CRM Best Practices

Healthcare Marketing Attribution


Marketing attribution is the process of identifying the actions a user can take that will help bring about a desired outcome. In healthcare, marketers look for touchpoints along the care journey where a patient can be influenced to make a particular choice. Successfully influencing the patient at one of these moments is known as a conversion.

When hospital marketers succeed at influencing an audience, that success informs their subsequent decisions. Attribution allows marketers to measure their impact, see where their campaigns have yielded the most value, and refine and repeat their efforts for the best results.

In the first part of this series on healthcare CRM best practices, we’ll look at some healthcare marketing challenges that can be addressed by attribution, how attribution benefits hospital marketers, and how customer relationship management solutions can help hospital marketers use attribution more effectively.

Healthcare marketing challenges and attribution

Hospital marketers have to answer two difficult questions to prove their value, to both their executive team and service line managers:

  1. How do we accurately attach the value of the consumer to the marketing media chosen, based on ROI?
  2. How do we properly allocate value to the consumer’s various interactions with our health system?

Attribution is used to divide credit for a conversion among certain touchpoints, to determine which touchpoints are generating ROI. When done correctly, attribution can provide holistic, accurate data that allows a marketer to use their budget more effectively, by better identifying tactics that work to convert new audiences.

However, few hospital marketers truly make effective use of channels that create conversion points. Rather, they frequently think in terms of just one tactic, and focus on just one potential touchpoint at a time, instead of a series of events along the care journey.

This creates a challenge, because marketing to consumers today requires getting them to notice you in an incredibly crowded marketplace. Hospital marketers are not only competing with other hospitals — they are also competing with other industries’ marketers vying for the same consumers’ limited attention. As such, using only one tactic at a time jeopardizes their ability to capture new patients.

Attribution is the answer to the challenging questions posed above. A powerful CRM platform can help hospital marketers attribute their activities in-market and calibrate them against the value of a new patient.

Benefits of attribution for hospital marketers

Health systems use marketing attribution in numerous beneficial ways. As mentioned, being able to see which parts of a marketing strategy are working – and which are not – is the first step toward success. Attribution can provide a clear view of how individual patients are generating ROI. With the right tools in place, a hospital marketer can easily measure channel, campaign, and service line performance.

For instance: When a consumer has scheduled a doctor’s appointment, a hospital marketer wants to see what series of steps led the consumer to take that action. By doing so, the marketer can determine the role their efforts played in getting the consumer there – and then use that knowledge to repeat and multiply their success.

Drilling down, the marketer could next pinpoint the touchpoints and messages that made the biggest difference in capturing the appointment. Focusing on those critical steps allows you to maximize results using fewer resources. By analyzing a wide swath of relevant data, hospital marketers can better target consumers at pivotal moments in the care journey.

Beware, however, of data alone. Without a dynamic consumer intelligence platform that provides insights to help make decisions, a hospital marketer will be swimming in information with no clear direction.

How CRM can help

A good CRM solution provides rich data that gives hospital marketers a better sense of their audience and consequently helps them make smarter decisions. With this information, marketers can improve their communications, by sending more personalized messages to the right consumers at the right time – thus increasing the odds that those messages will resonate.

A powerful CRM platform also makes it easier to perform data-based inquiries on multi-touchpoint tactics rather than single touchpoints. That allows hospital marketers to move faster, testing multiple tactics at once to more quickly determine the most successful approaches. Teams can then not only identify which campaigns yield better results, but also how successful campaigns were with specific consumers.

The upshot is that with a sophisticated CRM solution or consumer intelligence platform, hospital marketers can better shape their campaigns and narrow their focus, adjusting their messages to properly address a specific audience. With clearer insight into which of their efforts helped achieved certain goals, hospital marketers can decisively answer the most challenging questions about how much value they create for their organizations.

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Read the next installment of this series: Personas and patient pathways >>

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