When the pandemic struck in early 2020, the financial losses for healthcare organizations were drastic.
âWe were basically hemorrhaging as an industry. In four months, from March to June, it was estimated that the healthcare industry was losing about $ 50 billion per month, âsaid Jason Brown, CEO and chief strategy officer of marketing firm Brown Parker & DeMarinis ( BPD).
While the cavalry soon arrived in the form of three COVID vaccines, the virus has continued to disrupt operations, most recently due to a push fueled by the Delta variant. Many health systems are now struggling to determine how they will regain their financial footing in its wake.
A “game-changing” precision marketing approach, which helps identify the most receptive consumers and engages them with personalized messages, can help organizations do just that. Representatives from AdventHealth and its marketing partners, Optum and BPD, recently discussed this approach during the HealthLeaders Marketing Now Online Summit for Effective Marketing webinar.
Market share in free fall
Even before the pandemic, AdventHealth, a system of 49 hospitals based in central Florida, was feeling the pressure of an influx of competition and a mild flu season leading to a drop in emergency room volumes, said Sharon Line Clary, Vice President of Strategic Marketing and Communications for AdventHealth. As the market got more and more crowded, so did the marketing space.
âWe could no longer approach our marketing strategy as we did in the past. We had to find a way to break through the clutter, âsays Line Clary.
The organization decided to pilot a precision marketing campaign designed to reach directly the people most likely to use their services, says Anthony Cadieux, executive director of digital marketing strategy for AdventHealth. But they needed digital tools and the help of marketing partners to take the plunge.
âCue Optum, which offers incredible market visibility to help you identify your best prospects,â says Cadieux. Optum’s in-depth insight helped identify the market people most likely to align with key hospital departments and create personalized messages to turn them into customers.
Optum and BPD extracted digital data to prioritize 850,000 people, dividing them into 11 specific cohorts, such as young single people without primary care physicians, married people with children, very sick people with more than two or three illnesses. requiring complex and difficult care, and people of all ages with unexplained abdominal and abdominal pain.
BPD then designed unique messages for each group, taking into account clinical needs, gender, language and culture, which were conveyed to people using their favorite media channels at times most likely to see them.
See the results
The campaign ran for six months, from October 2019 to March 2020, and was not only focused but nimble. âDuring the campaign, we were optimizing and when people weren’t responding, we would edit the message and review it continually,â says Line Clary. âWe have had tremendous results.â
The campaign referred 134,000 patients to AdventHealth, rather than competitor emergency departments, during the six-month period, Cadieux said. In terms of total net revenue, the marketing ROI was $ 474 for every marketing dollar spent.
If your organization wishes to embark on a similar approach, several factors must be taken into account.
Cost. A campaign like this will require an initial budget of up to $ 250,000 to set up the platform to get consumer data, and another minimum of $ 250,000 to run the campaign itself, Brown explains. âIt’s not cheap, but as you can see from the results, it’s not expensive either,â he says.
Time. A campaign must last at least six months, ideally 12 months, to be effective.
Flexibility. A precision marketing campaign can be adjusted or turned on and off at any time, says Line Clary. But to do it effectively, it requires continuous monitoring.
Access. The success of the campaign can be tracked in real time based on patient income, but the organization must allow access to this information to do so.
Keep in mind that this is not your traditional marketing approach, so be prepared to learn as you go. Done well, precision marketing can not only help your organization offset financial losses due to the pandemic, but can also help better position your organization for future growth. Taking a laser-focused approach to marketing by speaking directly to your most likely customers and engaging them with personalized messages can deliver better results with less wasted effort.
To listen to the entire conversation, go to webinar today!