Taren Grom, Editor
NOTE: The content below contains the first few paragraphs of the printed article and the titles of the sidebars and boxes, if applicable.
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Triple Aim initiative outlines how new healthcare designs must be developed to simultaneously pursue three dimensions: improving the patient experience of care, including quality and satisfaction; improving the health of populations; and reducing the per capita cost of healthcare.
According to the National Healthcare Expenditure Projections, 2010-2020, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Office of the Actuary, the U.S. healthcare system is the most costly in the world, accounting for 17% of the gross domestic product with estimates that percentage will grow to nearly 20% by 2020. At the same time, countries with health systems that out-perform the United Stares are also under pressure to derive greater value for the resources devoted to their healthcare systems. Aging populations and increased longevity, coupled with chronic health problems, have become a global challenge, putting new demands on medical and social services.
Thus the current system is unsustainable for the long term and marketers will need to communicate the value of their brands in a new way.
Suggested approaches include: stories of improving the patient experiences; improvements to the health of populations; and innovations that in some way lower the per capita cost of healthcare.
A Customer Experience Model
Among one of the top marketing trends identified by Forbes is the need to embrace the customer experience model. Marketers within the pharma world have been moving toward this approach for the past couple of years, migrating from a silo of advertising and non-interactive communication toward becoming a natural part of the sales cycle and an extension of customer service. This is in line with the impact that Triple Aim will have on ongoing communications and the need to reposition and market products and services to ensure that the value of a brand is well understood by all stakeholders. Forbes analysts suggest that by using integrated tools, marketers can engage with customers online, track the buyer’s journey, measure sentiment and loyalty, and match behavior with outreach tailored to meet their audience’s needs and interests. And for customers already bombarded with information, a great customer experience is becoming baseline.
Another trend is influencer marketing, also called influence marketing, in which the focus is placed on specific key individuals or types of individuals rather than the target market as a whole.
AdWeek has identified influencer marketing as the next big thing. Misha Talavera, co-founder and chief marketing officer of NeoReach, says as the world has shifted to social media, consumers look at fellow consumers to inform their purchasing decisions. Instead of looking at companies, as they did in the past, they now look at each other and at their favorite personalities, who are accumulating massive followings on YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and other platforms.
For these reasons, many believe influencer marketing to be the next big thing in advertising. (PV)
Beacon Healthcare Communications
Strategically, blanket-positioning statements are becoming inadequate to address the increasingly sophisticated mindset of our target audiences. Marketers have to approach positioning through segmentation of audiences, while also having to consider segmentation within the same audience. For example, where patients get their information, how they process that information, and when they seek it, is individualized. A
patient’s illness is a personal experience. Different patients are at different stages of that very personal journey. A more precise message will be necessary to engage them.
Influencer marketing has been utilized with varying degrees of success for quite some time. The impact on more traditional physician peer-to-peer marketing is one example of the changing landscape in this area. Moving forward, patient advocates will play a greater role in influencer marketing, while patient caregivers are providing marketers with a new opportunity for potential advocates. Over the longer term, influencer marketing will continue to grow with greater use of tools, such as social media, offering more expanded and ongoing engagement with patients.
VP, Marketing and Customer Advocacy,
Frontline Medical Communications
Start with meaningful research to define distinct customer needs, gaps, and wish list items as well as understanding the competitive landscape. Knowing what is important, under-delivered, and desired by a segment of customers — in the language of that customer — is key to
messaging and differentiation. In the medical publishing and media business, we found that content personalization and ease-of-access formatting and archiving were key to busy physicians.
In a time-crunched world of countless competing messages, consumers overwhelmingly trust recommendations over brand content, therefore influencer marketing will have a big impact. According to eMarketer, 75% of U.S. marketers cite ongoing ambassadorship as one of the most effective use of influencers. For pharma marketing, digital KOLs and patients play a unique role in building awareness, providing education, and eliciting trial. Reputation and authenticity are key, as well as knowing the needs and interests of constituents as well as the benefits associated with greater SEO authority and social following.
Senior VP, Market Access,
A Triple AIM approach
Products must have a compelling value proposition to each stakeholder to drive appropriate utilization and reimbursement. Companies will need to show how their brands stack up on Triple Aim — improving the experience of care, improving the health of populations, and reducing per capita costs of healthcare. With a new emphasis on quality of care, stakeholders are becoming aligned in their pursuit of better quality outcomes for less money. Companies that can successfully demonstrate this will be the leaders of tomorrow.
The Tech of Technology
It’s important to first understand how various healthcare stakeholders use technologies, including why they use it, how they value their experience, and the different ways they prefer to give and receive messages. For example, specific payer coverage levels and reimbursement support info at the point of e-prescribing can be very beneficial to healthcare providers and patients. On the other hand, payers may want to understand the outcomes benefits associated with specific therapies on specific patient populations, including the appropriate role in therapy.
Senior VP, Access
Ogilvy CommonHealth Payer Marketing
There are two essential emerging strategies that pharma manufacturers should be assessing to differentiate their products from competitors. One, is streamlining patient access support services, like coverage investigations, prior authorizations, and specialty pharmacy coordination so that time from prescription to fulfillment are cut at least in half. Second, is delivering these automated services and additional patient education and engagement offerings directly to the HCP and patient during the office visit via EHR.
Peter von Bartheld
VP, Customer Experience,
Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide
Creating Message Reach
Understanding the right technologies, such as automated marketing tools, allows marketers to reach HCPs and patients when they’re available, in their preferred channel, with targeted content. Using a singular strategy to reach multiple groups of HCPs and/or patients, often yields nonresponsive customers. Effective marketing must be designed with an individualized focus, especially since most HCP marketing journeys are now self-directed. Automated marketing campaigns use proven, historical data to develop a predictive model eliminating unnecessary costs.
Executive VP, Chief Technology Officer,
Sudler New York
Digital phenotyping is one of the biggest untapped opportunities for brands, without question. This catch-all nomenclature for the trail of relevant health data — digital exhaust — people leave behind in their interactions with the Internet, social media, and technology, has enormous potential for the early detection of various conditions, disease education and branded content. This beyond-the-pill strategy goes beyond a
product’s actual therapeutic offerings by putting health information into relevant context for the consumer; that’s when it becomes meaningful and that’s when powerful brands are created. This is what we call actionable data points — building brand relationships across information points.
Technology: A Business Model Challenge
The Innovator’s Dilemma suggests that successful companies can put too much focus on customers’ current needs, and fail to adopt new technology or business models that will meet their customers’ unvoiced or future needs. In healthcare it is not a technology challenge — it’s a business model challenge. Essentially, the business model of healthcare needs to change so that the same level of innovation that is expected in the lab is also nurtured in marketing. And technology may help deliver on the promise of truly innovative marketing. Brands can start with a three step process: one, analyze multiple variants in the marketplace; two, create multiple assets; and three, deploy them in multiple ways. This approach of segmentation to personalization ensures the delivery of compelling messages to the right audience. In other words, this is the future of data informed creativity.