and post campaign
How to identify growth
your target audience
ROI in a healthcare
We all are feeling it. Tighter budgets are forcing us to
find more cost-effective and creative methods to attract
patients. We are finding the need to be savvier with targeted
messaging. And we are expected to demonstrate tangible
ROI. The response, “we reached X people” is no longer
enough to justify our existence. We are forced to reach more
with less. This white paper explores some of the opportunities
to help healthcare organizations reach those goals, including
ideas on branding, lead generation and tracking.
Why it is Important, When it is Needed.
A strong brand transcends a product or service. It demonstrates value, reliability, quality and experience. And, it builds familiarity and trust for the long term. As we all know, in the healthcare environment, trust is the most important factor in a consumer’s decision-making process.
A brand campaign, if well executed, can have a “halo” effect on all of your products and service lines, and it can have a residual positive impact on other product-specific communications by setting the foundation of awareness, familiarity and trust. A consumer who already has a positive impression of your institution or company is more likely to be receptive to subsequent communications, offers or news.
Lead generation and target marketing can go a long way in helping support an overall brand campaign. But to be effective, your organization must spend its resources wisely by identifying those individuals who are most likely to benefit from your service/procedure. By capturing details on those who express an interest, you can engage with them in a more personal and meaningful way in the future.
How to identify growth opportunity and how to set an achievable growth target. • Identify your patient base. Geographically speaking, where do your patients live?
Is there an opportunity to expand your service area? While it is great to look at your overall market share for your service area, it is also helpful to break that data down further and look at market share in specific regions (i.e. counties) to identify where to focus your messaging and communications. Also look at trends. Over the past five years, has your market share increased or decreased? Has the population or demographics shifted or changed in any significant way?
• Identify in- and out-migration. What percentage of residents in your primary service area are seeking a particular service/procedure outside the area? Is there a particular competitor that is attracting them away? Is there a specific service or procedure they are seeking that you may or may not be providing? Understanding these patterns and trends will help you define your geographic target, shape your physician referral strategy and ultimately identify areas where your institution can upgrade a service or communicate your capabilities more effectively.
• Identify the most profitable services/procedures within the service line (based on contribution margin, not charges). It doesn’t make sense to invest in a lead generation campaign for services that yield a negative contribution margin unless you can demonstrate additional revenue from downstream services (i.e. outpatient testing, rehab). It also doesn’t make sense to focus on a service where you have little opportunity to grow. Your financial analysis team should be able to provide you with the reports you need to make this assessment.
• Identify your capacity. Any successful growth strategy is dependent on having the infrastructure and people to support the service line in question. Attempts to promote it or grow it without that support can have a lasting negative impact on your institution. Frustrated patients, who either can’t get an appointment or have to wait a long time to see a doctor may verbally communicate their displeasure to friends, family and colleagues or even to complete strangers through social media.
• Identify those locations that can support growth. If you have more than one location that offers a service, identify which one can best handle a heavier caseload. By doing so, you can target your messaging to a specific geographic group or promote a particular facility.
• Identify the short- and long-term growth projections for this service or procedure in your geographic region. Many factors can affect your income projections for a particular service, including changes in reimbursement and demographic shifts. Focus your lead generation campaigns on services/procedures that have both a future growth potential and high volumes. In cases where a particular service is decreasing overall, it is possible to show growth in market share even if volumes decline. However, unless your goal is to protect or retain your current market share, it would not be a good use of your resources to focus on a service that fits this scenario. • Identify your competitive advantage. Do you have anything that sets you apart
from your competitors? Technology? A nationally or regionally known physician? High outcomes/quality scores/patient satisfaction? Knowing your advantages will help you create a compelling story to share with the targets you need to reach. • Identify your budget. What is your annual budget to market a particular service
line? If you don’t have one established, start by identifying the services you plan to market and the tactics you plan to use to reach your target audience. As a guide, follow these steps:
– Associate an estimated cost for each tactic.
– Look at the contribution margin of the procedures/services you plan to grow. – Determine how many additional cases you will need to break even.
The goal is to achieve steady growth over the course of three to five years, or the duration of your health system’s strategic marketing plan.
Post campaign analysis:
It is vital to demonstrate that your campaign is actually bringing in business. Here are some considerations that will help make your marketing more trackable and more effective.
• Always have a clear call to action. If you want your audience to call a specific number, make sure you have a process in place to handle the calls effectively. Provide the operator/call center/administrative assistant with a script. Make sure they have a list of tactics included in the campaign, and be sure they are tracking how the caller learned about the service. In addition, ensure that operators track the necessary information about the person so that you can identify them when they come in for a procedure.
• Incentivize your online audience. If you are marketing online, provide an incentive for the visitor to complete a form that captures their information. This could include a brochure, a “how-to” guide, or a video that provides additional information of use to the consumer.
• Capture attendee information. If you are hosting a community talk, ask attendees to register online or by phone. The day of the event, capture their information again to confirm they attended. Then, have them fill out a brief evaluation form with their contact information, email address and health concerns/issues they wish to receive information about. To help generate leads, give them the option to schedule a physician consultation.
• Track online activity. Online newsletters allow you to identify services that are of most interest to your readers/consumers. Email marketing providers such as Mail Chimp and Constant Contact offer the ability to track how many people clicked on an article, what they read, and how long each spent on the page. This information can be very valuable in helping you select future content.
How to capture the data you need
to measure a campaign’s effectiveness.
During and after your campaign, work with your IT department or finance team to acquire the data of those patients who came to your health system for the services you marketed (based on DRGs).
• Request the data beginning with the first date that the service was marketed and move forward.
• Provide your IT or finance team with a list of the leads you captured. • Have them pull the service information (diagnosis, services received, date of
service and charges) and review the list to identify the services that match those you marketed. To ensure adherence to HIPAA rules, be sure to have your IT or finance team present this data to you without patient identifiers, such as by patient record number instead of the patient name.
• Report the number of conversions (total people who came in for treatment, total charges) and work with your finance team to calculate an estimated contribution margin figure.
• Compare the results to your goal. Keep in mind that the referral time will vary from service to service. You will need to factor this in when deciding on the timeframe to track your results.