November 28, 2016

How do you make the process of consumer healthcare choice frictionless and memorable? Master the consumer digital buying and encounter-based journey — and make it portable.


The Consumer Buying Journey in the Digital Age

The traditional consumer engagement journey begins with awareness and consideration of your services, and proceeds to engagement and service delivery. By delivering a successful experience, you can foster trust and loyalty.

How has this journey changed in the digital age? The difference lies in consumer response to unexpected health events. For example, a young married mother of two may have visited your primary-care physicians for years. She then got to know one of your OB-GYNs and experienced your hospital care for her deliveries. Her two children regularly see one of your pediatricians. But what happens when she experiences mysterious abdominal pain that doesn't go away? She doesn’t have time to visit her doctor unnecessarily, so she seeks out information online. That means you have to recapture her business.

The Digital Funnel

Digital engagement requires that you use individualized data strategically as consumers search online for answers to their health concerns, engage with your website, and select your organization to provide a health solution. Consider the graphic below, which includes four features of a successful digital funnel:

  1. Targeted search-based advertising
  2. Personalized and data-driven content
  3. Trust enhancement
  4. Identification continuity that becomes more robust with each digital cycle
digital funnel

Using a CRM solution to deliver this content accelerates trust and opens the door to permission-based marketing. Ultimately, it facilitates marketing automation, in which the CRM solution can conduct a two-way conversation with a consumer based on their persona and where they are in their decision journey.

Make the Journey Portable

Today, frictionless digital experiences are dependent on mobile platform optimization. Consumers now complete 82% of online searches via mobile devices, and act on 70% of those searches within the hour. How can you keep up with this rapid, real-time decision-making?

Redirect your marketing efforts toward patient-centered mobile solutions. For example, Healthgrades client Tampa General Hospital created the TGH GO app to provide a memorable, patient-friendly experience. Among other critical but often overlooked health tools, the app provides:

  • Telemedicine
  • A physician finder
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Healthy recipes
  • Classes and events
  • A pedometer
  • Referrals
  • A visual hospital navigator

Notice that Tampa General included non-encounter-based features like recipes and a pedometer in its app. That strategy enables the hospital to integrate itself into patients’ healthy lifestyles and build trust beyond hospital walls.

The Healthgrades Inter Visit Communication™ platform is another way to accomplish this type of patient lifestyle integration. It empowers hospitals to have an ongoing dialogue with their patients about their day-to-day health, as well as offering care options and wellness programs to address areas of concern.

Meet consumers where they are. Help make their healthcare choices easy, quick, and memorable by deploying targeted digital and mobile marketing strategies.

Download Healthgrades’ new white paper "The 5 Ps of Consumerized Healthcare" here.

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