Something had to change.
Tired of skyrocketing premiums, co-pays and endless mounds of paperwork and confusion, healthcare customers are demanding something different.
The result: a fundamental change to the healthcare model.
It all started with the insurers and worked its way down. Instead of reimbursing providers for the quantity of services, many have started to reimburse based on the value of healthcare provided.
This value-based model has already shown a lot of promise in reducing costs and helping people get the healthcare they need.
It also has huge implications for your marketing.
As more insurers and providers adopt the value-based healthcare model, it’s up to us to ensure that it’s reflected in our marketing.
This can be challenging for marketers who have grown accustomed to marketing in the volume-based model. The goal before was simple: get as many people in the door as possible.
There’s a potential mismatch here that can put off would-be customers. If a healthcare company offers a cutting-edge value model, but their marketing sticks to the old volume approach and makes people feel like a number, it’s harder to engage them.
Blanketing the airwaves, mailboxes, and billboards isn’t enough anymore. The savviest marketers are adapting because their potential customers are too.
People are becoming much more willing to explore their options online. They’re value-conscious. If your messaging doesn’t cater to that, they’ll choose someone else to meet their healthcare needs.
The transition to value-based healthcare is huge, and intimidating in a lot of respects. But it’s also an incredible opportunity to revolutionize your marketing in this new era.
Here are a few ways how you can tweak your marketing to deliver value instead of just volume:
1. Quality of Interactions (Instead of Quantity)
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The first logical place to start is your interactions with target customers.
The volume-based marketing approach uses direct mail, TV and radio ads, and billboards to create multiple interactions.
Two major disadvantages are: 1) it’s very expensive, and 2) there’s no guarantee that the people who see your marketing are seeking healthcare at that time. It relies heavily on sheer numbers–and lucky timing.
A value-based approach allows you to use your budget more efficiently. One of the upsides of audience fragmentation is how people have formed self-contained, easy to identify communities. That makes it easier to connect with your ideal customers. Instead of paying for billboards and praying the right people see it, you can find them on forums or social networking communities.
You might end up reaching fewer people than before, but they’ll be better qualified and more likely to become customers. Remember, quality over quantity! Then it just becomes a matter of assessing their interest level and engaging with them throughout the buying journey.
Always lead by offering value. Even if someone isn’t interested in buying yet, you can offer wellness tips, symptom information, and prevention guides. By developing resources that cater to people in every stage of the buying journey, you’ll increase the quality of every interaction.
2. Integration of Every Marketing Channel
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As hospital systems absorb new facilities and resources, one of the major challenges administrators face is integrating all those resources to streamline the care provided at each location.
Healthcare marketers face a similar challenge. There are more channels than ever to reach an audience. But there are also more places where that audience can spend their time. It can be tough to see how all your efforts are working together and make improvements.
Imagine a marketing strategy that uses blogging, social media marketing, and PPC ads on search engines. It’s easy to view these as distinct campaigns with little relation to one another. But the reality is each channel affects the others. Someone might click a PPC ad then read a blog article, which leads them to your Facebook page.
Customer journeys are getting much more complicated. It’s becoming increasingly common for someone to research health symptoms, explore treatment options, and compare providers online–all before they contact you.
That’s why getting an integrated view of all your marketing channels is essential. Customer journeys are messy. So we need to understand how every marketing effort works as part of a unified whole.
3. An Obsessive Focus on Outcome
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Value-based marketing is all about the intended outcome. If your goal is to increase your email subscribers by 20 percent within the next two months, what is the most cost-effective way you can do that while still providing a ton of value to your audience?
It’s easy for marketers (especially if they have large budgets) to invest in TV ads, billboards, and other expensive efforts and convince themselves that “increased brand awareness” justifies the expense.
There might be a time and place for those strategies, but the best bet is to always ground them in your intended outcome. For every marketing message you create, consider:
Keeping these intentions in the forefront of the campaign planning process will shape your strategy to focus on the right things. Testing and tracking the results in your analytics platform will help you see what’s working, what isn’t, and how to optimize your budget.
Creating Value for Brands and Customers
Adopting a value-based marketing model will help you make the most of your budget and increase ROI.
But that isn’t where the story ends.
Value-based marketing can also create better experiences for your audience. As we are bombarded with an endless stream of information across different platforms, it’s becoming harder than ever to get–and keep–valuable attention.
Information overload has forced people to shift from a volume-based to value-based model of attention. No one wants to experience a blatant sales pitch that offers zero value–except to the company who created it.
What can you do instead?
Focus on making your marketing messages meaningful to your audience. Educate. Entertain. Answer pressing questions. Engage with people like real human beings instead of statistics on an analytics platform.
Give Customers the Value They’re Looking for
Our lives are overwhelmed with volume.
We’re looking for value instead.
As healthcare transforms to deliver just that, so can your marketing. With the right focus and strategy, you can connect with your audience as human beings and create the value they’re looking for–while showing them you’re their best choice.