The Evolving Role of Digital Marketing in Healthcare

Digital Marketing in HealthcareThe healthcare industry is progressive in many ways, but marketing strategy tends to lag behind other consumer-centric industries. Why? With closely monitored HIPPA regulations, including how patient data is used, and the FDA constraining marketing efforts, it’s often tough for healthcare to keep up with other industries’ marketing innovations. Additionally, marketing strategy is not the priority in healthcare – patient care outcomes is (and rightfully so).

That being said, a Deloitte study found that 52 percent of consumers search online for information about treatment options or more generally to learn about health concerns or care providers. According to the same study, consumers’ use of social media for health purposes also rose from 18 percent to 21 percent between 2013 and 2015.

It has become clear that consumers and patients are taking advantage of online resources both during initial research and ongoing care – thus, it is increasingly important that organizations take advantage of digital compliance marketing to boost patient engagement and, ultimately, care outcomes.

Let’s review how healthcare marketing has evolved and how digital marketing can benefit the industry: More

Q&A: Your Promotion is Waiting – Skills Needed to Successfully Transform Your Marketing Department

To continue working toward perfecting the customer experience and contributing to the health system’s growth and acquisition goals, highly functioning healthcare marketing teams need to shift to a dynamic, digital mindset that requires new skills and resources. Traditional marketing approaches still have a place in a multichannel marketing strategy, but in an increasingly competitive world, traditional marketing alone won’t cut it. This starts with the right individuals and team structure. Health systems need individuals who understand how to optimize marketing efforts and interpret data not only to show the revenue impact of programs, but to continue to innovate on what works.

In a recent webinar, Gary Druckenmiller, VP, Marketing Practice Lead at Evariant discussed how to restructure your marketing department by identifying individuals’ strengths and weaknesses and assigning them to applicable tasks. In doing so, marketing can start proving the value of programs and create holistic, lifelong patient experiences.

In case you missed the webinar, here’s a quick summary of the key takeaways along with answers to audience questions: More

Infographic: Top 5 Digital Marketing Trends and Skills Needed to Succeed

Modern healthcare marketing departments need thinkers, feelers, and do-ers who can analyze data, generate demand, and create strategic and creative content to create holistic experiences that ultimately improve patient acquisition and loyalty efforts. A recent study by TEKSystem asked senior marketing executives about their expectations for digital marketing spend, skill needs, and organizational challenges.

The findings from TEKSystems has a lot of overlap with the challenges and skill gaps facing healthcare marketers when it comes to making the transition to an integrated digital campaign approach to reach consumers and patients with the right message at the right time. From mobile and social marketing to content and web design, healthcare marketers need to find ways to master these newer marketing functions to support the health system’s acquisition and retention goals.

Check out TEKSystem’s infographic below to learn more about the top digital marketing trends and in-demand skills of 2017: More

Arming the Marketer: Getting Started with Nurturing in Healthcare

This is the last post in a series that discusses ways in which healthcare marketers can drive success in today’s evolving healthcare landscape. Take a look back at the first post about partnering with the engagement center, the second post about understanding healthcare marketing financials, and the third post about creating dashboards for the C-suite.

No matter what industry, marketers can reap the benefits of nurturing prospects, leads, and customers. This strategy helps to maximize customer engagement, cultivate relationships, and drive loyalty, according to Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Improve Patient Loyalty With Lead NurturingNurturing can also have an astounding effect on the number of qualified leads and cost per lead. Forrester Research found organizations that excel at lead nurturing generate 50 percent more sales leads at 33 percent lower cost per lead.

For healthcare, nurturing consumers is critical because care decisions often take time. The bariatric and orthopedic service lines, in particular, may see lead attribution periods of 1-2 years between initial point of contact and clinical conversion. Nurturing during this yearlong process ensures qualified consumers don’t slip through the cracks.

Whether the goal is to acquire new patients, lead them to conversion, or promote retention, nurturing fills potential gaps in the customer journey with communication and content to help maintain a high level of interest and ensure the health system stays top of mind. In order to successfully nurture consumers throughout the different stages of the patient journey, the health system must have the right strategy and technology in place.

Let’s look at three phases of nurturing in healthcare and tips for getting started: More

Q&A: Proactive Engagement Centers: How Scripps Health Transformed their Traditional Call Center to Deliver Customer-Centric Experiences

Engagement Center RepToo often call center representatives lack context to why a consumer is calling and are forced into a reactive—rather than proactive—position. This creates a disjointed, impersonalized, experience. Because a strong patient-provider relationship is central to this strategic market shift from “volume/episodic” care to “value/relational” care, health systems now need to capitalize on every patient and consumer interaction—from fielding the first inquiry to actively supporting proactive health, ongoing care, and recovery —to achieve a “trusted provider” status in the eyes of the “shopper”.

To respond fully—and to optimize every consumer or patient inquiry—health systems need to speak with a unified voice and deliver consistent, positive experiences with every interaction, both in the physical world and online.

Enter the call center.

Call centers were created to handle everything from switchboard/call-routing to appointment scheduling, pre-registration, and billing questions, as well as physician referrals, nurse triage, and marketing response. In reality, though, many call centers today are falling short on optimizing every patient inquiry and delivering the exceptional, positive experience that every patient expects.

In a recent webinar hosted by Becker’s Hospital Review, Don Stanziano, Corporate Vice President, Marketing and Communications at Scripps Health and Rachel Neely, Senior Healthcare Consultant at Evariant discussed how Scripps implemented an engagement center solution to capitalize on every customer interaction to build deeper, more personalized relationships with their prospects and existing customers.

Let’s take a look at some key takeaways and questions asked during the webinar: More