The Reinvention of Healthcare Marketing
Opportunity in Disruption
With multiple transformational shifts occurring all at once, a perfect storm is brewing that will likely change the ways most Americans access their healthcare providers, services, and even information. It is ironic, however, that navigating through many of these major changes will seem increasingly familiar as innovative healthcare enterprises start to deliver experiences that resonate uniquely with each of their newly empowered customers.
That’s partly because the business of healthcare is gradually coming of age as individuals and families are making purchasing decisions, alongside brokers and large employer groups, more than ever before. So, in order to better serve their members and patients, health payers and providers are rethinking strategies to attract and retain them for long term relationships. And the key to any successful relationship is to understand as much as possible about your partner.
The shift is also a result of several economic factors expected to impact healthcare even more, including an increasingly competitive landscape, a heightened focus on value-based reimbursement (rather than fee-for-service), and an aging baby boomer population.
Previously, I wrote about the benefits of customer journey mapping as healthcare organizations strive to be relevant. Each step in a customer’s journey provides a critical opportunity for providers to better understand and serve her unique needs and motivators.
Similarly, from the enterprise perspective, there are incremental steps for agile healthcare marketers to consider in order to drive results in this new market and emerge as leaders of the pack.
Here, I’ll share my “High 5” or five of the top trends I identified while working with healthcare leaders in both private and public sectors:
1. Asset Management
Immersive digital experiences begin with the creation and management of content to be presented. Advanced metadata management and automatic renditions are powerful tools that are popular among many content creators.
But innovators set themselves apart by doing more than simply categorizing and storing assets until they’re needed. By building intuitive workflows around all assets, including dynamic images and video, healthcare marketers can collaborate globally on projects across diverse regions with various languages and regulatory requirements. The result is consistent branding that supports compliance audits, with localized messaging that resonates with intended audiences across every channel and device.
The Boehringer Ingelheim case study serves as an example of how content creators and marketers can accomplish amazing things with their assets.
2. Personalized Engagement
According to Forrester Research, “As the age of the customer arrives, all focus shifts to the systems of engagement.” And healthcare leaders couldn’t agree more, particularly as it relates to personalized campaigns, outreach, and dissemination of information.
In our digital world, where the signal to noise ratio can be staggering at times (resulting in higher customer acquisition costs), personalized engagement quickly establishes an organization’s relevance and extends its reach. By minimizing the number of clicks or taps that a user is forced to endure while searching for specific content or health data, healthcare organizations can increase conversion while earning customer loyalty. Otherwise, customers will likely turn to more costly channels (or the competition) to access the same services.
Healthcare marketers are increasingly turning to technology solutions that can effectively assess data known about any visitor (geographic, demographic, behavioral, etc), then leverage that insight to assemble and deliver the personalized content that’s targeted to resonate with each individual across channels to garner the desired response… in real-time.
3. Enterprise Efficiency
One of the most overlooked opportunities for healthcare marketers to positively impact their business is the optimization of business workflows related to serving patients and other stakeholders.
That’s because many marketers are focused primarily on the segments of a customer’s journey leading up to conversion, and processes occurring afterward may be left solely to IT or other functional roles in the business unit. However, critical contributing factors to a new customer’s satisfaction and brand loyalty, as well as an organization’s competitive differentiation, are often based on her first interactions after conversion, as an actual customer.
Since 85% of all business processes start with a form, and at least half of those customer requests are expected to initiate from a mobile device, there is no wonder why the lines between front-facing engagement and back office efficiency are beginning to blur. Workflows ranging from enrollment and claims processing to secure records management can be optimized to improve the overall experience.
For example, Cigna started by cutting in half the average onboarding times for new providers in 2011; while in 2010 Aetna streamlined similar contracting processes from three weeks to one day with the same HIPAA-compliant electronic signature solutions.
Today, in the public sector, US Dept. of Labor increased timely filing for initial injuries and illnesses to 100% in 2012, while the IL Dept. of Human Services reduced annual administrative costs by over $6 million with the same enterprise experience platform.
Stay tuned for part two of this post where I’ll continue exploring the “High 5” and even provide an opportunity for you to measure how your own marketing efforts stack up against the experiences provided by industry leaders…