Health Care Marketing Manager Job Description

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Effective marketing is essential to any organization, but marketing professionals who work for health care institutions and systems face a unique set of challenges and opportunities. Effective health care marketing managers understand how to speak the language of medical care at a level that potential customers can understand, and they know how to find the right time and place to market and advertise their messages.

Effective health care marketing can enable a more streamlined, efficient path for patients. Health care marking, when done right, helps patients more easily find and connect with a provider that aligns with their personal health goals, ultimately leading to better patient experiences and even improved care. An effective health care marketing manager also needs to take into account the unique nuances of health care marketing, such as the importance of exhibiting empathy and complying with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

The nature of these responsibilities leads most aspiring health care marketers to follow a specific career pathway, including obtaining a bachelor’s degree in an appropriate field, gaining work experience in marketing or advertising or furthering their education in health care administration.

Health Care Marketing Manager

What Do Health Care Marketing Managers Do?

Health care providers who invest in strong marketing plans consider the following important elements for each plan:

  • Identify the target audience and appropriate media placement
  • Set up a budget and timeline
  • Clearly define the services, products and expertise to be marketed

During this process, the health care marketing manager determines how and where to promote a provider’s products or services by working with hospital CEOs and other top executives, in-house departments, outside contractors and market research organizations. Incorporating state-of-the-art software and technology is also key to reaching large numbers of prospective patients. This can involve effectively using social media and online platforms, scheduling appointments and using data analytics. These strategies must take into account regulatory and legal compliance, leaving room for adjustments as these components evolve.

Health Care Marketing Manager Roles

A health care marketing manager might determine how well a new doctor’s office is known and accepted by the community, or how and when new ownership of a hospital is introduced to existing stakeholders. When an insurance company rolls out a new program, a smart marketing manager will design a campaign that informs and engages the public without misleading or confusing them with industry or medical jargon.

Health care marketing managers also play an important role in choosing advertising media. When targeting younger audiences and families with young children, for example, advertising on social media can be effective. On the other hand, direct mail can make a bigger impact when seeking to reach older clients and patients. The use of television must be carefully evaluated, curating the best times and channels for the target audience.

Each decision, from campaign design to implementation, must be carefully evaluated to create advertising spots, brochures, flyers and other messaging options that are effective and compelling.

Health Care Marketing Job Description Specifics

While most marketing professionals routinely cycle through the marketing process, there are certain issues that are particular to the health care marketing job description.

  • Privacy constraints. The limitations on access to patient information mandated by HIPAA build a substantial privacy barrier between prospective patients and advertisers. Health care marketing managers must therefore use systems that encrypt or remove sensitive and personal patient information from data, rendering the information anonymous, and keeping it safe and HIPAA compliant.
  • Financial delays. While other industries can use straightforward invoicing, payment and profit information to assess the effectiveness of marketing decisions, the financial systems of health care providers are more complicated. Appeals and reviews may slow down the financial and payment process. Sometimes it can take weeks or even months to determine which medical service costs insurance providers must cover and which costs patients must pay. As such, the ties that connect marketing timelines and financial success aren’t as straight, and the cost-benefit analysis can be very complex and time consuming.
  • Characterizing health providers. Health care providers must present themselves as authoritative medical experts while remaining empathic, approachable and able to provide skilled care with a personal touch. Strong health care marketing managers find innovative ways to portray doctors and nurses as experts in the field of medicine who have compelling compassion for patients.
  • Health education. A health care marketing manager uses advertising to educate the public about serious health conditions and how to avoid them while demonstrating the level of care available from the medical provider. For example, some advertising plans offer free health care screenings to promote medical services at a hospital or medical office. This means marketing managers need to provide accessible information that can be easily understood by current and future patients. This can also mean developing strategies to combat misinformation associated with specific procedures.

Health Care Marketing Manager Qualifications

The path to becoming a health care marketing manager begins with earning a bachelor’s degree that includes coursework in advertising, journalism, marketing, communications or technology. Other related courses, such as visual arts and photography, contribute to a broad marketing background.

Developing knowledge of language and concepts of medicine and the modern health care system is a critical career step. Earning an Executive Master of Health Administration (EMHA) degree can help build this necessary knowledge. Coursework in health care strategies, health planning and management, information systems, finances and risk management can prepare students for management positions in health care advertising and marketing. This coursework can also lay a solid knowledge foundation for aspiring health care marketing managers who may want to become health care executives in the future.

In addition, leadership experience in fields related to marketing management — such as sales, public relations or purchasing — is often required for aspiring health care marketing managers.

The personal and professional qualities most desired by health care marketing employers are:

  • Analytical skills — assessing the desired financial goals and results of marketing efforts and determining the strategies that best achieve those goals
  • Communication and interpersonal skills — communicating and maintaining good relationships with people and departments both inside and outside the organization
  • Decision-making and organization skills — making important decisions while ensuring all related tasks, records and processes work in harmony with a singular goal
  • Technical skills — incorporating innovative programs and systems into cutting-edge advertising campaigns for social media and other marketing platforms
    Creativity — generating artistic and innovative ways to deliver key messages and advertise services and products
  • Creativity — generating artistic and innovative ways to deliver key messages and advertise services and products

Health Care Marketing Manager Salary and Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports advertising, promotions, and marketing managers (including health care marketing managers) made a median salary of $138,730 in 2022, with the top 10% earning a median of more than $239,000. Several factors can influence salary, including education level, experience, the type of employer and the job location.

The BLS projects strong demand for health care marketing managers, estimating that job opportunities for advertising, promotions and marketing managers overall will grow by about 6% between 2022 and 2032. This is double the 3% growth predicted for the U.S. job market as a whole.

Connect Patients and Providers as a Health Care Marketing Manager

Selecting reliable and competent health care and insurance providers can be a daunting task for consumers. Clients and patients look for trustworthy information and budget-conscious offers. The best health care marketing manager candidates have the necessary skills and education to design targeted advertising efforts that connect potential clients, customers and patients to the best provider of the services they need.

The USC Price EMHA program is designed for students who love a challenge and who wish to become effective health care marketing managers. Graduates of the program may be prepared for opportunities that combine their artistic, technical and communication skills to create effective advertising plans for medical facilities, service and care providers and insurance companies.

Learn more about pursuing your professional goals in health care marketing.

Recommended Readings

Health Care Economics in the U.S.: Key Insights for Upcoming Leaders
Health Care Operations During COVID-19
Leadership Styles in Health Care; Executive Leader Development


Forbes, “The Unique Challenges of Health Care Marketing”
Intrepy Healthcare Marketing, “What Is the Best Healthcare Marketing Strategy in 2023?”
Physicians Practice, “Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Healthcare Marketing”
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers”
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “HIPAA for Professionals"
ZipRecruiter, “What Is a Healthcare Marketer and How to Become One”