The Goal of any Direct to Patient Marketing campaign should be geared towards empowering patients to make the best healthcare decisions for their individual needs. By providing patients with the necessary content and information at all stages of their patient journey, you’re guiding them towards the most positive health outcomes possible.
Before focusing on the integrated patient journey, however, brands need to focus on internal alignment. All teams must understand that campaign goals should ensure all stages of their healthcare marketing initiatives are geared toward wowing empowered patients.
A Direct to patient (DTP) campaign focuses on reaching patients who are already aware of their medical condition, are currently being treated for a condition, or are looking at medical options to help their condition. Therefore, the role of your campaign should be focused on offering a direct line of knowledge about your product, the way in which it helps the patient in their current state, and ultimately why they should choose your device or service over your competitors.
“Hospitals and health systems that gain the attention of niche audiences and provide resources to help patients make healthier choices will outsmart the competition in 2017” – Top 10 hospital marketing trends, Smith and Jones
Questions to consider before implementing a DTP Marketing campaign:
• What digital channels should you be using? Do you know where your patients’ hang out online? How can you use these channels to engage with relevant patients at each stage of their journey from illness to wellness?
• Can you allocate the necessary budgets and resources? Do you have the manpower to successfully implement your campaign?
• How will you target and move consumers through the patient journey toward your desired outcomes?
• Will you be able to spot and react to opportunities? Do you have the ability to respond in real-time?
• What results should you expect? What are your KPIs?
• Interpreting data and analytics. With so many analytic tools at our disposal these days, which ones should you be focusing on?
Challenges of a DTP marketing campaign:
• Lacking a strong value proposition. With no value proposition your brand might come off as week or unable to differentiate itself from your competitors.
• The patient journey is complex, with multiple touch points needed to successfully guide patients down your sales funnel.
• Need to prepare for an elongated and lengthy process.
• Accounting for varying searcher intent. Depending on your product or service you might have unpredictable behavior, especially when dealing with patients who are facing life-threatening scenarios.
• Ultimately there will be a large upfront investment in content.
• The scariest challenge for most teams will be the level of difficulty in proving ROI on their initial investment in the beginning.
In order to ensure marketers are delivering robust improvements to the patient experience, it’s on brands and their marketing teams to put the patient and his or her needs on the center stage. By asking the right questions beforehand, you’re not only ensuring your team is in alignment, you’re also able to set more realistic internal goals.