“Oh, you work in marketing! That means you plan parties and make posters all day, right?”
:: blank stare ::
We don’t even know how to respond to that.
Gone are the days of taking the “spaghetti approach” to marketing: throwing spaghetti at a wall and seeing what sticks. Effective healthcare marketing is a lot more complex and, therefore, strategic than that.
It involves setting measurable goals and objectives and collecting relevant data to ensure that you’re getting more out of your marketing than you’re putting into it. (The fancy term is “return on investment,” or ROI.)
But your job doesn’t end with data collection. We have to do something with this data in order for it to mean something and be useful.
We analyze it to look for trends, test our assumptions and glean insights that inform (different word? Guide? Shape?) our strategy. We call this process “marketing analytics.”
If data scares you, don’t worry — we’re here to help you realize its power and leverage it to work for you and not against you.
Get to Know Your Target Audience
Data gives you the most important information as a marketer. It helps you identify and segment your target audience and learn about them and the types of information they need.
Your healthcare customer relationship management (HCRM) tool provides this data — such as demographics and service utilization — through integration with your organization’s electronic medical records.
Reach Your Target Audience: Patient Journey Mapping and Population Health
As a healthcare marketer, you’re asking people to trust your organization with their most prized possession: their bodies. The least you can do is show that you care enough to know who they are and what their needs are.
Once you know who your audience is and how to reach them, it’s time to target and personalize your approach and messages. You can do so using practices such as patient journey mapping and population health programs, which both use your HCRM tool.
It’s easy to confuse the two, so let’s distinguish them upfront:
- Patient journey mapping provides an understanding of the patient experience to shed light on ways to improve processes
- Population health improves health outcomes by delivering quality care to patients who need it and promoting wellness to all
Patient journey mapping
Patient journey mapping offers insight regarding what patients experience throughout the course of their care. While healthcare organizations use it to improve processes, this information ultimately helps healthcare marketers:
- Provide patients with the information they need when they need it
- Keep patients engaged in between touch points to keep your organization top of mind
The patient journey kicks off with a trigger event such as a completed web form or visit. Your HCRM tracks each touch point.
Your role as a healthcare marketer used to be to fill beds with patients. Now your job is quite the opposite: to keep patients out of your hospital.
Confused? Let’s clarify: Because of changes to healthcare reimbursements, many hospitals are now incentivized to deliver quality care over quantity. You may have heard about value-based care versus volume-based care. While we as healthcare marketers are unable to inform treatment, we do play a part in prevention by promoting behavior change.
Turning up your population health skill set has been becoming more and more important. A common application of population health in healthcare marketing involves segmenting your audience based on risk for getting certain conditions. Then serve each group with health content and information that applies to their health and needs.
Consider using your HCRM’s marketing automation tool to send targeted and timed emails if you aren’t already. Learn 6 reasons why you should be sending a wellness email campaign.
Win Internal Support
As healthcare marketers, we’re charged with doing more with less. But what would you do if you had more? Start reporting your data consistently, and you just may find out.
Data is a language that doctors and hospital administrators speak and a common ground for the C-suite, clinical staff and the marketing department. Use this common ground to your advantage, and don’t be bashful about showing your healthcare marketing ROI.
If you’re stumped working through the details of your analytics, let our team help. Contact Jennifer Horton, VP Strategy, today at email@example.com or 812-253-6311.