How Does Multichannel Marketing Promote Patient Engagement?

In today’s digital world, it’s critical for marketers in any industry to develop a multichannel approach that reaches consumers on the channels they prefer to use.

After all, the number of devices consumers are using to connect with brands is growing quickly.

A whopping 90% of people use multiple screens sequentially and simultaneously to complete a single task. What’s more, 87% of consumers expect seamless, cross-channel, cross-device experiences – and 86% are willing to pay more to get them.

What this means is that marketers must respond accordingly, creating messaging that reaches the right consumers at the right time on the right channels.

For healthcare marketers in particular, the challenge is to develop tailored messaging across channels that promotes patient engagement and a healthier society overall. It is simply not enough to execute a traditional or a digital marketing campaign in isolation. Savvy marketers understand that the best marketing programs use an integrated, multichannel approach.

Let’s take a look at a few reasons why multichannel marketing drives patient engagement:

Target Consumers on the Channels They Prefer to Use

With today’s more informed consumer comes a significant challenge for healthcare marketers: How do they effectively reach and engage patients on the channels they prefer to use (i.e., social media, mobile, email, phone, direct mail, etc.)?

The key is to provide a personalized journey, specific to each individual patient. Active patient engagement involves engaging consumers based on specific information (demographic, psychographic, social, behavioral, etc.), all of which can be managed with a healthcare CRM solution.

Armed with this information, healthcare organizations can build, launch, and manage multi-channel campaigns to target specific demographics, consumers at risk, consumers with specific conditions, etc. to effectively engage patients in their own care.

The end result is, of course, patients who are more proactive in managing their own care and more likely to stay healthy over the long term.

Leverage Multiple Channels to Create a Holistic Patient View

Instead of thinking of patient targets as digital, mobile, direct mail, etc. customers, healthcare marketers should instead think of them as individuals who interact with the hospital in multiple ways.

A patient at risk of heart disease may, for example, receive an email communication (based on specific age, gender, and health information) and, as a result, contact a hospital’s call center to schedule an appointment. This patient isn’t just actively engaged, but is committed to proactively managing his or her own care.

The key to effectively leveraging data from multiple sources is to keep various traditional and digital marketing channels connected. Data from disparate systems can be consolidated into a central location so that the different channels can keep one another informed.

With all of this data working together, healthcare marketers can develop a holistic view of consumers and patients. Marketers can use a CRM system to identify individuals who may need attention anticipate future health needs, and deliver messaging on the patient’s preferred communication channel.

Patients who receive relevant and timely information will be more likely to listen to and engage with their health providers (as noted in the heart disease example above) – not just during a single encounter but throughout the entire continuum of care.

Develop Personalized Messaging

Consumer data shows that some patients prefer accessing information on websites or patient portals, while others prefer social media or mobile apps. A personalized communication strategy, grounded in patient information collected and analyzed in the CRM system, can help to attract, engage, and retain patients.

With consumer data access at their fingertips, healthcare marketers can determine patient communication preferences in order to make the greatest impact. A healthcare analytics platform allows healthcare marketers to target consumers based on specific demographic, social, and behavioral information.

The end result? Patients who are ultimately engaged in their own care.

Track Campaign Performance & Adjust Accordingly

In addition to consolidating data into one location, another advantage to centralizing data is that it gives healthcare marketers the ability to track their multichannel marketing efforts and leverage the flexibility of digital campaigns for better results.

In most cases, digital media can be adjusted based on performance. For example, if marketers see a high number of web visits but a low inquiry conversion rate, they can edit the copy on a website landing page, adjust the placement of certain elements, swap out an image, etc. to better engage patients and drive qualified leads.

The ability to access metrics and data in real time with a CRM system allows healthcare professionals to shift marketing tactics quickly and effectively. By developing an understanding of what is truly engaging patients – and what isn’t – marketers can adjust their campaigns on the fly and realize a return on their marketing investment.

Final Thoughts

While traditional marketing still has its place in an integrated marketing strategy, healthcare marketers need to be able to compete in an increasingly Internet-based world and cater to patients and consumers searching for information online. The end goal is, of course, to find more patients and engage existing patients, resulting in improved patient outcomes – and a healthier society – overall.

 

Kristin is responsible for leading marketing at Evariant. She oversees all marketing strategy and operations including product marketing, branding, demand generation, and corporate communications. Prior to joining Evariant, Kristin worked for Adobe as a result of their acquisition of Neolane, a leading cross-channel marketing platform, where she served as vice president of marketing.

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