Posted: April 20, 2017

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll have noticed that healthcare consumerism is a hot topic these days. The industry is on the crest of a wave of consumer expectations destined to crash on the shores and remake the landscape. So, as a healthcare marketer, how do you prepare? How can you get the right strategy, team, and investments in place to be ready to deliver the most engaging consumer experiences possible?

Dream big. So much is possible with today’s technology. No matter the size of your organization or your budget, there are solutions and services that a can help you on the path to better consumer experience. Start with your ultimate wish list for how to achieve your goals.

  1. Healthcare CRM
  2. Healthcare CMS
  3. Mobile and Social Marketing Technology
  4. Local Search Domination
  5. Integration

Let’s break these down a bit.

CRM


Disjointed consumer data might be the biggest roadblock to healthcare marketing’s ability to deliver great consumer experiences. We have access to this data, but it lives in such disparate and disconnected places, using it to form a more complete picture of our audience requires more manual labor than you probably have time for. Plus, you need better and more real-time analytics on your data in order to be able to make better decisions on targeting and optimize performance.

A CRM solution architected for healthcare’s specific needs can help you overcome this roadblock. You need one that incorporates:

  1. Real-time consumer data – demographics, clinical data, behavioral data, and more
  2. Targeting recipes – expanded analytics and recipes for cross-channel digital and anonymous audiences 
  3. Multi-channel campaign management and execution – the usual suspects with the ability to work together 
  4. Real-time lead management – lead qualification and conversion for marketing campaigns 
  5. Two-tier performance measurement – measure all campaigns in real-time and leverage financial data to measure downstream ROMI

CMS


Your web platform absolutely should not hinder your progress. You need a solution flexible enough for your own team to be able to develop, deploy, and maintain personalized experiences across multiple platforms, including mobile, and test and experiment along the way – without over reliance on IT.

A healthcare CMS architected for healthcare consumer expectations should include:

  1. Platform tools that let you own front-end presentation and thus consumer experience. Design and user experience should be channel driven, rather than limited by the platform. 
  2. You need healthcare-specific applications out-of-the-box, like Find A Doc, appointment scheduling, driving directions and phone numbers, registration for classes and events and trials, etc.
  3. Integrations to third-party data sources like contact center applications and physician credentialing systems.
  4. Tools for enabling sophisticated, personalized experiences based on consumer data.
  5. A future-proof decoupled architecture that allows you to create, manage, and publish content, no matter the channel preferences of your consumers now or in the future, no matter the device or display.

Mobile and Social


Consider these three facts:

  1. Facebook is the most significant channel for digital engagement and media consumption.
  2. Facebook rules mobile, and mobile rules consumer consumption.
  3. Facebook has a unique ability to target consumers with effective advertising without compromising user experience.

So how can you leverage these realities for better healthcare consumer experience?

When you choose your social and mobile marketing solution and/or service provider, make sure you’re partnering with someone who has deep healthcare targeting capabilities and proven tactics to manage and measure campaigns at every stage of your funnel. Go farther than vanity metrics with real engagement and marketing effectiveness that can deliver and track downstream results, from the first click through to scheduling. Service-line specific expertise is a must.

Local Search


You have to optimize your physician and locations listings for local search because it’s where your consumer journey most often begins. When consumers search for your brand or searches for local providers on a mobile device, that signals an intent to schedule. Take advantage of this highly convertible traffic by dominating local search and winning more “near me” moments. Paid Google search ads, especially using highly differentiated ad extensions, are one of the best ways to accomplish this.

Integration


The average marketing stack is made up of almost 17 disconnected, underutilized applications or vendor services. If you can streamline your martech and vendor relationships, you’ll not only minimize complexity, you’ll also improve connections or integrations between those applications. You need each one of your martech tools to be able to talk to all the others if you’re going to unify consumer data, channels, campaigns, site visitor information, and performance measurement. Open architecture is one thing to look for in your technology, but a willingness to build API connections where necessary is even more important.

The key here is that you don’t have to do everything all at once. Consumer experiences are evolving, and you can evolve alongside them. You just have to put together a plan (or you can use roadmap) and get started. Consumers have expectations for rich, personal, integrated experiences, and the sooner you start trying to meet them, the better set you’ll be to impact the health of your population and deliver results on your marketing efforts.

Want to learn more about the state of healthcare consumer experience in 2017? Download our white paper.