Recently, Ward Alles and I sat down with – Lori Brenner and Jody Spusta – from Tea Leaves Health and interviewed them for Core Exchange, our healthcare marketing podcast. Both women are well-versed in consumer and physician engagement strategies. Our conversation focused on the art and science of physician relations, and how it can tie into consumer outreach.
Throughout our conversation, it became evident that in order to be an effective healthcare marketer today, one needs to have a balance of art and science with everything one does.
Marketing budgets are not doubling overnight. So as healthcare marketers, we need to be smarter and more strategic with our dollars. We need to find a better way to reach our audiences and prove a return on investment for leadership. Marketing automation is no longer optional to remain competitive. It’s a must in order to reach consumers in a meaningful, personalized way.
I personally hate the term “marketing automation”. It sounds so cold, and so institutional. However, if you really take a deep dive into truly understanding what marketing automation is and how it works, it’s the perfect tool to help you create that perfect combination or “art” and “science”.
Marketing automation refers to software platforms and technologies designed for marketing departments and organizations to more effectively market on multiple channels online (such as email, social media, websites, etc.) and automate repetitive tasks.
Those “repetitive” tasks are important, as each one is an opportunity to connect with the consumer on a personal level. When connected to your CRM, this is where marketing automation truly shines.
In order for marketing to be effective, we must build connections with the empowered healthcare consumer. Many hospitals and health systems spend the majority of their email marketing time and resources on broadcast emails that are impersonal and ineffective.
The art is understanding the patient’s journey. That means their healthcare needs, and the best ways to reach, teach and move them to take action. This is where your brand position, with content that is relevant to them and their needs, and creative execution that makes them pay attention, comes into play. You can even create more effective campaigns that connect with your patients based on their engagement.
The best part of marketing automation is understanding the science that makes it work. You can leverage insights about your campaign to improve marketing strategy and make data-driven decisions to optimize performance, all in real-time. A/B testing allows you to improve email performance as you go, leveraging the personalized data you collect as you go to reach your audiences with more effective content. It does more than helping promote services lines that are of recent strategic importance. Personalizing your messages for around your audience’s engagement with your emails can help them lead healthier lives. It can help them take an action they may have been putting off.
You can set-up lead nurturing, scoring metrics and measure the revenue attribution of every piece of content you create. You can also identify, track and engage your audience of healthcare consumers online, filtering leads based on their level of engagement and more. It sounds like pretty cool and complex stuff, sure, but it’s an amazing way to prove the value of marketing within your organization. They key is to find a partner who can help you prioritize, plan, take action with great creative, integrate that email planning into you strategic planning and creative campaigns … and analyze the activity to optimize the results.
With the dramatic changes in healthcare marketing, every marketer at every level needs to become creative, digitally savvy and data intelligent. With the proper implementation and optimization of a tool like marketing automation, it can bring you several steps closer to edging out your competition in this increasingly competitive landscape.
If you need to get started on your journey in marketing automation, we can provide you with resources to help you.