For a vision of the future of medical marketing, industry professionals need only look around them.
If you’re uncertain about what shape medical marketing may take in the years to come, you’re not alone — but the future may already be within reach. As marketers have increasingly sought to streamline their campaign strategies and gain a better understanding of the impact they generate, their search for answers has incidentally driven them towards more sophisticated, data-driven solutions. As a result, that future is not only within sight — it’s already arrived.
Data-driven marketing gives healthcare marketers the specificity they require to deliver results in an ever-evolving marketplace — in short, it maximizes the impact of their efforts, helping them generate more new appointments while reducing overall cost per patient lead. Companies have already demonstrated that intelligent, data-led tactics can deliver significant improvements on ROI. At the end of the day, the future of medical marketing doesn’t involve nebulous, still-to-come technical innovations; it’s a simple matter of reaching patients with the best methods available. Here’s what it looks like now.
Data is a Lean, Mean, Results-Generating Machine
Today’s marketing world is flooded with examples of companies that have harnessed data to yield impressive results. MM&M, for one, recently reported on the multi-channel campaign of a top 10 pharma player. The advertiser at the helm of the campaign found that while mass-marketed TV spots alone failed to break even, pairing those ads with data-driven, digital advertising resulted in 7x higher ROI, well into positive figures. In fact, they found that doubling the digital budget while reducing TV spend — a lower total campaign spend — would have driven ROI up by an additional 25%.
Is this highly targeted digital strategy the way of the future? According to project lead Ira Haimowitz, it’s all about using data to drive results. He says that while the success of traditional marketing channels like TV is measured “by association” — brand awareness surveys, audience reach, etc. — precise digital targeting provides unambiguous feedback about hits and misses and, hence, lends the ability to optimize. “It is far better to track results mid-stream… so that investments can be shifted to higher-performing vehicles to optimize the remainder of the campaign,” he says.
While methods have become more sophisticated, leveraging data is not a brand new concept. In 2014, Remedy Health first implemented their MyMD&Me tool, which patients can sign up for when they visit the doctor. This tool allows marketers to send patient-specific content based on patient data collected from the physician office software management system. Should patients visit an ophthalmologist, for example, they would receive relevant email content related to eye health, reports MM&M. This model is less technologically complex than the digital targeting systems of today, but it plays on the same concept: patients want information that’s targeted specifically to their needs. A study of 200,000 patients with high blood pressure who received these tailored communications found that they were nearly 5x more likely to stay on their treatment.
Where We’re Headed
As new marketing techniques emerge, campaign strategies will become more and more sophisticated; advanced targeting and optimization will progress with data-led feedback. “At some point, we’ll be able to tell unequivocally whether somebody who saw a message was more compelled to make a purchase than somebody who didn’t,” explained Deacon Webster, Chief Creative Officer at Walrus, to Marketing Your Hospital.
This knowledge will ultimately help healthcare marketers craft the most impactful and cost-effective campaign possible — and data-driven analysis holds the key.