In joining Calcium recently, I was reunited with a lot of old friends, and as old friends often do, we recalled the good old days of healthcare marketing when all we had to do was build a brand with unique messages and push it through all the channels. Build patient awareness, target the right HCPs and away we go. It was so easy back in the day!
In reality it was never that easy and it’s only gotten harder. As the impact of marketing technology, big data, social media and ACA collide with the realities of regulations, industry consolidation, crowded categories, and reduced selling time, it has become more difficult to be a marketer in healthcare. So how do we address all these diverse issues? To me the answer is increased marketing effectiveness and efficiency, which stems from our ability to be more customer-centric. Customer-centricity will help increase your brand’s impact through more relevant content and optimized channel strategies.
The ability to be customer-centric in today’s marketing environment is built around your ability to position your brand in the center of a triangle between your three primary audiences: the patient, the provider and the payer, each of whom impacts brand selection, loyalty and adherence. The ability to connect with each audience on an individual level is the first task; from there, further positioning your brand to the point where it’s part of the dialog among and across each audience should always be your goal. The most successful brands will “own” the patient-physician dialogue, the payer-provider dialogue and even payer-patient dialogues, which have grown in importance in recent years. The point of brand differentiation will not only be what we say, but how we say it and to whom.
Placing brands in the heart of the audience triangle through relevant content and optimized channels is something I hope to be talking about with old friends some day….