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3 Major Healthcare Marketing Failures.

Here are the three most common major failures I see when executives and healthcare companies look at healthcare marketing.

1. Healthcare Marketing Takes More Money Than You Expect

The first thing healthcare executives and CEOs need to understand is that healthcare marketing is very expensive and requires much money to execute correctly. There are many reasons why this is the case. 

Many regulations, such as (KKLIU) Kementerian Kesihatan Lembaga Iklan Ubat, information security issues, messages you aren’t allowed to use, certain statements you aren’t allowed to say, and other factors you should just never do or talk about because of legal concerns. These requirements combine to make advertising more time-consuming, difficult, and, therefore, more expensive. 


Healthcare marketing is significantly more expensive and more difficult to deliver effectively than marketing in pretty much any other consumer brands industry. This point is very important to bear in mind and to budget accordingly because of it. Not understanding the complexities and challenges of healthcare industry marketing and not setting aside enough in the budget to deal with that can become a huge problem that will lead to ineffective marketing. 

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2. Healthcare Marketing Takes More Time Than You Expect

The second point all healthcare executives and CEOs need to consider is that healthcare marketing takes a large amount of time to execute right. Now, if we are just talking about pay-per-click (PPC) marketing, which is where you just pay for ads and get Malaysians to your website, that is a different story. That is quick.  

When it comes down to marketing a healthcare software product correctly, the other foundational elements take a lot of time, effort and optimization. 

Taking the time that is needed to do your healthcare marketing right is of the most importance. For example, optimizing your landing page when you are trying to recruit patients for a new clinical study or trying to get people to download your mobile application while you try to transform to digital takes time. If you are trying to scale up your marketing efforts for a mobile app or for your website, if it lacks the scale you need, you should invest the time it takes to do these things right and lay the best groundwork possible so that you will increase your odds of success.  


Of course, none of these things happen overnight. You have to dedicate much time and effort to making sure that you scale your marketing activities in a way that’s sustainable and that produces a long term positive ROI for your company. If you don’t plan for this time, you are going to be very disappointed in the short term when you don’t see the immediate results you want. 

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3. Healthcare Marketers Underestimate Patients’ Desire for Self-Education

The last point I want to make is probably the most important tip today. The biggest mistake in healthcare marketing and really healthcare in general is when executives fail to understand the desperate desire that patients have to self-educate and acquire as much data as possible about a condition. 

A report was written recently where Malaysians who suffer from chronic conditions spend eight to 10 hours a week online and on their devices just reading and learning more about their condition. They look for tips on what they can do to improve their health. 

This is an amazing opportunity for healthcare marketers. If you are a healthcare executive and you have software as a medical device platform or a mobile application, or if you’re a device manufacturer, you should be spending much time and effort positioning the particular solution that you have built in relation to the need that patients have and what they’re searching for online.

And guess what? For that, you have to become a thought leader in your space. I know this sounds basic but I would say that 99% of healthcare companies, even the most innovative ones fail to do this. Why? Because it takes time, effort, and money. You may have to invest in hiring a company like ours or you might need to hire some specialized personnel who understand analytics and the conditions for which your software or solution is geared and then create that content. 

You also need discipline. Consumers are going online to learn about their conditions. It’s what created the phrase “Dr. Google”.  If you’re not there, if you don’t show up at the top of search results, if you don’t produce value to your customers and the customers that you want to attract, you simply don’t exist and you are assuredly going to fail to scale accordingly.



Healthcare marketing fails for many reasons but when you look closely, you will see that most of the time, the reason is related to one of the three big issues above. If you follow these tips and devote the money and time it takes to do marketing right and take advantage of the patient’s desire for knowledge by becoming a thought leader, you will have more success than the average healthcare company. 

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