Merging healthcare marketing with brand experience

As a health system or hospital marketing executive, you might refer to the fundamental shift in the marketplace as healthcare consumerism. We refer to it as the rise of the active healthcare explorer. This is the proactive consumer who is now at the center of the healthcare ecosystem, who has his or her choice of destinations (whether physical or virtual) in which to receive their episodic care and is redefining how they want to engage with providers across each stage of their healthcare experience.

Cutting through with an empowering healthcare brand experience

These active healthcare explorers are demanding transparency, convenience and choice – from pre-care to care delivery and post (ongoing) care – and have a growing list of options from which to choose. But most of all, these healthcare consumers are choosing an empowering patient experience the likes of which they receive from their favorite banking, fashion, hospitality, retail or travel brands. Organization’s that have raised the bar — and expectations — when it comes to creating and delivering superior consumer experiences.

What these outside category brands deliver is one holistic, straight-line organization-wide experience. An experience that begins internally with brand purpose, and is then delivered through culture, strategy, design, marketing and digital experience. So everything comes together (from brand promises to experience delivery) to strengthen the vital connection between a brand and its audience. While an internal healthcare marketing executive might view this as “patient experience”, a customer simply views (and experiences) this as healthcare marketing that  matters. It’s marketing that engages and empowers, and responds to the demands of the unprecedented power of the active healthcare explorer. This coming together of brand and experience is also the route to sustained relevance in customer’s lives.

graphic showing seamless healthcare consumer experience

According to analyst firm Forrester, companies that are leaders in perfecting customer experience, outperformed, over a six-year period, the S&P500 by more than 25 percent. Customer experience laggards performance fell over the same period by more than 30 percent (Forrester Cx Report Q1 2015).

Here’s a sobering statistic reflecting the state of the patient experience from GE Healthcare Camden Group and Prophet:

An alarming 81% of consumers are unsatisfied with their healthcare experience, and the happiest consumers are those who interact with the system the least.

You’re either delivering a distinguishing brand experience, or you’re a commodity

A great brand sets you apart from competitors. It builds an emotional connection with customers. Shortcuts their decision-making process. Grows more powerful based on the accumulated experiences a customer has with your health system, hospital or medical practice.

Which means that every less than stellar interaction with your organization across the entirety of the pre-during-post care continuum impacts the value of your brand. Particularly as online review sites have democratized access to provider information and social media in healthcare has given every customer and health care professional extraordinary powerful voices — able to influence and persuade peers and even in some cases, transform brands.

An empowering patient experience is a win-win

Healthcare triple-aim

Healthcare marketing can’t be disconnected from brand experience. And when brand promises and experience are one cohesive system, it’s is a win-win for both organizations and their customers:

  • For your healthcare organization, an empowering patient experience helps you reach the triple-aim of improved population health, enhanced patient care, and cost reduction. Particularly when digital patient engagement is baked into the experience. Creating a great patient experience also helps build the brand and grow reputation to encourage consumers to utilize more services.
  • For your customers, building a dynamic and comprehensive end-to-end brand experience that anticipates and truly understands their needs is a recipe for ongoing engagement and loyalty — as it makes their lives easier, not more complicated. At the same time, consumers are also tired of the exaggerated statements and claims made in advertising.

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About Trajectory

Since 1999, our specialist branding and marketing agency has combined healthcare and wellness industry expertise with outside category inspiration to produce strong and lasting results for our clients. Reach out to grow the trajectory of your brand and business.

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Eric Brody

Eric Brody is President of Trajectory, launched in 1999, the specialist health & wellness branding and marketing agency using every moment to move customers, brands and businesses upward. Prior to Trajectory, Eric served as EVP and Management Board member at Interbrand (the world’s most influential brand consultancy). Before Interbrand, he held senior marketing positions at Beiersdorf Inc. and L’Oreal and advertising account management positions at Marschalk and Benton & Bowles.He has also taught as an adjunct professor at Seton Hall’s Graduate School of Communications and has lectured at Wharton Business School and Emory Goizueta School of Business.