There’s currently lots of buzz in the marketing environment about connecting with the “right customer, at the right time, using the right channels.” It’s called segmenting the audience, and it has multiple benefits for healthcare organizations. The principle has long been used in industries like retail, and will enable hospitals, clinics, and practices to engage patients better and deliver customized messaging and services.
Identifying the “Right” Consumer
With effective market segmentation, you’re able to define your target consumers and group them into segments based on specific criteria. It allows you to discover what motivates them and create appropriate messaging for each segment.
Health systems routinely segment patients for purposes such as insurance status and risk stratification. What’s new, however, is combining previously untapped data from a wide range of sources, including first-party data, and analyzing it to support more customized and effective communications.
Determining the “Right” Channels
Understanding your consumer segment’s behaviors and attitudes helps healthcare marketers know what type of message is likely to produce a response. Even a closely segmented audience is made up of prospects with different preferences, though, so it’s essential to communicate using not only multiple channels, but the ones most appropriate for each point in the patient’s journey.
Segmentation helps you to identify what these channels are, as well as the best way to synchronize messaging across the channels (an omnichannel strategy) while also using the ideal channel for every customer at each touch point. This is called an opti-channel marketing strategy, and it’s based on your prospects’ goals for their specific journey, prior interaction history and other contextual data.
Pinpointing the “Right” Time
Discover precisely when it’s the right time to present patients with a particular message using tools such as a journey map, which follows the story of the patient’s experience from initial contact through engagement and into a long-term relationship. With market research analytics that identifies when a prospect explores prostate cancer, for example, you can design an experience focused on meeting his needs for information, followed by scheduling a consultation, and ultimately providing advice on treatment and medication.
Timing is everything in healthcare marketing, and organizations need to move beyond a “one-size-fits-all” approach to customizing both services and communications for individual patient needs. The only way to do this is by knowing your consumers, and segmentation can help you automate the process.
For more information about reaching your healthcare audience through effective segmentation, call Wax Custom Communications at 305-350-5700 or visit waxcom.com.
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