Although medical treatment is at the core of every healthcare organization’s mission, patient outreach and marketing are essential to its survival. Marketing teams must work hard to strategize, create ad campaigns, and gather data to ensure continuous growth.
Healthcare marketing analytics is the key to determining which strategies are working and guiding future decision-making. They can even help leaders decide which demographics are likely to increase in the future, as well as which services need changes and improvements. They are part of a broader set of data-driven strategies to help organizations manage their resources more effectively and grow to serve the community better.
From Data to Analytics
Raw data is just the tip of the iceberg in marketing analytics. Data must be analyzed with an eye for detail and the ability to sort by date, location, and other relevant information.
For web marketing, organizations must determine how many customers took the desired action and how many left the organization’s website without doing anything. Landing pages need to collect as much information as possible and direct the patient to take a measurable, immediate next step.
All of this data must be analyzed, summarized, and acted upon by a professional. It takes significant marketing experience to understand patient trends and to recognize correlations and causations that are meaningful.
Consolidate Multiple Data Sources
Most healthcare facilities use a combination of pen-and-paper and digital forms for patient data. Though hard copies of forms are usually digitized, some of the data often ends up in different files. Improvements in technology have made it easier than ever to compile patient data.
This internal data can be invaluable for guiding future marketing. The clearest example of this is the standard questionnaire item asking how the patient heard about the organization. This can provide an accurate picture of what proportion of patient traffic is driven by paid and earned media.
However, other data, such as patient zip code and family size, can also be helpful for strategizing around external marketing and internal customer service measures. Marketing staff should have access to as much anonymized data as possible to guide future efforts.
Include Many Decision-Makers
Marketing analytics aren’t just for the marketing team. Summaries of marketing analytics should be shared with vice presidents, CEOs, and other key leadership. This is good for transparency and can lead to increased budgets, especially if the leadership team sees that existing efforts are working well.
It can also have subtle effects on how the rest of the organization is run. If leadership sees that outreach to a particular demographic is succeeding, they may invest in more infrastructure to better serve and retain that demographic.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Every organization has its strengths and weaknesses, and marketing efforts can attempt to deal with these in several ways. Marketing analysis can help organizations figure out how to promote their strengths to as wide an audience as possible.
Marketing analysis can also help organizations identify weaknesses. For example, if a marketing campaign targeting the elderly fails to attract patients, the underlying cause could be that the organization’s services have too much competition or are too expensive for the target demographic. Careful marketing analysis can determine whether the ad campaign itself failed, or if the organization needs to address another weakness.
Digital vs. Traditional Marketing Outlets
The biggest change in healthcare marketing in recent years is the number of ways to reach people online. Even older adults are now using smartphones and social media more than ever before.
Though social media use has increased among older adults, it’s still much more common among young adults. Online marketing needs to be carefully tailored to make sure ads reach your organization’s target demographics. Marketing analytics can provide continuous feedback to ensure results.
To decide where to invest your marketing budget, you’ll need a lot of data on patients. Age alone no longer determines how and where people get their information. Income, education level, and other factors have a massive influence on patient reading habits and decision-making.
Individual viewers sometimes ignore email lists, social media advertising, and other marketing efforts. Compiling data on which marketing efforts are being ignored is difficult enough, especially for traditional advertising forms that leave less of a digital trail. Getting to the bottom of why they’re not getting results is even more challenging.
A seasoned marketing team can use A/B testing or focus groups to determine which marketing tactics will get results. However, sometimes an unexpected variable, like new advertising from a competitor, will derail even the best-laid plans.
In those times, creative strategies and tactics must be implemented as soon as possible. Marketing analytics will continue to drive those changes, whether they involve increasing ad buys on another channel or changing the messaging.
Choosing the Best Call to Action
Although multiple calls to action may be effective among various demographics, best practices dictate that having a single call to action is optimal. Mixed calls to action in advertisements can cause the organization’s message to be diluted.
With this in mind, outcomes across marketing platforms must be carefully coordinated to keep a consistent call to action. For most healthcare organizations, the call to action will be a carefully crafted message asking website visitors to call or book an appointment online. Streamlining the website and phone numbers for booking can help make the call to action as easy for patients as possible.
Marketing analytics tools can also help organizations cut back wasteful spending. Although marketing specialists have extensive knowledge and can usually craft effective ad campaigns, sometimes outside variables render a campaign ineffective. Sometimes a particular media outlet or social network doesn’t return results, either.
An honest marketing analysis can uncover wasteful spending and redirect it. This can be critical for smaller organizations that don’t have money to waste, but it also matters for larger organizations. Paid advertising that isn’t working should either be redirected to another outlet or canceled, with funds redirected toward patient care.
Many healthcare marketing analysis methods rely on past ad campaigns’ performance data. However, predictive advertising uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to get ads in front of potential patients.
This kind of marketing analysis requires special software and know-how, but it’s becoming more popular. Since the demographics of a city can change quickly, healthcare organizations need to be able to reach potential patients without relying on trial-and-error in marketing campaigns.
Use a Multi-Faceted Approach
Web, radio, TV, and print marketing can all play a role in reaching patients of all ages and demographics. Marketing mix optimization can help organizations achieve a balance of different ad outlets so that no one outlet is oversaturated with content.
Expanding an organization’s reach requires thinking outside the box. For example, a nursing home could just advertise to senior citizens and build a substantial client base that way. However, advertising to middle-aged people with elderly parents could drive up inquiries significantly.
Marketing experts can use predictive advertising, past marketing campaigns, and old-fashioned creativity to find new ways to reach patients. A team of print media, press outreach, social media, and SEO specialists can help large and small organizations reach new heights.
With healthcare marketing analytics, any healthcare organization can grow and meet the needs of a broader client base. The results may take time, but the investment is well worth it for clinics and other nonprofits hoping to serve their community.
At Syntelli, we use data-driven analytics and insights to bring healthcare organizations the results they need. We work on marketing, fraud, and healthcare analytics, and can optimize patient data and pricing models. We can transform your care management and patient engagement practices to take any organization to a higher level of care.
Are you interested in learning how you can implement marketing analytics in your healthcare organization? Contact us today to learn more.
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