How to Create Customer-Centric Healthcare Marketing
Healthcare marketing is behind other verticals in customer-centricity and what’s worse is some veteran healthcare marketers are resisting change, finds recent research from Prophet. But they can create customer-centric healthcare marketing, and here’s how.
Scott Davis and Jeff Gourdji from the marketing consultancy elaborate on Prophet’s findings in an article published last week by Medical Marketing and Media:
“It's not as surprising if you think about the instincts of the business of healthcare,” said Scott Davis, chief growth officer at Prophet. “This is an evidence-based, scientific-by-nature, risk-averse, highly regulated and monitored business. When you think about making big bets around consumers in these industries, moves are not easily made.”
Solve Patient Problems Instead of Talking Up Your Products and Services
Consumers don’t care about your problems or healthcare marketing achievements; they care about themselves — especially if they’re in pain, or otherwise in need of healthcare products and services.
Fewer than 15% of healthcare organizations have patient-centered instead of population-centered care, Prophet finds.
And we found that healthcare organizations even allowed marketers to make false healthcare claims up until 1980, because the entities themselves didn’t advertise. After that, the marketing was about the healthcare organizations themselves or their products and services — not to patients about their needs. But healthcare marketers need to get with it, because competitors are entering the market already patient-centric.
While fewer than 15% of healthcare organizations have “connected healthcare ecosystems,” as Prophet finds, their new competitors do.
Partner With Digital Startups to Compete With Amazon, Etc.
GlobalData tells us yesterday that “as Amazon warms up to enter into the crowded healthcare space with the recent announcement to acquire U.S.-based online pharmacy PillPack for nearly $1 [billion], the online giant’s business model could be inspired by its Chinese counterpart Alibaba.”
And Amazon isn’t the only e-commerce-based entity in customer-centric healthcare marketing entering the space.
The MM&M article says:
Patients are beginning to expect more from their health providers because of excellent customer service at large companies.
“It's happening because consumers are increasingly comparing their experience to out-of-category companies, especially to Amazon, Uber, et cetera,” said Jeff Gourdji, healthcare practice lead at Prophet.
The study suggested that healthcare companies partner with digital startups to bring a nimbler, more consumer-friendly culture into their ranks. Across the three sectors of healthcare, however, only between 5% and 10% were willing to partner with startups.
Hire Marketing Leaders From Outside of Healthcare
The Prophet consultants say this can help ensure healthcare marketers won’t be left behind by changing times. If they don’t get with it, they’ll be left in the dust within seven years, they predict.
The MM&M synopsis says: “Only 19% of pharma and payers and 11% of providers were willing to hire a leader from a consumer industry.”
Still, we similarly found healthcare marketing changed from being product- and service-centric to being more patient-centric when healthcare organizations did hire marketers from other verticals.
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.
Related story: Customer Experience Is BioPharma’s Brand Differentiation