Klick Health

What made the news in 2014?

Senior Director, Social Media

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Every week we scour the internet for news on digital marketing as it relates to healthcare, mainly in the US market. The news that we pick up gives an indication about what was important throughout the year. The top channels during the year were:

The topics that made headlines in 2014

The topics that made headlines in 2014

The Klick Wire was heavily influenced by mobile and social topics during the year with 57% of all stories falling into those categories. There were a lot of stories labeled “research” as well, these stories were typically about research studies that provide insights about patients or HCPs.

The categories we use

In the Klick wire, there are a total of 13 topics we use to categorize stories. The raw numbers of stories are shown here, with the annual total at 594 (with one issue to go, we should end up at 606).

The number of stories in 2014 by category

The number of stories in 2014 by category

Devices 3 Any devices that may provide a channel for marketing messages. These are most often mobile devices that often have accomanying apps, but can also be technology like kiosks in pharmacies or digital signage.
Digital 48 When a story is about relevant digital channels, but doesn’t fit into one of the other categories such as mobile or social it ends up here.
Email 23 Stories about email, email clients, eCRM, and related systems get lumped under Email. It may not get the most press, but it’s still the workhorse of outbound marketing and eCRM databases hold the most value for digital marketers.
e-Patients 2 The modern e-Patient is an engaged (and electronic) and characterized by the thoughts and perspectives put forward on e-patients.net.
Gamification 3 Gamification is the rather awkward name given to the use of game design elements used in persuasive computing. These are things such as leaderboards, percent of goal, next steps in a path, badges (yes, even badges), and other elements normally found in games rather than marketing
Healthcare 5 Sometimes a compelling story is about health but not about digital marketing. In these cases we use the healthcare tag. The stories are interesting but ultimately not terribly relevant to digital marketing.
Marketing 1 Once during the year we found a story about marketing that was not digital in nature but still interesting enough to include in the Klick Wire.
Media 36 Digital media includes display advertising (DA), search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), and native advertising. In this last category there is a fair amount of spillover with social media.
Mobile 170 2014 was the year of mobile for healthcare marketing. There were stories about mobile apps, mobile search, advertising, usage, smartphone penetration, and more. If it wasn’t clear in 2013 it became obvious in 2014 that mobile support is now mandatory even for smaller brands. Currently we include wearables in with mobile. It might be time to split that out for 2015.
Regulatory 45 We had a bumper crop from the FDA this year in the form of three draft guidances on social media and the final guidance on mobile medical apps. This drove a lot of talk in the industry as marketers found they could more easily convince regulatory with the new draft guidances.
Research 98 When a study is released it is often classified as research. There is a fair amount of bleed between research and the other categories such as social media, mobile, and media in that often the subject of the research is one or more of those.
Security 1 One story was tagged as “security.” Judging by the number of stories of hacking attacks we may see more of these in 2015.
Social 159 The second most popular topic in 2014 was social, driven by the FDA draft guidances and the general demand from patients for the voice of the manufacturer on the channels where they are getting their information. To be clear, patients aren’t necessarily asking for brands to meddle, but they do expect them to be available when they have a question.


At the end of each Klick Wire there is also a section devoted to FDA watching. Here we report on anything that seems remotely digital marketing related. The number of digital-related stories varies through the year but there are usually a couple at least. This is why it’s worthwhile to scan down to the bottom of every issue, you never know what the agency has been up to.

The number of stories per week on the FDA as they relate to digital marketing

The number of stories per week on the FDA as they relate to digital marketing

So that was 2014. With the current trajectory of patients acting like consumers and increasing activity on social and mobile channels we should see an exciting 2015 on the Klick Wire. Don’t miss out on these stories, subscribe below and get your copy every Monday morning at 7AM Eastern.

More About the Author

Brad Einarsen

Brad is Klick's Senior Director leading the social practice. His group ensures that clients get the best bang for their buck on the social platforms.

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