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 ([email protected]) 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.