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How To Uncover Patient Insights For Better Campaigns

How To Uncover Patient Insights For Better Campaigns | Digital Marketing Company in Malaysia - MYSense

What do your patients really care about? And what do they think about you? The answers might surprise you. They might also reveal why your marketing campaigns are missing the mark.

Healthcare marketers have no choice: Tracking performance metrics is critical to success. Numbers matter! What marketers sometimes forget is that there’s also a person behind the metrics they’re most interested in. Real person. Current and future patients. What these patients want, need, feel, are disappointed with – their surprise, disappointment, and desired outcome – includes a more qualitative aspect of healthcare marketing called patient insights.


In addition to the information most marketers already use to optimize, improve, or redesign campaigns, patient insights can help them develop better marketing campaigns by taking a step back. By asking, “Do I really know what my patient wants? It is an ongoing effort that can directly inform changes in marketing strategy.

Why You Need to Talk To Patients

It may seem counterintuitive, but many health practices are hesitant to talk to their patients. They don’t want to bother patients, hurt relationships, or risk violating privacy standards. Worse yet, some practices assume they already know everything. In these cases, the ego gets with an honest conversation about the blind spots of the patient experience. 


However, under the right circumstances, most patients want their feedback, be it positive or negative. In some cases, they have shown their voice on review sites or on social media. The question is, are you giving the patient an appropriate opportunity to share their feelings? Most importantly, are you listening?

Where to Look for Patient Insights

To explore patient information, pause your reports and analyzes. Don’t think about it too much, because getting patient information doesn’t have to be complicated marketing. Again, most people appreciate being asked for their thoughts and ideas in an informal way. For example, a conversation with a doctor. 


Of course, make sure you always follow HIPAA regulations and, if necessary, keep all patient information confidential and secure. In this spirit:

Review Existing Channels to See What People Are Saying

Start by digging into your patient feedback forms (assuming you use them). Pay attention to negative feelings, both about how patients rate your services, as well as what they write when asked to expand. The same goes for your reviews on social media, Google My Business, and healthcare review sites. What are people saying, especially those leaving negative ratings? 


Your customer service center call logs can be another good source of customer voices, comments, and emotions. Even a quick review of your social media comments, your channel posts, or where your brand is tagged can be revealing. Across the board, you’re looking for popular topics, trends, and other information that can help you improve both your patient experience and related marketing campaigns.

Conduct Patient Interviews

While the path from patient interviews to healthcare marketing campaigns is not always direct, the former can inform the latter. Patient Interviews are your chance to hear directly from the patient, ask helpful questions, and make sure nothing goes through the cracks. In some cases, this is the only forum where patients feel completely comfortable sharing their thoughts.


To conduct better patient interviews, we like three call-outs in particular from EMS World’s tips for conducting patient interviews:

  • Ditch the script and rely more on open-ended questions. This leads to a more natural, conversational flow.
  • Slow it down and give patients time to respond to questions one at a time. Few people feel very thoughtful when they’re feeling rushed.
  • Avoid “doctor speak” and medical jargon, so patients feel comfortable using their own words. Again, patients should feel like they’re in an open and supportive environment.

Bonus: Hearing the actual words and terminology that patients use to describe their medical needs can help inform your keyword strategy.


Diversify Your Patient Outreach

Next, take your patient surveys and interviews a step further. Most practices have three distinct opportunities to expand patient outreach:


Talk to your long-term patients. For example, “Thanks for your support and loyalty. How can we continue to deliver the best possible care for you moving forward?”

  • Reach out to patients who are leaving or already have. For example, “We’re so sorry to see you go. Do you mind telling us what we could have done better?”
  • Survey your new patients. For example, “How did you find our practice, and why did you choose us?”

The idea here is to get an idea for the needs, concerns, and feedback that patients have at key points in their journey. We assume that most healthcare marketing campaigns relate to these stages of the journey – at least they should be.


How to Use Patient Insights in Marketing

There is a variety of applications to better understand patients. Doctors and healthcare professionals themselves often use detailed patient information to inform treatment plans, clinical trials, and other aspects of medicine. For healthcare marketers with access to patient information, here are some ideas for using it to improve your marketing strategy.

Refine Your Positioning & Messaging

Patient information can shed light on what sets you apart as a healthcare brand. What is your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)? What sets you apart from the next provider in your field? And why should someone choose you? Often, your patient will help answer these questions for you. 


For example, we’ve seen surprises when healthcare marketers discover their brands have a reputation for substandard customer service. They always think the opposite. Elsewhere, we have seen rural hospitals or regional groups struggling to address shortages of cutting-edge technology and services. Others couldn’t pinpoint why they’d lost to a competitor across town. 


Such information can be a turning point for healthcare brands struggling to find or refine their positioning and messaging. There is valuable information in nuances that are important to real patients. The trick is to invest the time and effort to figure it out. For brands that incorporate this patient information into their brand positioning, their campaigns will be much more effective at engaging potential patients.


Breathe New Life Into Your Ad Creative

Based on these patients information, your ad can then be updated. Use Patient Information to provide up-to-date information on designs, themes, and copy updates that best match the actual needs of the patient. Use images and videos that evoke feelings that appeal to their motivations and goals or that appeal to their motivations and give them confidence in their choices.


For example:

  • Before/after photos
  • Patient testimonials
  • Provider interviews
  • Procedure/surgery overviews

For example, a plastic surgery team might find that fear of “going under the knife” is a patient’s primary objection to a particular procedure – not the price, as they previously assumed. Marketing teams can use this information to create messages, testimonials, and other advertisements that directly address – and disarms – these fears. If the marketing team can target these ads at the funnel stage where patients feel the most fear, so much the better.

Attend to Your Patient Experience

If your digital reputation is suffering or isn’t quite on par with your competitors, check to see if you’re missing out on key patient inquiries. Do you know what really matters to your patients? What do they expect when they walk into the office? When you deliver an exceptional patient experience, you’ll naturally generate more positive reviews – people will be eager to share with their friends and family. Word-of-mouth recommendations will also increase.


Patient experiences and patient reviews are closely intertwined.


For example, a dentist may look at negative reviews and find that many clients are confused about insurance. They cannot get their questions answered on the site! A multi-local healthcare organization may find that a client has difficulty finding the correct phone number to call to make an appointment. They are constantly detained or transferred! These two hot spots in the patient experience can be addressed through specific marketing activities – it is important to know that they exist.

Tune In Before Smoke Becomes Fire

Healthcare brands that don’t invest time in knowing patients often overlook critical errors in the patient experience. More often than not, these fault lines aren’t severe enough to get out of a person – at least not without further examination. However, over time, these issues can persist and become an unwanted part of a brand’s visible digital reputation.


“They have poor customer service.”

“I can never get an appointment.”

“Their bedside manner is rude. It feels like they don’t listen to me.”


The list goes on. And in that regard, it really is a relationship. Nurturing this relationship is the responsibility of healthcare professionals: listen and look for signs that something is wrong. Often, this requires nothing more than organizational buy-in for the value of patient insights. Do that and take the time to talk to and listen to patients.

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