Your healthcare CRM checkup: Data + Strategy + Creative

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Your CRM should be your data aggregator

Are you getting the most out of your CRM? With the right data, you can take action to better serve your patients.

In the healthcare space it is no longer controversial to hold the opinion that CRMs (Customer Relationship Management tools) are a crucial component in a modern healthcare marketer’s tool set. Organizations without this technology are becoming fewer and farther between. Yet even for many of those who have taken steps to implement CRM the full power of some of the tools on the market have not been realized.

According to Greystone’s 4th Annual State of Digital Healthcare Marketing Report, while healthcare marketers have become more confident in many aspects of digital marketing (website, social, etc) they are LESS confident in their CRM efforts. CRM are powerful and taking full advantage of the systems requires administrative and strategic effort. Your CRM vendor can help provide the administrative training and an agency partner can help with strategic direction support if needed. But even with both of these pieces in place you will quickly run into a wall if the CRM is not properly integrated with the systems your organization uses to house patient, scheduling, campaign, and financial data. By integrating your data into your CRM, you’re putting its full power into play to create targeted, customized communications for your audiences.

Below are a few things you should be able to do (read: expect) with your CRM as long as data is correctly integrated.

As you read this, ask yourself:

  • Are these things you are currently doing?
  • Are there opportunities that exist to use data more powerfully in your digital marketing with your CRM as the hub?
  • What steps do you have to take to operationalize these actions?
  • And then … What are you going to do about it?

Implement automated, trigger-based communication.

The promise of personalized communication with the right message delivered at the right time requires data from across a patient’s journey. We’ve heard the words “right message at the right time” so many times, but without medical, engagement, and scheduling data it is impossible to accurately deliver communication with the right subject matter at the right point of the patient journey.

Use predictive analytics to identify and engage with at-risk consumers.

Having the correct patient data means that analysis can be done to identify trends by age, gender, service area, among many others. This puts you in a better position to help at-risk consumers with proactive communications and content. That’s where population health data and strategies come into play.

Create personalized digital and print messaging using custom branding and imagery.

Content personalized and specifically targeted to individuals will almost always out perform a one size fits all approach. Understanding who you are talking to requires a profile of that person (data), a mechanism to deliver personalized communication (CRM / marketing automation) and an understanding of what might appeal to them (content strategy). You need all three to be effective.

Identify non-patient consumers that “look like” your best patients.

Integrating systems that include data from before individuals become patients as well as after allows you to look for similarities between the two. Once similarities are identified you can tailor communications to further advance them down their patient journey.

Target communications based on your consumer’s ability to pay.

While we would love to be able to put our message and content in front of everyone, the reality is that we need to make tough decisions about where to spend marketing dollars. Understanding our consumer’s ability to pay makes sure we are focusing our spend on those people with the greatest potential for revenue.

Understand campaign return on investment.

Without financial data it’s impossible to know whether your initiatives are producing the results you need. The value of individual patients varies, as does that of service lines as distinct as oncology, orthopedics, bariatrics or neurology. So, being able to segment by financial dimensions, including a patient’s ability to pay, ensures the new patients your initiatives are delivering produce the financial return on investment necessary to justify the campaign spend. Being equipped with service line revenue data is also an incredibly valuable tool for healthcare marketers who need to earn justification and buy-in for their campaigns from the C-Suite, physicians or board members.

These are just a few things you can be doing with your CRM when it is properly integrated with all of your data sources, you are up to speed with the tool from an administration standpoint, and have a strategy in place to engage your consumers. If you have identified an opportunity to further utilize your CRM, I would first recommend engaging with your CRM rep. They should be able to verify that you have the proper data integrations and training to do what you want to do. Alternatively, if you don’t have the correct data integrations they should be able to help you make that happen.

And of course if you want a partner to help guide the process or support you with strategy, creative, or content Core is here to help.

If you’d like more information on CRM, including the functionality and benefits, listen to our two Core Exchange podcasts with Tea Leaves Health.

Core Exchange: Getting smart about CRM

Core Exchange: Adopting PRM to improve physician engagement strategies


Bob Prohaska is the Director of Digital Experience at at Core Health, Core Creative’s specialized healthcare marketing practice.

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