Howard Diamond

Chief Strategy Officer

Chris Kimbrell

Chris Kimbrell

Vice President, Account Management

Creating Relevancy in a Highly-Regulated Field: Personalization in Healthcare

As marketers, we are now living in what Forrester calls “The Age of the Customer.” Consumers are expecting more from brands than ever before, including consistent and valuable brand interactions at every touchpoint. Additionally, individuals are willing to spend more money with and be more loyal to those brands that deliver relevant and personalized experiences. According to a recent study, brands that get personalization right are seeing revenue increase by 6% to 10%.

However, given the sensitive nature of healthcare, this can prove more complicated than in other industries. Many health systems are hesitant to employ personalization strategies, as there is a delicate balance between delivering a meaningful experience and being compliant with data privacy laws and organizational policies. In addition, there is the need for messaging to be appropriate and sensitive to an individual’s situation. The challenge lies in creating the right patient experience without being intrusive.

At Rise, we believe that delivering personalized, meaningful experiences shouldn’t be limited to consumer marketing. Healthcare providers can also engage with their target audiences and deliver content that resonates, resulting in strengthened relationships, increased trust, and enhanced patient experiences. In fact, the barriers to delivering a personalized experience in healthcare create an opportunity for the advertisers who are willing to navigate its complexities.

So what does personalization mean in the context of healthcare? While in consumer marketing personalization might mean recommending the right products based on previous purchases and behaviors, in healthcare personalization can be achieved by tailoring messages based on where an individual is in his or her journey to select a provider. Awareness, preference, and direct response messages are separate and distinct. Effectively delivering the right message to individuals within each of these phases helps to build the framework for driving market share.

Defining Your Goals
As with any marketing initiative, the first step in developing a successful personalization strategy is to define clear goals. This starts by determining your messaging strategy for awareness, preference, and direct response.
 

Awareness - Introduce your brand to audiences who are unfamiliar with it or who have never interacted with your website. Leveraging data to find the right audience is critical, and tailoring your message to users who have never visited your site, or those who have recently moved to the area, will resonate better than delivering messages aimed at lower stages of the funnel.

Preference - You can use machine learning to deliver the most relevant message to healthy individuals, which helps to influence market share. For instance, “Bob” may receive a message about your brand’s sponsorship of the local sports team while “Susan” receives a message about your US News and World Report rankings.

Direct Response - More effectively drive appointment volume by personalizing service line messaging and CTAs based on an individual’s recent web browsing behavior.

For example, one of our healthcare system clients recently sought to increase the effectiveness of programmatic display ads through personalization. With a goal of driving more patient appointments at a lower cost per appointment, we worked with the brand to increase the relevancy of its ads by serving more personalized creative. Using Connex® Personalization, we created templated ads and used machine learning to select the most relevant ad for each individual impression from thousands of possible messaging variations. This resulted in a 780% increase in click-through appointments and a 33% decrease in the cost of acquiring an online appointment.

 

Setting Up the Right Framework

Once you’ve defined your goals, make sure you’ve created the right infrastructure for personalization success. Here are a few best practices for getting started.

1. Develop a messaging and content strategy.
To effectively deliver relevant messaging, you will need to first develop a matrix of the messages you want to deliver to the market. Typically this will be at a service line level. From there, work to ensure that you have relevant landing pages and have thought through the full customer journey. One of the biggest challenges marketers face is having enough content to properly pull patients through the customer funnel using a personalization strategy. If you do not have a defined and active content strategy within your marketing organization, now is the time to get started.

2. Collect the right data.
As you’re aligning content to various service lines and stages within the customer journey, it’s important to capture audience data to inform who is served what content. Your website will need to be tagged in a way that captures customer intent without violating privacy laws. Audience data is typically collected through a data management platform (DMP) that can ingest large amounts of first- and third-party information and process it into actionable insights.

3. Be relevant without being creepy.
Another big personalization challenge in healthcare is delivering valuable content without stepping over any boundaries. This means ensuring your messages are legally compliant, while respecting that healthcare is a personal topic. Personalized ads, emails, or web content can focus on a practice area, but should not be specific to a procedure. Similarly, you should not use personal pronouns or imply that a user has shown interest in a particular specialty or service. For example, it is fine to retarget a user with a banner ad highlighting the quality of your orthopedic practice, but it is not appropriate to state that you know an individual needs an orthopedic specialist or to focus on hip replacement. A good rule of thumb is to consider whether or not someone would be able to infer specific information about an individual’s medical needs if they were “looking over his or her shoulder” and seeing your content.

With the consumerization of healthcare and increasing competition among providers, it is vital that healthcare organizations engage with patients in a relevant manner. By developing a strategy that balances personalized messaging with patient privacy, you’ll be prepared to build a foundation that improves patient acquisition and loyalty, while creating a competitive edge.

To learn more about how we’ve helped healthcare leaders achieve success or our approach to personalization, reach out to our team at Rise. Additionally, check out our recent posts on driving preference through content strategies and closing the loop on patient acquisition.

10/03/2017 at 04:23

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