Read the latest in healthcare marketing
Removing The Luck From Personalization In Healthcare
By Carolyn Dateo
In a recent New Yorker cartoon, a woman muses, “I hate the person my targeted ads think I am.” As people become more familiar with how their data can be used in a personally relevant manner, their expectation for authentic personal messaging increases as well. It’s like your mom knowing not to give you a ham or peanut butter sandwich because she knows you hate the taste of ham and you’re allergic to peanuts.
But think of all the fails. For instance, you get a pitch from a realty broker saying “find a new home with us” showing a photo of a house — the one you just purchased. Or you receive a “happy first birthday” greeting for your little one, but you miscarried at six months. Or you’re served prostate cancer treatment options on a digital platform, but you’re not a man (and never have been).
That’s the curse of personalization in a nutshell. But we can do better.
America has always prized individualism, and today, thanks to tech innovation, people are more individualized than ever before. We’re celebrating that individuality and embracing brands that show up for us in smart, authentic ways.
This puts a new level of responsibility on marketers, especially in healthcare where the relationship requires greater accuracy, integrity and sensitivity. We can’t guess what will resonate. We can’t use rear-view analytics to validate our approach. Leaving anything to chance in this data-rich era is irresponsible.
If the purpose of healthcare is to help people become better at treating or living with health conditions, we need to start from a place of relevancy and honesty. Here are three marketing priorities for brands to consider in striving for deeper, authentic relationships with patients and healthcare providers:
- Brands have a strategic imperative to be more human given 92% of consumers prefer brands to tell stories. Make sure you treat people less like users and more like individuals by writing content that makes them feel as though a person were speaking to them.
- Brands must show up authentically. Don’t try to be what you’re not. What will resonate with consumers wanting to make ethical consumption decisions are health brand offers that are true to what the brand stands for. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama walks the talk in saying, “We Cover What Matters.” By maintaining a large network of healthcare professionals with broad coverage, the company shows it understands that people need a choice in their insurance plan to feel that they’re getting what is best for their personal health situations.
- Brands must take the lead in a future of more complex individualization of patient needs. How will your brand leverage content for Web3 platforms among people with a vested interest in the same chronic conditions? What’s your marketing plan to facilitate greater access to and patient compliance with treatments designed for personalization with 3D printing or virtual reality? How are you going to keep pace with the growing adoption of health DNA testing that leads to greater demand for preventive approaches to potential health conditions?
Up till now, analysis has been used to validate a marketing campaign or reveal where we missed the mark well after the campaign’s launch. But getting it right begins with data that helps eliminate the guesswork. Being customer centric is not something to simply aspire to — it requires ongoing practice. Build time into your brand development and marketing communication programs for sufficient data capture and modeling, and you’ll reach the right people at the right time where they are amenable to the right message. We can help you remove the luck from personalization in healthcare by using data to understand the complexities of audiences. Just reach out to john@email@example.com to see how.
Your Marketing Future Depends on Storytelling, Not Data
By Kamala Prince, VP, Managing Director of Luckie Health
Did you know the healthcare industry produces approximately 30% of the world’s data? Based on numbers cited by RBC Capital Markets, by 2025 the volume of healthcare data will reach a compound growth rate of 36% – faster than manufacturing, financial services or media and entertainment.* But will all this data help improve health outcomes or eliminate the inherent risk and uncertainty in business decisions? The answer is no. However, knowing how to find the story in all that data will eliminate reliance on luck and improve overall marketing results. Your “data story” isn’t the story you tell with data. It’s the story your data tells you about the health of your business – specifically, what your customers think of your brand, why they choose you over the competition or why they don’t, and how you can intercept them with a motivating message at the right time.
Finding the story your data is telling you requires three things:
1. Knowing how to build a data ecosystem
What has become more challenging and complex in healthcare marketing is sorting through the available data sets to identify the right insights to guide decision-making. The more data you have and the more dots you can connect, the more impact your programs will have. This fact is true regardless of company size or product life-cycle stage. But knowing how to find the proverbial needle in a haystack is dependent on having the knowledge and expertise to build an effective data ecosystem. Your data ecosystem is simply a platform where you can centralize all your different data sets. This allows you to easily create a holistic view of your audience and marketing efforts and then take action much more quickly. The right data ecosystem helps you identify connections between data sources and gives you the ability to answer critical questions like these: What is the difference between what your customers believe and what they do? What friction or pain points are your customers experiencing? How does a consumer make a product decision while standing at a crowded pharmacy shelf?
We’ve designed custom ecosystems for several pharma brands, health insurance companies and healthcare providers like hospital systems and other groups that can now accurately understand what tactics within their omnichannel marketing are driving results. For example, we were tasked with identifying the highest potential customers for a new differentiated product coming to market. We combined 14 disparate data sets to qualify and prioritize these targets and grouped them into segments based on past behavior and preferences across multiple channels and content topics. We developed messaging strategies based on these insights, which enabled us to reach more than 60,000 healthcare providers and engage over 20,000 of them with specific messaging in less than 12 months post-launch, a critical period for driving early adoption.
2. Knowing how to uncover the story
There is a storytelling aspect to data analysis that must begin before opening Excel. Having a lot of data sometimes makes it harder to identify accurate, actionable insights because we can overweight certain sets that validate our opinions if we aren’t careful. The true story in the data lies in understanding how the many points relate to one another and to actual human behavior. For example, we helped a popular dermatology company significantly expand its reach by mining data from its most loyal customers to profile and identify potential new ones. Our model and subsequent marketing program drove significant prescription growth for the brand and helped sustain its market position through two product line extensions and an eventual transition to OTC.
3. Knowing how to use the story to drive results
Taking a holistic view of your customer data and how it relates to the entire demand creation cycle is the smart business approach. It involves knowing how your target audience finds you, the key components of the customer journey, and how the journey relates to your marketing efforts. Each data set (like Google Analytics, for example) can’t be examined in a silo. Unearthing real insights that can change the trajectory of a business requires understanding attribution based on all touchpoints. We used this approach in working with a large healthcare company to accelerate the launch curve for a new product. Because we already had an ecosystem in place with customer-level data across marketing channels, we were able to illustrate that the more an HCP engaged with the brand through different channels (e.g., clicked an ad, then opened an email, then attended a webinar), the more likely they were to prescribe. As a result, we established a feedback loop for digital tactics that allowed us to reach HCPs in the right channel, at the right time and with the right message. This method doubled market share among engaged HCPs and earned the company over $80 million in incremental revenue.
While gaining access to data is becoming exponentially easier, inferring and telling the right story is exponentially more complicated. Ultimately, it’s not about the volume of data at our fingertips. It’s about understanding the significant connections within that data. We have the data sources to get closer to healthcare customers than ever before, but success depends on knowing how to leverage those sources to create insights. When done well, the skillful use of data can significantly reduce risk when big dollars are at play. If you are drowning in data and worry that you are too reliant on luck instead of business-building marketing insights, let us show you how we rule out chance. Just reach out to John.Petersen@Luckie.com to schedule a call to see how we can help.
Embrace Your Challenger Brand Spirit To Beat the Odds
By Carolyn Dateo, Chief Strategy Officer
Launching a new healthcare brand this year? Trying to revitalize an established one? Consider these facts: On average, about 40 new drugs are launched each year. Over 6,000 U.S. patents were granted for medical devices in 2022. Retail behemoths like CVS and Amazon are pushing their way into providing comprehensive medical services. Industry giants like Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson can outspend everyone else 100 to one.
More than any other, the healthcare industry is in a constant state of explosive change. If you’re a newcomer trying to speed up adoption of a new drug, redefine the way care is delivered or revamp an antiquated business model, you have a mountain to climb. Relying on luck and good fortune will not get you where you need to go. The good news is that by refusing to do things the way they’ve always been done – by acting like a challenger brand – you have a better shot of going up against the industry giants.
David versus Goliath is a great example of a challenger brand success story. With a mere slingshot, David outsmarted, outmaneuvered and defeated a giant who had more weapons, more experience and (literally) deeper pockets. David didn’t rely on luck (and you shouldn’t either). He relied on agility, speed and superior technology to win.
Healthcare is all about science and data, not chance. Luckie Health has always believed healthcare marketing should be held to the same high standard.
Here are three simple tips to help you act like David and improve your odds of winning.
1. Find the blind spots.
As the industry newcomer, you have the vitality of inexperience and the advantage of agility. Many healthcare giants are weighed down by conventions and process. You’re free to lean into new, innovative ideas without attracting much attention from the established brands. Use these advantages to capitalize on weaknesses in the category, to find the blind spots others have missed. Challenge the norms and compete on your terms.
When one of our pharma partners launched a new drug, we partnered with them to reimagine traditional launch activities. To blunt being significantly outspent by the competition, we built a digital-first plan that could be personalized and customized for the target HCPs. As a result, we helped our client reach 5,000 doctors within 80 minutes of FDA approval and within minutes of regulatory approval in 20 countries. By ignoring industry tradition, the launch exceeded all industry benchmarks and became the first global launch protocol in pharmaceuticals.
What’s your slingshot?
2. Redefine the battle.
Your invisibility buys you time to take a step back and spot both opportunities and threats in the marketplace. As a little-known challenger, you have a line of sight to weaknesses in the category, providing an opportunity to stake a claim for something real people care about – to lead with purpose – rather than what the industry has established. Be sure to war-game your direction, consider how your competitors will react and test the potential outcomes. And remember, you can act like a challenger brand even if you’re not.
Consider the manufacturer of a well-known European pain medicine that had been a market leader for decades. When it was launching into very competitive markets in Mexico and the U.S., the brand acted like a challenger. Rather than being lost in the crowd with conventional pain relief messaging about drug efficacy on the toughest pain (featuring stereotypical tough guys), it raised awareness and grew market share by reframing the conversation around the relief and pleasure of moving freely again. This differentiated the brand by touting its mechanism of action while tying it to emotional stories from men and women who had experienced relief from everyday pain. This challenger behavior resulted in consumer trial, coveted end-of-aisle store placement and solid gains in market share.
What weakness have you spotted in your competition?
3. Never give up.
From the beginning, set expectations for a long-term strategy. While there is tremendous pressure to deliver results within a tight window, the reality is that launches take more than one cycle or one year to succeed. As a startup, create momentum early by showing up in unexpected ways and rebelling against the status quo (because let’s face it, 33% efficacy claims are never good enough). Build in opportunities to optimize and pivot based on what your data says.
This is where we see disrupters in the insurance industry showing up. Big, established insurance brands might not feel threatened by newcomers such as Oscar or Lemonade, because their market share is so minuscule. But these challenger brands are making inroads in capturing consumer interest. They are rebelling against industry conventions (no TV advertising!), assuming thought leadership for the category and demonstrating a commitment to a specific point of view. With a laser-like focus on digital marketing, they’re meeting new point-of-entry consumers where they are. And they’re offering products and messaging that real people care about (i.e., they’re not talking about rates). By playing in a nimble marketing channel with enormous opportunity for personalization, Oscar and Lemonade are building loyalty and quickly gaining traction.
How are you showing up in unexpected ways?
It’s important to note that acting like a challenger is not just for startups or new entrants in a category. If you’re an established healthcare brand, adopting a challenger mentality will lead to innovation. Staying No. 1 means thinking like No. 2. This will crystallize your opportunities and ultimately protect your market share.
At Luckie, we have an affinity for working with brands that share our challenger mindset. Rather than relying on past successes, industry norms or luck, we use real-time data and analytics to help our partners remove chance from their marketing approach and engage new customers faster. We are smarter, quicker and more nimble than any giant. If you think your brand might be more reliant on luck than data, we can help you understand where luck might be hiding through our no-obligation audit. Just reach out to John.Petersen@luckie.com to learn more.
There’s No Pill To Remove Luck From Healthcare Marketing – But There Is a Cure
By Kamala Prince, VP, Managing Director of Luckie Health
As marketers, it’s easy to lose sight of long-term planning while dealing with the daily fires of running a marketing organization and driving short-term growth. But change is constant in the healthcare industry and what seems a given today could be turned on its head tomorrow. Without careful planning, you risk being blindsided by change and reliant on luck – one of the worst places to land. There’s no pill to make this problem disappear, but there is a proven cure to remove the luck from your marketing programs.
Here are three ways to NOT rely on fate for future success:
1. Torture your data until it confesses.
I don’t know who came up with that phrase, but it perfectly illustrates the importance of going as deep as possible to understand the real motivations, beliefs and behaviors of an audience. We have access to a lot of information about healthcare professionals, which is a unique situation compared to other industries. Mining that information, doing the hard work of translating data into insights, and using those to develop actionable and relevant connections with your audience is the essential foundation of smart marketing. At Luckie, we talk regularly about the science of data and the art of marketing, an unstoppable combo. One without the other, however, won’t make your marketing plan successful. Overemphasis on the art of marketing to the exclusion of data will leave you with significant blind spots. Do you know what your customer believes about your product and your competitors’ product? Do you know what the disconnects are between the customers’ behaviors and beliefs and why these gaps exist? If you can’t answer these questions, it’s time to get to know your customers on a deeper level.
2. Invest in simple, motivating messages powered by data-driven insights.
The best campaigns creatively leverage insights to deliver relevant, insightful messages. Continuing to rely on what has worked in the past may leave you with an uninspiring, complex campaign that is easily ignored. The process of creating a simple, motivating message isn’t fast and there are no shortcuts. It’s almost mathematical. Start by looking at your audience insights to decipher the audience’s interests, barriers and motivations. From there, map those to your content pillars and brand differentiators. Only after this connection is established are you ready to deliver messaging that marries your audience’s needs and your brand drivers. Emotional connection is almost guaranteed once chance has been removed.
3. Never stop experimenting.
Marketing technology changes constantly, people evolve and competitors pivot. Organizations open to trying new approaches by taking calculated risks will leapfrog ahead of those that aren’t. Technology and innovation are ways to exploit the weaknesses of your competition. When you look at your SWOT, consider if you are ahead or behind in data and technology. For example, do you know what tech your audience uses? Can you reach them in these channels in real time?
And don’t be afraid of trying an approach that might not have been successful the first time if you’re confident in the data. The right application at the right time applied to the right problem can turn a failed experiment into a success. Ideas once branded a failure might have only been ahead of their time or might be a viable solution applied to the wrong problem. My favorite current example is the QR code. Once rejected as a poor idea for customer experience has found relevant applications in our internet-driven world.
The example I predict that’s just around the corner: blockchain. NFTs and crypto are the first applications of blockchain to catch on, but its real value has yet to be fully explored in healthcare. Think of blockchain as a way to transport patient data between stakeholders anonymously and reliably to create better outcomes. A link between researchers, healthcare professionals and patients creates enormous opportunities for marketers to better understand their audiences and how to reach them.
Cure your healthcare marketing.
We at Luckie Health can show you how to derive insights from your data, develop campaigns and messages that will motivate your customers to act, and future-proof your business against industry change, competitive threats and emerging technology.
If you manage a healthcare brand whose success is too reliant on luck, we would be happy to conduct an audit of your marketing plans to help rule out chance. Just reach out to John Petersen (firstname.lastname@example.org) to learn more. If you are confident that your current path is just fine, we will always wish you luck. Well… you know what we mean by that.
PM360: Marketer’s Crystal Ball: How Will the Industry Evolve Over the Next Few Years?
By John Gardner, President and CEO
EXCERPT FROM PM360:
Perhaps no one can perfectly predict the future—or anticipate a global pandemic that is still having reverberations on our economy, our health, and the life sciences industry to this day—but that didn’t stop us from asking 10 industry experts to take their best shot at anticipating what to expect in 2023 and beyond. After all, they can still read the tea leaves and provide their best interpretation of what is trending, where the industry is most struggling, and what might be coming down the pike that marketers should be aware of.
So, in order to help best prepare you for what might come, we asked these 10 individuals to peer into their crystal balls and let us know:
- What will be the biggest trend(s) marketers will be talking about in 2023? Do you think this trend will prove impactful next year or in the near future or will it just be all talk?
- By the end of 2023, what do you think will be the biggest change to the industry that marketers will need to adjust to? What can marketers start doing now to prepare for this change?
- Looking further down the road—three to five years from now—what will be the biggest differences in the industry compared to now? How will these differences most impact marketers?
- If your crystal ball is too cloudy to predict the future, what are the biggest changes you hope to see within the next few years? What would you want to see the industry do differently or change and why? Can you offer suggestions for how to make your dream a reality?