I recently shared a cab to an Awards “Do” from Waterloo with a couple of people from the Pharmaceutical industry. During the course of the short cab ride, they shared their pain points when it came to healthcare industry comms – the common litany of expense, time constraints, and a dearth of knowledge on how best to deploy digital comms.

A question they asked of me was what I thought was the most effective (and cost-effective) medium for communicating information internally. And I had to say that, in the B2B sector at least, the Podcast might well win this accolade.

close up of headphones for healthcare podcasts

Podcasts and Healthcare Innovation

Whilst reviewing some of our Toast healthcare work the other day, I was impressed by a series of internal healthcare podcasts (UK) that we produced for a Pharmaceutical company that was launching a product across EMEA. It made me prick up my ears.

What works with a podcast series is the ability to instigate a meaningful conversation between knowledgeable people. In the case of this series, the conversation was between senior leaders in different markets at different stages of brand activation so that those who had come to market already could share invaluable insights and lessons learnt with those further behind the curve in their country launch. So best practice was shared in a relaxed, consultative and collaborative way rather than disseminating “health tech” edicts from “on high”.

Leadership and management looking for a connection

And then there’s the lo-fi nature of audio. Many people feel more comfortable with an audio-only interface. Take away the technology friction, particularly for those senior-level leaders and they feel more comfortable and less intimidated by the production process – and the output often reflects that.

For organisations with employees that travel a lot, or just have a long commute in the morning, audio content can be highly useful in distributing important company information. These kinds of mobile employees are constantly on the go, and video content can often be too restricting for them to absorb the information they need to do their job.

Podcasts are about connection… The true value of healthcare podcasts is the human-to-human connection that transmits so well in audio… We learn so much more from stories than we do from data.

Podcasts, UK numbers

And this connection is reflected in the figures for wider Podcast consumption:
Spotify now boasts 456 million listeners, a massive 74% of UK adults listen to digital radio every week, and 40% of 26 – 35 year olds are listening to podcasts.

Podcasts present one of the biggest growth opportunities for UK media in 2023, according to a survey by market research and analytics firm YouGov.

The real question is, does audio have what it takes to oust video from the top of the advertising charts, and are we likely to see more brands shift budgets to audio throughout 2023 and beyond both to consumers and to their internal audiences?

Get into the business of healthcare podcasts

My advice to those who are considering starting a podcast is to put your heart in the right place.
Start by deciding what is it that your podcast focuses on? So step one: workout for yourself what is the ‘why?’ of your health podcast endeavour.

If you genuinely believe it’s the best way for you to create more connection within your organisation, you almost can’t go wrong.