Personalized marketing is powerful. A 2013 study of email marketing results found that personalized promotional emails produce six times the revenue and transaction rates of those that weren’t personalized. Another study found that personalized ads receive 10 times as many clicks as non-personalized ones. Those are impressive numbers.
Personalization works for a reason. According to psychological research, we’re all struggling with information overload, and encountering content directly relevant to our particular needs and interests helps us feel less overwhelmed and more in control. When you can cut through the noise to give your prospects the specific information they need, you create a positive connection with your brand.
All industries must worry about potentially crossing the line where personalization makes prospects uncomfortable, but in health care marketing where privacy is a concern, the line is even trickier. Yes, people want to find information that’s relevant to them and their specific health care needs, but not at the cost of their privacy.
A 2015 survey found that 96 percent of consumers in the United States report that they’re concerned about how companies use their data. Those same consumers who respond to personalized messages and ads in droves are uneasy at the idea that businesses and organizations know the information required to provide personalized ads. If the results and research seem conflicting, they don’t necessarily have to be. While consumers say they’re concerned, many also say they’re open to a tradeoff. In a survey that helps clarify things, 49 percent of consumers say they’re okay with businesses having a certain amount of their information in exchange for messaging and offers that are more relevant.
- Create personas
Marketing personalization depends on developing buyer personas. You can’t know what marketing collateral to create until you’ve taken the time to identify and understand the people for whom you’re creating it. Most hospital and health care practices will need to create more than one persona to better clarify the different audiences they serve. Take the time to talk to patients and learn what they’re thinking about, what questions they have, what their main concerns are (about their health and their experience at a hospital), and what matters most to them in the hospital they choose. Base your personas on what you learn.
- Follow the data
Customer relationship management databases (CRM) can help you keep track of an individual’s online relationship with your hospital or business. A good CRM will provide data on what content visitors view (which tells you in which subjects they’re interested) and where they are in their buyer’s journey. This provides you an opportunity to be more strategic in the content and offers you provide. Marketing software like HubSpot can help you tailor content for visitors based on their data. Email marketing programs such as Silverpop will allow you to segment your lists so you can send emails relevant to the information patients have already viewed and where they are in the buyer’s journey.
At every relevant opportunity, provide visitors a chance to share more information (of their choosing). Anything they’ve given you freely, you know it’s okay to use. Opt-in marketing is the best possible way to stay on the right side of privacy concerns. And the more consumers tell you, the more you can provide them the marketing content that helps them live a healthy life while getting you the best results.