Guest Column | November 15, 2019

3 Types Of Data-Driven Healthcare Campaigns To Drive New Patient Volumes

By Chris Girardi, Evariant

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Simply put, meeting aggressive service line goals, such as increasing market share, requires a strong data foundation and a precision marketing strategy. Accountability to such goals showcases the marketing team as a revenue-generating growth machine.

I find many marketers operate from behind, lacking critical tools and insights necessary to have a meaningful impact – from strategy design to in-flight optimization to ROI measurement. Instead, healthcare marketers should take advantage of a business intelligence tool as the center of their healthcare metrics initiative. These tools make it possible to access rich patient data including events attended, clinical propensity data, and preferred methods of contact. Then, working off those insights, marketers can design personalized, one-to-one discussions with patients, as well as manage patient and consumer interactions across the entire patient life cycle.

A comprehensive data intelligence system that’s composed of patient, physician, and competitor data feeds valuable, multidimensional data into your healthcare CRM. HCRMs enable organizations to track patient and provider data over time to better inform marketing and campaign strategy, while also monitoring progress to acquisition, engagement, and retention goals in an organized, intentional manner.

If your health system could benefit from more patients (and who wouldn’t), a data-driven approach is imperative. Let’s take a look at three types of marketing campaigns that can be bolstered by data.

Intelligent Mobile Campaigns

Ninety-one percent of adults keep a mobile phone on their person at all times. Mobile campaigns can take many forms to reach people in different ways – whether it’s based on email, SMS, social media, or your health system’s mobile app. And with smarter, data-driven mobile campaigns, your health system will begin to reach customers where they’re most likely to react.

The first rule of thumb is this: Landing pages should be mobile optimized with clickable CTAs, which reduces bounce rate and boosts ROI. Tap to call is a must in these pages. And remember, when it comes to offering downloadables (guides, etc.) steer clear of PDFs! No one likes to continuously “pinch and zoom” while trying to consume content. Consider a web-based alternative to create a better user experience.

Geofencing also plays a role, making it easier to acquire new patients in your target market. Geofencing puts an "invisible fence" around a specific location, like a nearby clinic or pharmacy – or even your own hospital – and then sends timely, geographically relevant messages to customers when they enter the area. For example, when someone is nearby an urgent care facility within your network, prompt them to get this year's flu shot. Geofencing effectively markets to customers who are close to your health system, often with an ROI that exceeds many other channels and campaign tactics. In fact, the clickthrough rate for a geofenced mobile campaign is five times higher than a typical prospecting ad.

Finally, mobile is a great tool to improve patient engagement. For example: A mobile health app should provide push notification reminders about future appointments. Then, if a patient interacts with these transactional reminders, trigger an invite to a relevant seminar. When a business intelligence tool is overlaid with the HCRM (which tracks when a customer has their next appointment while hosting information about which service lines are of interest), it identifies areas in the patient journey most likely to result in leakage and suggest ways to re-engage those patients. This results in fewer no-shows and improved retention.  

Multi-Channel Campaigns

Consider this: 72 percent of customers want to connect across multiple online channels. When constructing an overall patient acquisition and retention strategy, using multiple channels maximizes your effectiveness ­– provided these campaigns use recent, relevant, and matched patient data. Digital channels are less expensive than traditional mediums like television, billboards, and radio, while also boasting the ability to deploy precision marketing strategies.

A well-known health system on the West Coast recently implemented a multi-channel campaign to improve their volumes. After launching the campaign, they saw an 11 percent decrease in cost per digital lead, a 44 percent increase in call leads year-over-year. This contributed to 23 percent more procedures, and a 27 percent higher ROI. That is to say, integrated, multi-channel campaigns work.

To deploy a successful campaign, first use propensity models to identify the best consumers and audiences to target. Propensity models use historical data to predict the likelihood of a consumer being at risk of a particular health issue and in need your hospital’s services in the near future. Once these high propensity segments are identified, examine your HCRM for persona traits to determine the experiences and pain points that comprise each group.

This approach gives your health system the necessary data - such as historical activity, claims data, and demographic information - to target consumers with personalized messaging through the appropriate mix of marketing channels. Simultaneously, this detailed information can be used to create programmatic ad groups for the mobile components of the integrated campaign. All messaging should answer to the needs, requirements, and preferred digital channels outlined in each patient persona, speaking to what's in it for the consumer (and not just how great the health system is).

Remarketing Campaigns

Lead attrition is a natural part of any campaign: Not every lead will become a patient. However, it is possible to recapture the leads who weren't ready or a weren’t a good fit at the time of initial inquiry. Maybe they downloaded a guide or competed a health risk arrestment from your hospital’s website, but never made an appointment. This leaves your organization with some information, but no clear way to bring them back into the funnel.

Recapturing leads requires looking into your HCRM data to understand which kind of customer the lead can be categorized as and what their next desired action would be. For example, did they begin scheduling an appointment and never finish? Did they leave the site before registering for the required seminar? Did they simply visit a guide download page without actually downloading the guide?

Once the desired action has been uncovered, you’ll be able to deploy your retargeting campaign. This can be done in a few ways. One coming method is using Google Ads, along with other social networks, to tag certain webpages with a remarketing tag. Then, decide if the remarketing campaign will recapture web visitors, mobile app users, or even those who provided an email. Next, examine the information contained in your HCRM again. Become familiar with which devices were used, what pages were interacted with, and where the next interaction should be. Create a new message based on the persona’s needs and previous actions, and then deliver it urging their next action on the right device.

Nurturing campaigns are another great way to reactivate consumers in their health journey. A deep understanding of consumer segments, as it relates to a particular patient journey, determines the right mix of remarketing channels.

Remarketing campaigns are great for maximizing marketing budgets, especially if they leverage historical insights from past campaigns. Plus, remarketing campaigns often have a clickthrough ratio that is 10 times better than that of traditional display ads, lowering cost per action and increasing conversion rates. Many marketers agree with the merits of retargeting campaigns: 91 percent find they work the same or better than typical digital marketing campaigns that focus on search, email, or display ads.

Final Thoughts

Untargeted, drive-by attempts to develop marketing campaigns often result in wasted budgets and an overall opportunity loss. Instead, healthcare marketers must start leveraging tools that have made other direct-to-consumer industries successful – like using CRMs to create properly targeted campaigns that will capture more leads, increase conversion rates, and increase customer retention.

Before launching any of these data-driven campaigns, create realistic benchmark targets and goals, whether it’s increasing ROI, capturing more leads, or increasing conversion rates. When these goals have been measured and tracked, and campaigns deployed accordingly, it allows marketing to position itself as a crucial revenue driver within the health system.

About The Author

Chris Girardi is the VP of Precision Marketing at Evariant. He oversees all staff and functions of Evariant’s multi-channel digital media offerings including planning, analysis, management, execution and analytics. Chris has over eight years of experience in digital media and direct response marketing.