Four Data-Driven Best Practices for Reaching Patients


Marketing analytics can help drives decision making in healthcare. Here’s four best practices healthcare marketers should live by.

St. Amand

St. Amand

The healthcare industry aims to deliver better quality care and outcomes at an affordable cost. What might come as a surprise is that marketing and advertising technologies can offer bountiful data to help healthcare organizations deliver on that mission. Audience and interaction data from these platforms can be used to improve and refine organizations’ marketing programs to enhance the patient experience and motivate people to take an active role in their health, leading to better quality care and outcomes.

However, just because an organization has marketing technology to help them collect this data doesn’t mean they can properly garner insights from it. Often, the data is stored in silos across disparate systems and analyzed using outdated measurement techniques. As a result, organizations are unable to gain a unified view of each consumer and the channels, devices and tactics that influence desired behaviors and advance business goals.

Advanced measurement approaches, such as multi-touch attribution, can help marketers collect and de-duplicate this data to provide a holistic, real-time view of tactical marketing and media performance in the context of key audiences. But the sheer volume of data generated by cross-channel marketing, combined with the variety of desired business outcomes, can make it difficult to know where to begin. Here are four best practices healthcare marketers should follow in order to execute a successful attribution strategy:

  •  Identify key challenges

Since attribution analysis can help answer many marketing questions, it’s essential for healthcare marketers to understand their particular challenges and what’s important to their business, so they can define their goals accordingly.

For example, the healthcare industry can appear complicated to consumers. Healthcare companies tend to offer varying services, in multiple markets, and to many different types of audiences (i.e., patients with greatly differing needs). This complexity creates challenges when it comes to delivering the right message to the right person at the right moment. By recognizing these challenges, organizations can pinpoint how a more advanced measurement approach could help them provide better care throughout all the touchpoints in the post-acute care continuum that the patient journey might include.

   2.  Focus on a single call-to-action

Healthcare marketers often make the mistake of having too many calls to action. Just as too many choices can be a bad thing, too many calls to action can also be overwhelming, leading to confusion and indecision. For this reason, the most effective marketing and media campaigns drive prospects to a single call to action.

Multitouch attribution can be used to understand the consumer journey to that call to action. Rather than giving all the credit to the last marketing touchpoint experienced by a consumer before she converts, multitouch attribution measures the contribution of supporting marketing channels and tactics earlier in the consumer journey-measuring the role it played in influencing the consumer to take the desired action. These insights can be used to inform more effective and efficient planning and optimization decisions.

   3.  Adopt a multifaceted approach

Different stakeholders within healthcare organizations often require specific information that is unique to their role, and marketers must tailor their data to the issues they care about most. To account for this complexity, organizations should establish a multi-faceted approach to measurement so that they can analyze results from different angles and create reports for specific individuals, catered to their preferred key performance indicator (KPI). For instance, in addition to using multitouch attribution to understand which granular tactics are most effective for each type of audience, many organizations routinely also leverage marketing mix models (MMM) to measure and forecast overall marketing effectiveness. Armed with this insight, healthcare organizations can make a broad array of strategic and tactical decisions to maximize efficiency and effectiveness across their entire marketing portfolio.

   4.   Use the right technology
While today’s marketers use a multitude of technologies to plan, execute, and measure the results of their marketing efforts, healthcare organizations can greatly benefit from having one platform at the center to manage all the audience and interaction data these systems produce. It’s critical for companies to establish a single source of truth about their marketing performance, so they can see which creative messages, content, and other marketing tactics drive the best results for each audience. By breaking down data silos and connecting the dots across the full consumer journey, companies are able to see which touchpoints matter most and optimize budgets and experiences accordingly.

Advanced measurement technologies are transforming healthcare, from how organizations deliver care to how they engage with their different audiences. By embracing these four marketing analytics best practices, healthcare organizations are able to deliver on their mission to deliver better quality care and outcomes.


Wayne St. Amand is chief marketing officer at Visual IQ, a Nielsen Company. He oversees the marketing of the company’s marketing intelligence platform, including product marketing strategy, demand generation, branding, PR, analyst relations, and sales enablement activities.

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