Getting Closer to Patients: Success in the Changing Healthcare Space


Healthcare is changing – not just the industry, but how consumers relate to their health. It’s personal, informed and proactive. Reform has fueled consumerism, creating a free market in which the best and most innovative models will prevail. To be ready for tomorrow, brands must act like health is a journey, not a state, through which every one of our customers’ actions is a vital insight into a better future. This “always-on” understanding of consumers necessitates anticipating their needs and what aspects of their experiences are most valuable to them. In short, the continual cycle of change and insights fuel the perfect opportunity for innovation.

Planning for a non-linear patient experience is paramount going forward, as healthcare companies strive to boost their relationships – and the means with which they communicate – with their patients. The industry is seeing vast changes in the way everyone communicates. But how and where should brands start? At LUCKIE, we believe three basic components lead to success in the digital marketing space and get you closer to your customers:

  • Customization – Leveraging data insights, analytics and omni-channel platforms to deliver a truly 1:1 brand experience
  • Personalization – Allowing patients and consumers the ability to create their own brand experience across all digital channels
  • Localization – Bringing the brand experience to the physically closest level possibly through geotargeting technology and segmented content

Most healthcare marketers are in a position to take advantage of at least one of these strategies. Some have plans underway to utilize all three. Wherever you are in your digital marketing capabilities, you likely have the tools in place to get closer to your customers today. Understanding and owning the customer decision journey is the best route to customer alignment and developing lasting relationships. These three components – customization, personalization, localization – are the keys to opening that door.

Customize Your Content

Breakthrough marketing starts by having clear resolve with your customer in mind. With flexible CRM platforms and advancement in technologies, there’s no excuse for excluding segmentation and customized content from your marketing plan. One-size-fits-all rarely fits anyone.

While many retail brands have perfected digital marketing customization over the past decade, other industries have either been slower to adopt or have not had the means to do so. But now innovative brands in other industries are leading the way in defining the next generation of customer experience marketing customization, delivering more accurate, relevant and personalized touch-points across the complete digital ecosystem. These companies are finding a new way to optimize customer interactions, using mobile to deepen brand loyalty, and creating unique customer experiences by customizing consumer content to increase engagement.

Test and Optimize Everything

Making assumptions about your customers is often the biggest mistake made by marketers who utilize a customization strategy. Customizing your content means nothing if you’re not consistently analyzing results and optimizing them accordingly. Tweaking to improve your findings helps you understand the needs of your audiences very clearly. Test, test, test! It helps whatever content program you run perform at an optimal level.

Do Something Uncomfortable

Finally, break-out content usually involves making tough decision to try something new. Perhaps you’ve outgrown your approach or the status quo is getting you limited results. Either way, doing it like everyone else is part of the herd mentality with an equal outcome. There will come a pivotal time where a tough choice will need to be made that results in doing something different. Your decision to cut, discontinue, scrap or change will make some members of your team nervous but is a necessary step forward.

Personalization Creates Brand Trust – and Great Customer Insights

While technology allows brands to intercept rather than react to consumer situations and create relevant brand messages at key decision points, personalization allows us to optimize marketing channels and investment. For most marketers, another valuable outcome of personalization is the connection of customers to the brand itself.

We can utilize personalized marketing communication via specific imagery and messaging to enhance relevance across every digital channel. Using our experience in differential message development, customer segmentation and high-end, rule-driven technical frameworks, LUCKIE can provide vital brand connections and experiences to each customer based on demographics, psychographics and the phase of their financial life cycle, using the most appropriate language and visuals.

In 1964, just 17 years after its invention, Cetaphil Cleansing Lotion earned its place in the mindset of dermatologists and pharmacists as a gentle, stand-alone skin care product for all skin types or conditions. Though sold among a sea of lotions, the Cetaphil consumer remains loyal, even at a premium price. We teamed up with Galderma Laboratories to increase consumer brand awareness and achieve total integration of the pharmacy retail channel.

An extensive review of consumer behavior revealed that the Cetaphil consumer is made up of three core mindsets:

  • The beauty consumer – she believes Cetaphil is paramount in creating a healthy canvas for all beauty routines
  • The health-conscious consumer – she thinks that a Cetaphil regimen is the foundation for skin maintenance
  • The therapeutic consumer – she believes that Cetaphil is the cornerstone therapy for adjunctive treatment because it prepares skin for medical topical treatment

To support these consumers, multiple digital programs were created, including the Cetaphil Skin Care Club and Cetaphil Kids Club Corner. Each program was carefully constructed to facilitate treatment across the continuum of care, communicating brand and product attributes across all known customer segments with messages and offers tailored according to an entry point. Specific performance goals were created:

  • Maintain core line recommendations in dermatology
  • Expand penetration and recommendations in pediatrics
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Total integration of retail (pharmacy and grocery) channel
  • Support sales force efforts from the launch of new products and maintenance of core product line to physicians and pharmacists

Cetaphil Skin Care Club

Consisting primarily of females 18 to 50 years of age, this branded loyalty club attracted, converted and engaged 256,000+ members through contextual messaging that aligned to their personal segmented consumer profiles. The program:

  • Attracted and enhanced consumer relationships through information-based communication
  • Engaged consumers by providing information-based online assets to encourage consumer’s self-education on the broad range of benefits the core product line offered
  • Converted consumers by establishing a relationship at the point of brand purchase and extending the relationship through the brand champion stage via eCRM
  • Maintained brand loyalists by reinforcing treatment choice and offering deeper brand value with adjunctive choices through branded communication
  • Supported brand champions by optimizing incentive programs

Cetaphil Kids Club Corner

Cetaphil used the Kids Club Corner as a platform to communicate to its members about the new line of products for atopic dermatitis, RestoraDerm. Tactics included quarterly cadenced, versioned eZines that provided lifestyle-based content, skin care tips and product information, promotional short-form emails for brand recall, triggered birthday messages with special offers and a cross-brand eCRM integration that adjusted content based on club membership profiles and relevant disease state awareness month information. This program:

  • Educated consumers on atopic dermatitis symptoms and drove them to their HCP or other Cetaphil assets to seek additional information and treatment advice
  • Expanded Cetaphil Skin Care Club new moms to Kids Club Corner users and cultivated the relationship to maximize product voice
  • Maintained consumer loyalists by driving in-store awareness and incentive offers based on shopping and information-seeking behavior

The Results

Creation of the Cetaphil Skin Care Club and the Kids Care Corner created an increase of 16% YOY in annual sales with a proven correlation existing between changes in membership numbers and sales. Through the loyalty program, Cetaphil experienced a gain of $19 in incremental sales for every new member added to the brand communications. Direct-to-consumer marketing helped grow the brand from $20 million to $200 million in less than eight years.

Localization – Meeting Customers Where They Are

The patient is the driver of every brand relationship. And the closer we can get to patients, the more effective we will be. True customer engagement means an infusion of customer intelligence and a focus on customer value through all disciplines – strategy, creative, media, campaign execution, etc. – and listen to and engage with customers over time and across channels and media to drive better results and higher ROI. The importance we place on customer value is a key differentiator for LUCKIE, which is why a localization strategy always makes sense over a standardized approach.

Shifting from a standardized marketing approach to a localized approach is undoubtedly a challenge for even the most sophisticated marketing team. However, we’ve found that marketers can accelerate this process by combining customer data analysis with innovative digital strategies, brands can get a head start on localizing their marketing campaigns.  

For the first time ever, ViiV Healthcare (VHC) wanted to initiate a digital relationship with targeted healthcare professionals in a way that would strategically complement traditional, rep and journal-delivered launch announcements.

So while brand reps and medical journals remained key components of our launch strategy, we knew that the digital dissemination of compelling content would spread the news more quickly and to a broader audience, helping put critical treatments in the hands of patients exponentially faster, not just in one country, but around the world.

We started with an innovative, video-based launch message personalized by physician and rep that drove through to a comprehensive in-language digital portal. Docs then flowed into an ongoing relevant content stream based on indicated or implied interest to keep the brand, product, data and attributes top on mind following launch, and beyond.

Performance insights fed to the rep sales force connected all touch-points within and outside the digital ecosystem, helping inform more targeted rep-physician conversations and deepen professional relationships.

VHC wanted to accelerate awareness, interest and uptake through differentiated messaging and interactive, personalized visual content.

  • Created the first global Rapid Launch protocol in pharma, reaching 5,000 doctors within 5,000 seconds of drug approval
  • Developed a new, integrated, ongoing communication platform to accelerate awareness, interest and uptake through differentiated messaging and personalized visual content
  • Created accessible, user-friendly data dashboards for real-time reporting and analysis
  • Executed in dozens of countries and continue to expand
  • Exceeded all performance metrics and industry benchmarks

Localized marketing campaigns encourage local experimentation, are a challenge for competitors to effectively track and are difficult to replicate at a meaningful level. When well executed, localization digital strategies provide a robust competitive edge for healthcare providers and their patients.

Our work in the healthcare space is breaking new ground in using data to build relationships with patients, healthcare providers and pharmaceutical manufacturers. Data gives brands access to real-time information. It can also give them an unprecedented level of education about patients and their needs. It’s all about moving healthcare forward and keeping the consumer at the center of every marketing decision.