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The Health Marketer’s Imperatives

Marketers at every level are dealing with the evolution of consumer empowerment around their own data resulting from the death of the cookie and broad reaching legislation around consumer privacy. The impact to healthcare is dramatic as many industries are fighting an uphill battle against a consumer audience that’s been alienated by multiple instances of misrepresentation of their data, failure to secure opt-in approvals, and back-room deals with third-party profilers and aggregators. The road forward can only be driven with a focus on individual identity, consumer opt-in and hyper-personalization, as well as a new level of customer experience grounded in trust, permission, and benefits to the individual.

Imperative One: Delivering the Total Customer Experience

Hyper-personalization takes the notion of CRM to an entirely different level. Whether your focus is on healthcare professionals (HCPs), patients, or caregivers, the critical consideration is engaging customers relative to what has been defined as important to them. The future in the health space is really centered around the next best experience.

For HCPs, the next best experience lends itself well to the Awareness, Interest, Trial, Familiarity, Loyalty model, where messaging is designed to reinforce HCP’s current activity, while informing the next step in their therapeutic journey. Additionally, this approach incorporates the functional strategic objectives of leading the science and treatment of choice, simplifying the experience, optimizing access and potentially maximizing the franchise. For patients, it is ultimately about acknowledging where they are in their relationship with the brand and ensuring that each brand’s message reinforces adherence and treatment, while ensuring that the messages patients receive are both longitudinal and relevant.

Imperative Two: Taking Ownership of Identity

Health (payer, provider, manufacturer, device) is one of the most regulated industries relative to using and sharing personal health information (PHI) and marketing to individuals across given therapeutic profiles. The challenge and opportunity in this area is not just about taking ownership of identity but providing your constituents with assurance that you can be trusted with their data.

In light of recent CCPA legislation, it will become more important that HCPs make patients’ data available to them. Patients should also be advised that their data will be used to improve the quality of their relationship with you, which will enhance the value of the actual therapeutic intervention, and potentially the financial aspects consider by their insurer.

Imperative Three: Enable Agility Through Strategic Sourcing

Organizational growth has always been faced with a classic planning dilemma - develop the core competencies required to achieve growth through hiring and internalizing the needed resources or outsource to agencies and firms with the capabilities (and capacity) needed to move forward. Considering industries across the health spectrum, skill sets are dynamic and require broad knowledge of legislation, the industry, competition, data management, and functional specializations. With relative “marketing skills” literally evolving in real-time, thoughtful reconsideration of marketing operations sees companies going beyond cost savings by implementing agility, accountability, innovation, and real-time capabilities relative to a rapidly changing set of communication and media platforms.

As we pivot toward a focus on hyper-personalization, it is more critical than ever to not just have marketers who understand the nuances associated with media, audience relevance, data, and the fundamentals of CRM, but can also work across supporting functional areas such as analytics, strategy, technology and execution to ensure leverage, synergy, and alignment with program objectives. The required capabilities may lie within your organization, but leveraging SMEs and specialists through strategic sourcing is an evolving tactic that accelerates in a go to market strategy.

Want to learn more? Check out Merkle’s 2020 Marketing Imperatives here.