By John Lavey | Hammock President/COO

“May you live in interesting times” sounds like a friendly toast you hear at a wedding reception. However, the saying is actually an ironic “Chinese curse.” The irony? Interesting times are times of great change and challenge during which we move from one crisis to another. Indeed, times that aren’t interesting are peaceful and calm.

For healthcare marketers, these are very, very interesting times.

Not only must a healthcare marketer stay on top of the ever-changing capabilities of healthcare information technologies (HIT) in the markets they serve, but they must also keep up with the once-promising tools in the field of marketing technology (MarTech).

A real-time example of such “interesting times” can be witnessed when HIT and MarTech collide over privacy and personalization.

Here’s an example. Last year, the use of “geo-targeting” was being touted for its ability to help healthcare marketers use online advertising strategies like “geofencing” to set a perimeter around a specific location, such as a hospital, drugstore or clinic.

However, last Friday, NPR ran a story about the same technology but labeled it, “Digital Ambulance Chasers.”

With the recognition of privacy concerns raised by Europe’s GDPR privacy guidelines taking effect last week and the continuing controversy of Facebook’s use of private data, healthcare marketers must now have a working awareness of privacy laws and changing patient attitudes toward what’s considered acceptable practices.

And here’s an even-newer movement on the horizon. Last week, Vermont became the first state to regulate data brokers. If you’re not familiar with data brokers, well, that’s the idea. According to TechCrunch, “These companies don’t really have a consumer-facing side, instead opting to collect information on people from as many sources as possible, buying and selling it among themselves like the commodity it has become.”

And what are those sources? While medical data sources are protected by HIPPA and can’t be brokered, it’s not against the law for a company to make an educated guess of healthcare needs based on the products and devices one purchases.

Or the waiting room they are sitting in.

Yes, healthcare marketers live in interesting times.

Marketing Technology Landscape | Martech 6,829
Source | | 2018

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Photo: Nashville Skyline | iStock

About Hammock Healthcare Idea Email |
This post is part of Hammock’s award-winning Idea Email series. Idea Emails are sent every other week and share one insightful marketing idea. Idea Email comes in two flavors: Original and Healthcare. To subscribe to the original Idea Email (general marketing ideas), click here . To subscribe to the Healthcare Idea Email (healthcare marketing ideas), click here.