How to Build & Manage an Integrated New Physician Marketing Campaign (AAPL Presentation Recap)

This event recap is co-authored by Emilio Ruocco and Hope Colyer.

In today’s rapidly evolving digital healthcare landscape, marketers understand they must optimize budgets utilizing traditional and online marketing Physician relationship management; digital marketingtactics to acquire customers and inspire action.

The digital marketing statistics speak for themselves: By 2016, online marketing will account for 35% of overall marketing budgets, with tactics such as search engine marketing (46%) and online display advertising (34%) making up the majority of digital budgeting spend.

In the healthcare industry, the influence of digital marketing is undeniable. For the first time ever, health systems are leveraging modern digital marketing tactics to supplement traditional outreach activities – with the end goal of increasing revenues through optimized relationships with prospects, patients, and physicians.

Last week, during the American Association of Physician Liaisons (AAPL) 2015 Conference in Charlotte, NC, I had the opportunity to speak about an example of the success of integrated digital and traditional marketing campaigns in the healthcare space.

Together with my co-presenter, Hope Colyer, Director, MUSC Referral Relations at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC Health), I presented a case study of how MUSC Health is leveraging Evariant’s enterprise patient and physician solutions to drive substantial returns in a New Physicians marketing campaign.

Let’s take a closer look at their integrated process:

Define Physician Marketing Campaign Goals

MUSC Health, a 700+ bed academic medical center servicing approximately 700,000 people in the local tri-county market and 4.8 million people across South Carolina, recruits 100+ new physicians a year.

To promote these new physicians to consumers and referring providers, in 2014, MUSC Health chose to build a specific campaign combining physician liaison outreach with traditional and extensive digital marketing tactics.

They began by segmenting the new physicians into 5 tiers, based on criteria including strategic priority, capacity, and service line growth opportunity. MUSC Health then designated and designed a blend of traditional and digital marketing tactics for each tier.

This was supplemented by documented physician liaison activities, attributed specifically to the New Physicians campaign. Importantly, a defined naming convention for each campaign tactic was utilized, to facilitate future reporting.

Create an Integrated Approach to Managing Physician Marketing

Accenture research shows converging physician and consumer marketing initiatives can result in significant operational (i.e., increased customer acquisition/retention, decreased patient no-shows, etc.) and financial (i.e., increased patient visits/revenue, reduced costs) returns.

Bearing this in mind, MUSC Health’s New Physician marketing campaign leveraged the integration of its WorkFront project management tool with Evariant’s CRM and PRM solutions.

By integrating traditional marketing, physician relationship management and digital marketing, MUSC Health can track and report on the effectiveness of all campaign tactics. These include online digital display, PPC, email, and other marketing tactics; as well as its campaign-specific referral relations liaison activities (i.e., office visits, faculty visits, literature distribution, etc.).

The Evariant platform allowed MUSC Health to establish a baseline and benchmark for future iterations of the New Physician campaign. The platform’s ability to test, analyze, and refine activities will allow them to more efficiently plan and deploy marketing going forward.

Measure & Analyze Campaign Performance

With integrated data and reporting, MUSC Health leveraged the Evariant platform’s robust measurement capability to facilitate precise, continuous learning and optimize investments. The digital and traditional marketing tactics undertaken were also traced through the initial web user application to actual appointment scheduling, allowing MUSC Health to stay focused on actionable data and make timely adjustments as needed.

Among the myriad detailed reportable data, MUSC Health’s Marketing department was able to show hospital leadership the nearly 1 year New Physicians campaign had:

  • 25,360 unique web visitors
  • 4,114 referral liaison visit activities
  • 1,770 community providers visited
  • 573 faculty visits with referring providers; and
  • 1,322 unique new primary care physician appointments scheduled

Final Thoughts

As with any physician and consumer marketing campaign, there will always be potential improvements. In the case of the New Physician marketing program at MUSC Health, we learned better integration of consumer and physician reports and improved revenue attribution techniques could be developed.

These critical insights, however, work to create a path toward so-called “marketing utopia,” where marketing campaigns lead to unquestioned value through greater patient and physician engagement and more significant returns over the long term.

Hope G. Colyer, MHA, leads Referral Relations at MUSC Health, with responsibilities for the referral call center, discharge call center and referral relations program.  Her experience includes referral data analysis, physician engagement strategy and PRM with 20+ years of healthcare marketing experience.


Emilio Ruocco

Emilio Ruocco

Emilio serves as Evariant’s Vice President, Physician Practice leader, ensuring the company’s Healthcare CRM/PRM, business intelligence and marketing solutions deliver maximum strategic value to clients; with particular emphasis on physician market analytics and business development. Prior to joining Evariant, Emilio was Senior Director, Performance Technologies at The Advisory Board Company, helping hospitals yield operational insight from internal systems and external data sets. He has also served as Leader of Customer Value and Insights at Healthways, a leading disease management and wellness firm; and Vice President, Strategic Communications for pharmacy benefits management company CaremarkRx, prior to its merger with CVS Pharmacy. Before entering the healthcare sector, Emilio held business development, investor relations and communications leadership roles for several public companies in a variety of industries.
Emilio Ruocco