country’s leading challenger brand advertising agency and a top Dallas advertising agency for digital, social, mobile and user experience. For more about challenger branding, advertising, and marketing, leadership, culture, and other inspirations that will drive your success, visit our blog BARK! The Voice of the Underdog and catch up on all of our posts.

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Christina McKinney

at LOOMIS, the country’s leading challenger brand advertising agency


We challenge underdog brands to think differently. We help them find their voice, and urge them to blaze new trails to make sure they stand out from the pack. Whether you need an agency of record or support on a project, we are here to help you win.