Today’s digitally-savvy consumers expect more from brands seeking engagement and the creation of what will hopefully be long-lasting relationships. In healthcare, the stakes can be particularly high—not only for consumers seeking credible and accurate information, but also for healthcare providers committed to serving patients while meeting business goals to keep the doors open.
In such an environment, healthcare marketers are faced with the tall task of figuring out what patients and prospects want and need—and the best way to provide it. Here, we’ll take a look at recommendations from several experts about delivering meaningful content in meaningful ways.
“A purposeful message, purposefully delivered.”
“A purposeful message, purposefully delivered” is how one communications expert describes the “true channels” approach used by companies looking to optimize results by embracing “an integrated and cross-functional mindset.”
In a PRWeek article published earlier this year, Rick Murray, EVP, Padilla and Managing Partner, SHIFT Communications describes a new “era of performance communications” that will require some changes when it comes to PR strategy.
According to Murray, some of those changes include:
- Untethering PR from earned media: “There are many other places to reach people and we believe that when it comes to performance, finding the right medium for the message is one of the most critical parts of a PR program.”
- Getting PR to perform by diversifying its application: “PR will evolve when PR leaders begin asking the right questions and then creating a strategy versus blindly pursuing earned media in response to that ask. … just because a story or message isn’t well-suited to a top-tier news outlet doesn’t mean it’s not important or right for your audience. You just have to strategize another way to go about it…”
- Embracing an integrated and cross-functional mindset: “Research shows [publishers are] diversifying their channels and content, putting more resources into podcasts and digital audio, e-newsletters and video — especially short-form.”
Murray says in the end, it’s the audience that gets to define “what they want to consume and how”—which is why a communications strategy that delivers “meaningful outcomes” will be focused on “telling stories in the right channels.”
Focusing on “what truly matters”
Along the same lines, McKinsey & Company experts emphasize the need to “focus on what truly matters” when redefining the approach to omnichannel marketing.
“Many companies try but fail to build an omnichannel experience for every channel and customer,” they write. “Leaders should instead limit their focus to the top two or three cross-channel customer interactions.”
The experts say that although an omnichannel approach has been around for many years, customer expectations have changed—and increasingly, they “expect consistent information to be at their fingertips, regardless of the channel they choose to engage with.”
Citing the challenges involved in implementing an omnichannel strategy effectively, they say many leaders fail to recognize that “a perfect omnichannel solution rarely, if ever, exists. It is impossible to be all things to all customers, especially in an ever increasingly paced world.”
However, the authors say it is possible for a company to create an “exceptional” omnichannel experience for the “large majority” of its customers—which can be done by focusing on “the two or three cross-channel customer journeys that are most important to that majority.”
The steps they recommend for building this “new strategy” include:
- Find the right cross-channel journeys to prioritize: Advanced analytics related to customer data can help inform a “deep understanding of the customer,” which can provide new insights regarding “which cross-channel experiences truly matter the most.”
- Design for the channels that matter: Once the first step is completed, shift the focus to “building out functionalities in line with the channels of customer choice, making sure information flows freely across those channels to enable a personalized omnichannel experience.”
- Embed a customer-centric mindset: “…companies should focus completely on understanding what customers want and need by segment (such as age, geography, and income) and taking an omnichannel approach that puts customer needs at the very center of its functionality.”
Noting how seemingly daunting it can be to achieve omnichannel success, the McKinsey experts say that by “focusing resources on the multichannel journeys that customers truly value, organizations can provide personalized attention and provide the best customer service in the moments that matter most.”
To dig into further details regarding McKinsey’s recommendations, please see “Redefine the omnichannel approach: Focus on what truly matters.”
Contact us today to find out how we can help level up your healthcare marketing strategy.