Published: January 18, 2018

We’ve previously discussed the importance of tracking marketing effectiveness in today’s healthcare environment, and listed the types of activities you might want to measure.

But those numbers are meaningless if you don’t have a strategy behind them. In this series we’ll explore each element of tracking and measuring your healthcare marketing team’s efforts, from good data to performance indicators to actual ROI. Today, we’ll discuss how to use key performance indicators (KPIs) to mark progress toward your goals.

Determine your metrics
What exactly are KPIs? Here’s a good definition: “KPIs are an actionable scorecard that keeps your strategy on track. They enable you to manage, control, and achieve desired business results.”

Here are a few examples of healthcare KPIs:

  • Conversion rates
  • Bounce rate average across web pages
  • Number of marketing-influenced “purchases” (i.e. scheduled appointments, seminar signups, etc.)
  • Number of vetted newsletter subscribers
  • Rankings and search traffic for targeted keywords

(Want more? Check out “The 6 Marketing Metrics Your CEO Wants to See“ and “The 10 Marketing KPIs You Should be Tracking.”)

You don’t need a lot of KPIs to measure your marketing effectiveness. The depth depends on your goals. But whatever the case, KPIs need to be tied to your larger business goals. A study from Econsultancy and Google reported that 95% of leading marketers agree that “to truly matter, marketing analytics’ KPIs must be tied to broader business goals.”

Put simply, what is your healthcare organization trying to accomplish through its marketing? Drive awareness to your oncology center of excellence? Increase urology appointments? Reduce post-op readmission rates by 30% and redirect consumers to primary care or urgent care clinics?

That will drive the KPIs you track and act on.

To isolate the right KPIs for your purposes, ask some important questions:

  • What is your main objective for your campaign?
  • Which KPIs match that goal?
  • What analytics are best to measure your KPIs?
  • How can you optimize the KPIs you have selected?

For example, if your goal is to drive volume to your bariatrics program by 20 percent over the next quarter, you want to measure conversion rates, site traffic, and seminar signups and appointments scheduled.

Turn them into tangible data
After you’ve selected KPIs, determine:

  • The source for the raw numbers and how frequently you report. A good schedule to start with is measuring marketing performance weekly and marketing effectiveness monthly
  • Realistic goals to measure progress
  • A comparison period (such as the previous week, month, or year)

Then, create a spreadsheet that documents and tracks:

  1. Your marketing goals
  2. The KPIs
  3. Your plan for gathering this performance information
  4. Who will be responsible for collecting and reporting this data

Now your measurements become more than just raw data; they become tangible metrics.

Don’t just compare your numbers against healthcare standard benchmarks. Set your own unique goals that fit your unique organization — often against previous metrics for your own system. If this is your first campaign for a particular service line or event, you may need to use in-campaign reporting and optimization.

The best case scenario? When you can find a marketing automation solution that helps keep track of these metrics for you, in real-time, and includes a dashboard for easy visibility into campaign performance, across channels.

Next steps
Now that you’ve got tangible metrics, how can you take that data even further to demonstrate the value of your marketing efforts? By calculating return on investment (ROI). In our next post, we’ll discuss ROI and how to figure the value of your marketing efforts.

Want more healthcare marketing tips and tricks? Download our Healthcare Digital Marketing Toolkit.