Mapping Out You’re Next Hyper-Personalized Campaign
Hyper personalization – it’s something we’ve touched on a lot in our blogs (check it out here), and for good reason. Consumers are experiencing mass communication fatigue and in today’s uber-competitive business landscape, hyper-personalized experiences make a difference. It’s all about what stands out.
So, while in the past we’ve given you the low-down on why hyper-personalization is important and why it makes such an impact, today we’ll hit on the who’s, what’s, and how’s, and give you the info you’ll need in order to map out your next customized marketing experience.
Getting to Know Your Audience
In our previous blog, we mentioned how marketers can use technological advances like big data, AI, and machine learning to collect behavioral data and take generic customer characteristics to the next level. But with that, there comes a catch – it’s not a one shoe fits all deal.
Before you begin mapping out your hyper-personalization game plan, be sure to define your ideal customer. This can be anyone from a top prospect to a target at a specific high-value account – but it’ll be specific to you and your business.
Data for Success
After you figure out who you’re going to target, you’ll want to implement tactics to get in touch with them. Think of this as a time to strategically gather data points for your outreach.
When it comes to gathering data points, your end result will only be as good as the effort you put in at the beginning. It’ll take a lot of trial and error, and a mixture of using data you already have along with various data collection tools for optimal results, but the end result will be worth it. Here are just a few tactics to consider:
- Analytics platforms to aid in the collection of data
- Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM) – your hub to customer info
- Post-click landing page platform
- Data management platform
From there, segmentation is key. As the data pours in, segmentation will allow for new personalization opportunities, and the ability to integrate it into your emails, direct mail, dimensional mail, digital ads – basically anything and everything in your omnichannel campaign arsenal. It may seem like a simple concept, but it’s important enough to make all the difference at the end of the day.
A Couple Clicks to The Goldmine
Once you’ve defined your ideal customer, gathered your personalized data, and segmented it, it’s time to marry them together and execute your hyper-personalized campaign.
According to InstaPage, nearly 79% of consumers will likely only engage with a brand’s offer if it is directly tied to their previous interactions with the brand making, so it’s smart to start with simple personalization such as gender and/or age. From there, put yourself in the shoes of your customer and think about what YOU would like to see next, then tailor your campaign from there.
The level of personalization in your messages should be at a happy medium between information you already know about your prospect at a level that they’re comfortable with, but not so much that they’re “creeped out” by how much you know about them. Balance is the key to success here. Show them you care about them, without scaring them away.
Give the People what they Want
It’s an obvious assumption – giving your targets what they want will help ensure trust and build lasting relationships. Consumers hate the feeling of being sold to, but they sure do love it when they feel like someone “understands” them. So, look at hyper-personalization as a way to “sell” without ever presenting a cheesy pitch. It’s a win-win.
We get that hyper-personalization may seem intimidating, but with time and some tweaking, it will make all the difference to your marketing efforts. If it helps, think of your hyper-personalized campaign like a sales process – it starts with initial prospecting that leads to an approach and then the wraps up with a closing and a follow-up. The follow-up in this case with be the continual testing of your campaign. What’s working? What’s not? Who else can be reached within each segment? Consistently ask yourself these questions and alter audience segmentation as needed for optimal results. If it turns out your strategy is working, why fix what isn’t broken.
If you’re sick of just getting by with generic marketing strategies, contact us to see how we can help.
Six More Marketing Tips to Help You Succeed in 2020
Welcome to Part 2 of our holiday marketing series, 12 Days of Smarter Marketing.
Let’s pick up where we left off with six more great tips to close out 2019 and start 2020 off on the right foot.
A/B Test Campaigns and Content
If you’re putting time and energy into the creation of campaigns and a steady stream of content, it’s crucial you’re getting the maximum return possible. This includes A/B testing different approaches to fine-tune your offerings for maximum effectiveness.
Take the opportunity to gather data on what’s working, what isn’t working and discovering why. It’s a simple strategy that will make a big impact on the overall performance of your future output.
Taking Control of Your Brand
The new year is a great time to implement new strategies and solidify standards when it comes to branding. Introducing style guides, for example, is a great way to ensure organization-wide consistency.
Creating a centralized marketing hub is another great way to maintain brand consistency. Housing resources like logos and content in one central location (along with other digital assets) is an excellent strategy to deliver a clear, on-brand message time and time again.
Try Something New
Try new things in the New Year. Exciting marketing options like dimensional mail may be the boost your marketing needs to stand out from the pack and get your message heard.
Similarly, new email campaign tactics — whether that’s formatting, tone, or core campaign concepts — can inspire creative evolution in tired, repetitive campaigns.
That said, it’s important to not lose sight of your brand. Make sure that the new move is a logical step for your brand and not a complete off-brand departure. Exploring a new direction while maintaining the crux of your brand is the ideal to strive for.
Educate (and Appreciate) Your Employees
There is little that’s more valuable to your business than the people who run it, and when those team members are happy, your business runs smoothly. Take time this holiday season to show appreciation to your employees.
Also be sure to take the New Year as an opportunity to go over clear goals, detail new missions, and run refreshers on standard operating procedures (or introduce new ones). This is an excellent time to brush up on training.
Keep Your Content Going Strong
Great content is the key to successful followings, and producing that content should be a priority for your business. Focusing on the quality of the content — the insight that it offers, the value it provides, and the way it reflects your brand.
The aspects above are what separates quality content from spam — the type of content put out for the sole purpose of putting something out or overly self-promotional purposes.
When you’re creating your next piece of content, make sure to ask yourself why you’re producing it and what value it provides for its end consumer. This type of questioning will ensure that your content is where it needs to be.
Continue to Evolve
The marketing world is ever-changing and “business as usual” is not a successful long-term business strategy. If you see something that isn’t working, change it, and don’t look back. Be fearless when it comes to taking thoughtful risks and deviating from the norm. It will pay dividends.
Get ahead of what your customers want in 2020 and give it to them before they ask. Embrace the change and watch your business continue to prosper.
At Strata, we wish you well going into the New Year and hope that your 2020 is full of innovation and prosperity.
To learn more about how we can help with your marketing solutions for 2020 and beyond, contact us.
Understanding the Importance of Sustainable and Scalable Processes
Do more with less – it’s a phrase every marketing leader has heard. You’re constantly being challenged to grow customer engagement, provide meaningful experiences, and consistently fill pipelines, all while decreasing expenses and resources. It’s a tall task – especially as marketing teams continue to get leaner and the day-to-day grind becomes more fast-paced and time-sensitive. But it’s a task that can be accomplished with a combination of the right tools, smart choices, and repeatable processes.
The Power of Marketing Automation
While you may never be able to eliminate all of the rework in your marketing strategy, leveraging tools like marketing automation can help eliminate repetitive steps that negatively impact performance. Rather than creating and recreating emails and campaigns from scratch, marketing automation allows anyone on your team the ability to clone user-friendly email templates and then make brand-approved adjustments.
Just think about what your creative services team might be able to do with all of that extra free time each week.
But when it comes to marketing automation, it’s not just about making your emails and campaigns scalable. Think bigger. It can help automate and elevate your social media, lead generation, landing pages, segmentation rules, and more. It’s a tool that can save you time across the board by creating repeatable processes and automated efficiencies, and has resulted in 1 in 3 marketing executives proclaiming it’s improved their department’s productivity and ROI.
Figure Out What Works and Repeat
The marketing teams that do the most with limited resources are the ones that understand what works and then replicates it. This goes beyond simple email campaigns and what marketing automation can do. This advanced tactic lets your team take entire programs – like an event or direct mail campaign for example – and replicate all of the content, workflows, materials, etc. It’s a great way to implement best practices and maximize your team’s time.
As the old saying goes “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
Image this example. Each month, your company onboards several new accounts and part of the onboarding process involves them receiving a personalized welcome box with some company swag. It’s an easy way to say thank you and enhance the customer journey but it can be time consuming. Think about the effort and resources it would take each month to gather information for each new client, compile a mailing list, design each custom box, order the swag, print the boxes, assemble the boxes, ship them, and then finally track the results. If you’re not exhausted after reading that, I’m impressed.
Now consider this – if your team develops a process that can be cloned each month, the process becomes a well-oiled machine. They can use a CRM to house the contact information and lists, include personalized variable fields on the creative, and standardize processes for printing, shipping and tracking engagement. Or better yet, they can find a tool that can take care of the creative, fulfilment and shipping – further freeing up their time.
Reaping the Benefits
At the end of the day, if you’re like most, your marketing budget isn’t getting any bigger and sustainable and scalable processes and programs are going to become more important than ever before.
While it’s nice to relieve your marketing team from performing repetitive tasks, on a larger scale, the right tools and smart choices can do so much more. You’ll be able to regain hours, lower your operational costs, reach a larger audience, and measure concrete success. You’ll truly be able to reach the marketing holy grail – doing more with less.
Are you interested in learning about how Strata can help you scale your marketing efforts? Contact us today and see what we can do for you.
Get the Right Analytics at the Right Time for More Dynamic, Successful Campaigns
When is it time to measure your new mover campaign’s performance – when it’s over? With a multichannel campaign, of course it’s essential to keep track of the many moving parts. But what if you could do even more? A campaign dashboard should give you a detailed, up-to-the-minute view of your campaign’s performance – so you can course correct as necessary, improve cost effectiveness, and leverage successes immediately.
Feedback – Now
New residents make decisions quickly, and you’re delivering a lot of information in a brief period. Give your direct marketing campaign the best chances of achieving optimal response. A campaign dashboard worthy of your marketing strategy should give you feedback in real time. This offers two enormous advantages:
- Course Correction
If something isn’t working, you can recover quickly rather than learning only from hindsight. If you initially ran four or five different digital ads, but your dashboard is showing that engagement is coming mainly from just one or two of those, there’s your opportunity to pull the ones that aren’t working and double down on those that are.
- See What’s Working and Do More of That
If your campaign is getting response from segments you didn’t anticipate, you can adjust to focus more attention on them. Let’s say you expected to receive responses from an even demographic distribution seeking a primary care physician, but your dashboard shows a surge in responses from women ages 24 to 34 looking for pediatrics. You can adjust your campaign to home in on those people and start building affinity even sooner.
A robust campaign dashboard will give you more than an overview – more than clickthrough rates or total of BRCs received. We now have the technology to quickly parse data to break down responses by age bracket, gender, income screen, neighborhood, and other demographic segments. You can also look at responses according to their interest in your products and services, whether you’re offering office supplies or ongoing healthcare.
In addition, you can learn a lot about which aspects of your campaign are working well. For instance, compare traditional business reply cards with electronic response. (Side note: Traditional BRCs are still highly effective in healthcare, where 69 percent of new-mover responses come through this medium.) Did Jane Smith access your website with the personalized URL on your direct mailer? Is your banner ad getting more clickthroughs than your display ad? All of this should be at your fingertips so that it informs not only your current campaign but future campaigns as well.
Consumers expect personalized service and relevant communications. To offer that you have to know, as soon as possible and in as much detail as possible, who’s engaging with your campaign and how. The sooner you get to know your market, the sooner you can convert prospective buyers into loyal customers.
SmartMove’s personalized campaign dashboard gives you a window into your new mover campaign. Contact us to learn more.
Email Marketing Tips to Nurture and Engage New Movers in Your Area
Automated email workflow campaigns, when used as a component of new mover marketing, have the potential to accelerate new-patient engagement. In fact, according to online publisher MediaPost, healthcare email drip campaigns may result in triple the engagement as compared to a traditional email blast.
What are some characteristics of an effective segmented email campaign for new movers?
- Responsive to health needs, interests and preferences expressed via direct response vehicles such as direct mail or landing pages (PURLs).
- Delivered at key points in the new mover’s quest for healthcare, beginning with a kick-off email sent immediately after opt-in is received.
- Adjusted over time with insight from tracked responses.
Here are five strategies to nurture patient relationships through segmented email.
- Demonstrate You’re Tuned in To Needs and Interest
You’ve sent a series of “Welcome” mailers introducing your healthcare organization. Now the responses have started flowing in, and you can begin segmenting your email lists according to areas of interest expressed in BRCs and eBRCs (typically in the form of personalized landing pages).The first communication must signal to recipients that future emails will be relevant and therefore of value. Segment respondents by relevant demographics and health interests, needs and conditions. Make a plan to develop tailored content. Create personas to guide copywriting of your segmented emails.
- Share Information on Available Health and Education Resources
This can include relevant health education seminars, blog posts, newsletter articles, health tools and resources on your website. Include a short, personal message, and direct email recipients to links to the full content, or to sign-up forms in the case of educational programs.
- Promote Hospital Events
Help new movers feel connected to your organization with personal invitations delivered to their inboxes. Health fairs, physician meet-and-greets, hospital foundation events, community events the hospital is sponsoring… promote these and any other events to the appropriate audience segment, and make newcomers feel like they’re part of the community fabric.
- Build Physician Affinity
Show that your physicians are accessible by making it easy for new patients to get physician information, schedule appointments and obtain referrals. For example, perhaps you have a category of respondents who express interest in finding a primary care physician close to home. Send an email with nearby physician office locations, hours and contact information, and the option to schedule an appointment.
Develop emails spotlighting physicians in service lines relevant to the patient subset. If physicians author blogs, highlight that fact and link out to them. These steps can all help build trust and affinity for your physician staff.
- Service Line Promotions
Again, relevance is key. For example, develop an email that highlights your cardiovascular program for senior respondents; an email with information on pediatrics for young families.
Do they have extensive healthcare needs right now – e.g., have they been newly diagnosed with a condition? Interested in intensive services like bariatrics? Seeking prenatal care? Develop email content tailored to service lines and the point of a patient’s journey with them.
Unlock the Potential of New Mover Marketing
Strata Company, a Greater Philadelphia area marketing services and technology solutions company, has 25 years of experience creating and managing multi-channel new mover marketing campaigns. Our SmartMove program utilizes the combined power of physical and digital touchpoints so you can quickly reach the right audience and keep them engaged with your brand. Contact us to learn more.
How to Effectively Communicate Your Martech Solution Choice to Leadership and Internal Users
You’ve found a martech solution that addresses some of your biggest challenges. It can save your department time; help you execute more effective campaigns; and generate quality leads. But, first you have to convince two key stakeholder groups that will use the new software – your executive leadership team and staff members who will be using it.
Internally “selling” a martech software implementation can be difficult, but most of the challenges can be traced back to two basic objections:
- CXO perspective: Is the technology worth the investment?
- User perspective: Do we really need to change things?
Securing buy-in from management and users will require effective communication of the software’s potential benefits, but what and how you communicate to each stakeholder group should differ. Here’s how to effectively communicate the benefits of the martech solution you are getting behind, which should help you save time by clearly and thoroughly demonstrating your rationale, addressing what matters most to these key audiences:
Justify the Investment to Leadership
Securing top-level buy-in is the natural first step. After all, there’s little value in spending time winning over employees if key decision-makers aren’t on board. That being said, you should be prepared to answer questions regarding how well employees might accept a system change.
Justify the spend by communicating to leadership how the marketing software investment will tie in to organization values and support top priorities. Make sure you can answer questions:
- What are the current problems?
- How are they holding your business back?
- What are the expected measurable benefits?
- What’s the scalability of the software?
- Are there sufficient training and IT support resources?
- How will the software integrate with existing systems?
- What is the cross-departmental value?
Distill Research and Evaluation Notes to Make Your Case
Research and evaluate various software options and articulate why your choice rose above the competition. Avoid bombarding the executive team with a massive spreadsheet of key features and pricing information. Hone your notes and research until what remains is a succinct list of benefits that address issues most important to the C suite.
Be Prepared to Explain How the Software Will Combat Pain Points
Be able to verbalize, if not already apparent to leaders, the problems the software will measurably resolve to justify the investment. Communicate the expected outcomes associated with the software and emphasize that you will perform continuous evaluation to ensure you are reaching your goals. Look for relevant case studies to support your reasoning. Investigate whether other departments within the organization are successfully using the same software or a comparable platform that saves time and resources.
Link Software Features to Measurable Objectives
According to a recent Gartner article, sound technology purchasing decisions should be grounded in SMART objectives. Develop objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound that you expect the martech to effect. Avoid broadly stated goals such as “Generate more inbound leads.” Rather, assign a percentage growth and a time period: “The new tool will help the marketing team generate 30% more inbound leads in 2018 compared to 2017.”
Secure Buy-in from Internal Users
Lack of employee buy-in is a major hurdle to overcome for successful martech adoption. The software champion first needs to generate acceptance of a new system, then maintain enthusiasm through the onboarding period.
There is always resistance to change, even if the change is positive. Even if that legacy system is rife with issues, they’re a known quantity to users. It can be a tough sell to convince employees that learning an entirely new way of doing things is worth the trouble. But adoption is essential in getting the desired ROI from the system – so this step is critical as well.
While conversations with the leadership team focus on specific measurements and business values, communication with potential system users needs to convey the idea of the software. Tell a story, in essence, of how the product can change their work lives for the better. Talk about time saving, elimination of headaches and other real pains they experience.
Educate employees about the new software far in advance of the launch so that even the most tech-averse users will have time to warm up to the change. Meanwhile, advanced communications might win over more tech-savvy employees who tend to be early adopters; they can help generate enthusiasm among peers. Don’t forget that most decisions are base on emotions. Communicate the idea that the new software will make their lives easier rather than harder. This also helps make users aware early on that executive staff is committed to successfully implementing the new software.
Acknowledge that change is difficult and that the launch of something new is inherently messy. Recognize that employees will need to “retrain their brains” to adapt to the new interface. Then, stress that the long-term benefits will make the transition worthwhile. Frame an authentic story around how their workday looks today, highlighting inefficiencies and challenges. Contrast it with how their workday will improve post-implementation.
Listen to Users’ Concerns to Gain Valuable Input
Taking user concerns seriously is an important part of the implementation process. Gather information on what might be needed to help navigate potential barriers to a successful launch. Understand the challenges on the employees’ end, and foster a collaborative approach to achieving the end goal – easier, more efficient processes for users.
Follow Up with Extensive Training and Evaluation
Congratulations, you’ve secured executive sign-off and an implementation schedule has been set. Your role as project champion now transforms to project nurturer. The smoother the adoption period, the faster the new technology will start proving ROI.
Lack of proper training is a top reason martech solutions are underutilized and fall short of expectations. Ensure that the necessary time and attention are devoted to training and onboarding.
Also, check in frequently with users to identify any perceived issues or barriers to complete adoption. Assigning a tech-savvy early adopter to act as a liaison is a solid way to get smart feedback. If something isn’t working, address concerns immediately – don’t let issues fall through the cracks. This is a fast path to dwindling returns. Likewise, gather feedback on employees’ perceptions of the most valuable benefits.
Common Business Bottlenecks That Slow Your Growth To Success
If you find yourself constantly facing roadblocks that hold your business back, you’re not alone. Common bottlenecks related to complex processes, missed deadlines, and overextended marketing and IT departments threaten productivity and delay time to market.
Here are 5 ways to clear those bottlenecks to drive efficiency and free up resources.
- Identify Manual Tasks That Could Be Automated
By automating and streamlining small, repetitive tasks, businesses can realize greater gains in efficiency and productivity. For example, marketing departments can automate processes related to general fulfillment or campaign execution.Customer correspondence is another area traditionally overrun by manual tasks, such as preparation of data and other files. This not only consumes disproportionate time and resources, it also can expose organizations in regulated sectors (e.g., healthcare, finance) to costly compliance violations.Customer communications software can dramatically reduce error related to manual involvement by immediately capturing and transforming data into seamless communications output across multiple channels, including mail, email and fax.
- Tame Out-of-Control Approval Workflows
Email chains that stretch on and on… clunky attachments with conflicting feedback… reviewers who chronically miss deadlines… last minute-changes. It’s no wonder that by the time you secure sign-off, the project already seems out of date. Marketing workflow automation solutions can unjam the approval backlog. Users can access content within a cloud-based tool, and administrators can program workflow controls with automated alerts to notify reviewers that action is required.
- Provide Centralized Access to Marketing Content
How many hours per week do your employees spend searching for marketing assets? Chances are, the answer is “too many” if content is stored in multiple drives across multiple departments.On the other hand, a centralized, cloud-based library gives users near-instant access to a searchable catalog of digital marketing assets. Well-designed marketing resource management platforms feature such libraries, as well as enabling smarter campaign execution with list management, tracking and reporting capabilities.
- Create Relevant Content Faster with Compliant, Customizable Templates
Do marketing employees spend valuable time re-creating materials for sales reps or local marketers? This has the unfortunate effect of wasting time and opportunities. Marketing staff time is sacrificed, and meanwhile, the sales cycle stalls out during the waiting period – or reps proceed with rogue content that’s at risk of being irrelevant or off-brand.Dynamic templates created by corporate teams allow users to customize to their needs, while ensuring brand standards aren’t compromised and marketing staff time isn’t tied up. This provides the added benefit of aligning marketing and sales teams. Self-service access to customizable marketing collateral and sales presentations helps ensure instant follow-up on hot leads with up-to-date, approved information.
Or, for example, local marketing affiliates can more quickly execute a campaign tailored to regional audiences (but that preserves the national-level brand and messaging) by accessing corporate-approved templates and then customizing them on-site using local data.
- Improve Communication between Corporate and Local Marketing
Often, lagging communication between local and central marketing causes stagnation and lost opportunities. First things first: Keep regional marketers informed of top-level goals and how they can support the initiatives.Also, consider adopting local marketing automation (LMA) to streamline local-level campaigns. LMA solutions help corporate and local teams stay in synch with real-time access to customizable campaign collateral. They also relieve the burden on corporate to constantly re-create materials for regional locations.
Need Additional Guidance?
If these communication snarls sound familiar, but you’re wondering how to start untangling them, you’ll find a collaborative partner in Strata Company. For more than 20 years, we’ve helped clients identify gaps and redundancies that slow business operations. Through custom solutions as well as off-the-shelf software, we help our clients improve the speed and efficiency of business. Contact us to learn more.
How to Give Your Direct Mail Lists a Good Spring Cleaning
Your mailing lists are the linchpin in your direct mail campaign. But just like closets packed too tightly with unused clothes or a basement overflowing with outdated equipment, a direct mail list rife with incorrect data, duplicate addresses or outdated information clutters your marketing efforts. Now is the ideal time to commit to “spring clean” your direct mail lists.
Data Becomes Outdated More Quickly Than Last Season’s Fashions
Mailing lists are the foundation for effective, targeted marketing outreach. Yet they’re incredibly difficult to manage. The clutter and disorganization happens subtly: recipients move, names change and lists aggregate from varying sources leading to misaligned data. Compounding the problem is the lack of centralized ownership dedicated to maintaining and cleaning up these fundamental resources.
The costs can sneak up on you as well. The obvious ones include wasted campaign dollars spent on purchasing duplicate or similar data as well as excess production, postage and execution. Less discernible are the costs to workflow and operations; time wasted by busy marketing managers looking for the correct, most current lists… and then correcting them.
The price is ultimately paid in the underperformance of your direct mailer; in unopened or returned mail, ineffective targeting, inability to properly segment and a lack of personalization. The solution, like cleaning out that cluttered closet, may not feel glamorous, but can be highly rewarding in terms of increasing in the efficiency and success of your direct mail campaigns and your data-driven marketing efforts overall.
If You Haven’t Worn It In The Last 6 Months…
Well, if you haven’t taken a hard look at your data in the last six months, chances are you’re due for a thorough list cleansing. Take these steps and you’ll be on the way to cleaner, more accurate mailing lists that save you time and money, and ensure optimum performance of your campaigns:
- Give The Job To One Person
By assigning ownership and management to one person, not only are the lists easier to update and control, the workflow is streamlined under one “roof” and everyone knows where to go to submit updates, and who to ask for what they need when they need it. Think of this person as your Data Ambassador and assign them the role of a dedicated Mr. (or Ms.) Fix-it to keep your (mail) house in order.
- Define Or Update List Management Standards
If you haven’t already, set standards for managing mailing lists and how they will be maintained. If those standards already exist, now is the perfect time to revisit those standards and processes, to evaluate how they’re working and if they’ve evolved with your latest data optimization strategies. Ensure there are strict enough data entry and modification standards to inform and enforce compliance. Update standards as needed to lay the ground for more fertile direct mail efforts. And ensure that each time you purchase a new list, these standards continue to be adhered to.
- Refresh Outdated Contacts
Tap into the post office’s National Change of Address (NCOA) service to ensure your list stays current, even when your addressees move. If you manage direct mailing in-house check to see if the software being used includes this service. Or, if you’re using a third-party list vendor, ask if they offer this as part of their standard services. Additionally, cross-check with Customer Service and Sales teams, as well as CRM software also used by your team, as there are times these sources have information that is more current than external data providers.
- Eliminate Duplicates
With a proper merge/purge you can eliminate duplicates, but more difficult to detect are the tiny changes or errors that hide duplicate entries. For instance, you may have two records for the same person, but one of the records has a misspelled email address. Thus if you only de-dupe by email, then that duplicate record will remain. If you don’t have the expertise in your team to help rectify this, it is a great time to reach out to data specialists in your organization, find software that will automatically resolve it or ask your agency or list provider for help with this.
- Organize And Align Your Lists
You have multiple lists, utilized across multiple campaigns, updated by different people all the time. And they each have slightly different organizational and formatting methods. As the number of people touching those lists increases, the potential for human error creeps up rapidly. Like lining up your shoes, employing naming standards, storage instructions and access and versioning rules are a handful of ways you can facilitate accuracy, consistency and hygiene across multiple lists and versioning. But at some point, there’s a limit to what even the best human practices can achieve. This is where technology and software solutions can come into play.
- Utilize Software For Mailing List Management
When multiple users across different departments, locations and job functions need access to the same lists, keeping them in a central location reduces the burden on the list managers and expedites the campaign process. It also helps ensure that only the appropriate and/or most current lists are made available. Cloud-based solutions where you can store and manage your lists via one tool are well-suited for this purpose and allow you to maintain greater control of the data.
Often, third-party vendors offer hygiene and optimization as a part of mailing list services. If you aren’t currently working with a list vendor, or are unsatisfied with the hygiene and “current-ness” of their data, now may be the time to consider another source.
Additionally you could look into Marketing Resource Management software that includes list management as a feature, or a system designed specifically for web-based direct mail execution. The technology equivalent of the Ultimate Closet Organizer, these cloud-based applications can include all the benefits noted above as well as others you may not be aware of. Some applications allow you to house your direct mailers within the platform, and sync your lists directly to specific mailers, allowing you to execute the entire direct mail campaign within the application.
At Strata we have decades of experience in data-driven marketing, list and data services and technology solutions that support and optimize direct mail campaigns. Clients also choose to utilize our full-service production services, including variable data printing and mailing, so they have end-to-end support instead of having to coordinate efforts through multiple vendors. To learn more about how we can help you optimize your data-driven marketing efforts, contact us here or call 610-941-6100.
Executing Effective Service Line Marketing Campaigns
Redefining Marketing Strategies for Growing Patient Volume
The world of Healthcare has changed dramatically.
As a result of healthcare reform and “accountable” care, some hospitals and healthcare facilities are shifting their strategies to a more collaborative service line (or specialty service) orientation in order to stay competitive. Add to this the “retailization” of healthcare and a more educated and value-oriented patient base, and healthcare marketers are left with a need to transform the way they approach their business.
Taking a Step Back: Why We Need to Redefine Our Marketing Strategies
It’s a different world. Patients today are far more educated. They’re more proactive. When it comes to their health management, they’re interested in the whole package. But, they have specific requirements. Beyond seeking an “excellent facility,” they want to have confidence in each step of their journey. In light of this, as marketers, we too must redefine our strategies and speak to these new pain points.
Many marketers have executed healthcare service lines and hospital service lines Service Line campaigns with direct benefit to their bottom line. While it’s true that most hospitals are now promoting individual service lines, when we refer to this tactic, we must consider a much deeper level of service line marketing strategy and planning.
But before we dive into strategy, we need to recognize the palpable link between hospital reputation and customer preference. We need to take a step back to consider what the marketing objectives would be under this newly defined orientation.
Marketing Goals for Health System and Hospital Service Lines
- Increase foot traffic – increase patient volume
- Satisfy physician expectations for patient traffic
- Actively direct patients to profitable lines of business
- Build trust in the brand
- Ultimately increase revenue
With that said, how do you begin to make this fundamental shift, develop new patient-centric strategies and align with these new goals of a service line (or specialty service) model?
Getting Started: The Advantages of Healthcare Service Line Campaigns
To start, these campaigns provide a focused introductory message to new and prospective patients, establishing a clear expertise in a particular field of care.
So, what makes service line campaigns so attractive to marketers? Service line-specific campaigns allow them to connect at a more personal level with prospective patients. They also enable marketers to produce campaigns focused on service lines of high strategic significance and/or the most lucrative revenue producers.
Instead of working across multiple departments and service lines, Service Line campaigns give marketers a chance to create a focused message that can be integrated into the larger marketing mix. Compared to general patient acquisition campaigns, campaigns for service lines in hospitals and health systems allow marketers to compartmentalize messages and act with greater autonomy.
Additionally, marketers can align service line campaigns to fit a wider array of strategic objectives. Whether it be driving revenue to more lucrative service lines, establishing credibility in a developing field of expertise or acquiring a specific group of new patients, service line campaigns may possess a greater amount of utility than more general campaigns.
Strategies That Work: Ideas for Creating Effective Service Line Campaigns
With a greater influence on data-driven marketing than ever before, hospitals are in a unique position to address the needs of their patients in accordance with trends like those New Year’s resolutions. It’s about getting the timing right. Here are a few examples:
- Bariatric Marketing: Leverage the battle of the bulge
Obesity is a U.S. epidemic. It’s a common health risk and pain point that gets the attention of a broad audience. Every year, when January 1st rolls around, millions of Americans resolve to lose weight through a variety of means, whether it be healthier eating habits, hitting the gym and, in some cases, bariatric surgery. Creating a campaign targeting this specific pain point, aimed at helping patients in this battle of the bulge, is a great opportunity for executing a hospital service line campaign.
- Engage existing patients or acquire new patients for your cardiovascular department/services
The idea here is to kick off a focused campaign in February just in time for American Heart Month. This tactic aligns well with high-performing Cardiovascular Service Line marketing strategies.
- It is an opportunity well timed for:
- Creating messaging specifically to highlight your cardiovascular department and the professionals who make it work.
- Educating patients about the benefits of your service line with patient success story videos throughout the month.
- Proactively promoting Heart Risk Assessments or Heart Disease Risk Calculators as a way of engaging with the audience.
- Developing a campaign-specific hash tag for utilization across select social media channels such as Twitter and Instagram, depending on where your target audience is active.
Some Common Stumbling Blocks in Service Line Campaigns
While service line campaigns for service lines in healthcare can prove to be solid sources of revenue, there are a number of challenges to execution that marketers must consider. By and large, most of these issues derive from data management, including:
- List building: Effective service line campaigns typically target extremely focused demographics. Often times, these groups won’t be part of your general marketing database and they might not be obvious in the data selection. That’s why partnering with a dependable list/data provider, someone who can provide options and create the robust lists you’re looking for, is so essential.
- Timing: Having the right message and the ideal target audience are the fundamentals to build any campaign on. But service line campaigns strike when the iron is hot, like in the example of bariatric campaigns coinciding with the New Year. Execute your campaign too early and you might find an unmotivated audience. Too late and your prospective patients might have found someone else.
- Spend: Calculating your expected rate of return is critical at the onset so that all stakeholders are on board with projected revenue versus program expense.
- Personnel: Coordinating across multiple departments, including IT, marketing and others can seem like a daunting task, but creating a focused, cross-discipline approach can give your campaign a decided edge. Don’t be afraid of trying to put together an all-star team for your service line initiatives.
Moving Forward: Teaming Up to Identify Solutions
As competition gets tougher and consumers become more active in making decisions for their health, healthcare marketers need highly effective, fast-response programs to drive acquisition and strengthen their market presence.
If you’re just getting started or have come up against some challenges in pursuing a service line campaign approach, you may consider aligning with a partner who can provide campaign support, identify opportunities and help navigate through your challenges in your initiatives.
Strata Company specializes in highly targeted multichannel campaigns aimed at helping healthcare marketers measurably drive patient acquisition and service line growth. Our programs include end-to-end services such as List Acquisition, landing pages, response tracking, reporting and analysis.
Service line marketing campaigns can be executed via a number of different channels and tactics, but a fundamentally sound strategy is a must. If you’d like to learn more about how Strata Company can make your service line campaigns a success, contact us today.