Examining the Impact of Big Tech and Retail Healthcare: Part 2

July 28, 2022 | Stericycle Communication Solutions

In part 2 of our series on our recent webinar, Embracing the Evolution of Modern Healthcare: Examining the Impact of Retail and Big Tech in Healthcare, we’ll look at building patient loyalty and how it aligns with care compliance, the role of big data and creating touchpoints to refine patient engagement plans, and the challenges healthcare marketers will face in the years ahead.

Patient Engagement, Building Loyalty, and How It Aligns with Care Compliance

In terms of patient loyalty, an alternative term that might be more applicable in the healthcare space is “keeping patients connected.” This is derived from the fact that there is a high percentage of people in any given geographic area who are, for the most part, healthy and are not in need of frequently scheduled appointments or long-term medical care. Having said that, once the previously described marketing efforts have attracted a new patient to a traditional healthcare system, it is important to keep them connected through positive experiences with physicians, technicians, and support staff. Today, a connected patient is an engaged patient.

It’s also important to ensure that communication to the patient both before and after they receive treatment is easy to access, is delivered by the patient’s preferred method, and is presented in a way that promotes brand awareness. By maintaining effective communication, health systems can enhance each patient’s compliance to a specific regimen of care by utilizing reminders via text, email, or patient portals regarding important post-treatment requisites such as adherence to medication, exercising or conducting physical therapy activities, and booking follow-up appointments with a physician or specialist. 

The Role of Big Data and Creating Touchpoints to Refine Patient Engagement Plans

By building out a customer data platform (CDP), which is the aggregation of multiple data sets that can be used to better engage and connect with consumers, traditional health systems can lay the foundation for competing with data giants. In the same way Amazon uses a person’s product purchasing history data to create personalized consumer marketing, health systems can transform their own marketing efforts by using data sets to create touchpoints and engage patients with “precision marketing.” This communication strategy is geared specifically to an individual versus “one size fits all” marketing approaches that have, over time, become overused and ineffective.

Obtaining an individual’s permission to receive messaging based on the person’s medical history — versus, for example, how Amazon does this in relation to a user’s product purchasing history — will continue to pose a challenge to healthcare marketers.

As healthcare systems continually gain data about individual patients, obtain personally identifiable information (PII), and accumulate permissions, consumer experiences can be built that are virtually no different than experiences provided by non-traditional players and non-healthcare service industries.

The Biggest Challenge Healthcare Marketers Will Face in the Next Three Years

In addition to competing with retail giants and big tech disruptors in healthcare, marketers are continuing to face the challenge of workforce shortages and high employee turnover that was set in motion in 2021 by The Great Resignation. The effort to attract and retain a skilled workforce combined with the fact that marketing budgets are often the first ones to be cut when companies face revenue challenges are two factors that will impact healthcare marketing in the coming years.

Over the course of roughly the past decade, healthcare marketing required organizations to hire employees with skills that help facilitate a digital transformation. The next wave of transformation will require an even greater focus on data, modeling, orchestration, automation, and personalization, which will need to be successfully executed by teams with a diverse set of technical skills. As a result, if funding constraints and a dearth of skilled workers continue to characterize the marketing efforts of traditional healthcare systems, the next wave of the digital transformation could lack the fire power it needs to compete with non-traditional players in this space.

Watch Our Webinar.  Embracing the Evolution of Modern Healthcare: Examining the Impact of Retail and Big Tech in Healthcare. Read Examining the Impact of Big Tech and Retail Healthcare Part 1 to learn about ways to market the advantages of a traditional healthcare system and the impact of non-traditional players in the healthcare space.  Read Now.

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