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Health System Growth

Beating hospital system headwinds – is your marketing growth strategy ready?

Last year may have been the worst year for hospital finances in decades and unfortunately the challenges aren’t going anywhere soon. And while the stress of the pandemic may be waning for some, health systems face staffing shortages, the end of government pandemic support, and high inflation.  

Despite the headwinds health systems and the marketers that support them face, their responsibility to grow business remains the same. However, there are ways to really put the growth in your marketing growth strategy if you know how to look at it.  

You know for example to be effective your marketing strategies require strategic outreach to acquire new patients, guide them through their healthcare experience, all while keeping them engaged. But do you know that next level marketing strategies get even more powerful with a digital health communications platform that truly knows your patients? To drive member acquisition, retention, and engagement you need advanced data modeling that creates holistic and targeted outreach, and a whole lot more.  

Do your patient acquisition and retention strategies include the right tools to beat the health system headwinds ahead? Bring patients in and coming back again and again, use these three foundational principals when preparing your marketing growth strategy: 

Build engaging relationships   

More than ever, patients are at the center of all health system marketing growth strategies, and the ability to acquire, activate, and retain them is critical to any health system’s long-term success. 

But whether the patient is a new mover or someone you need to get in for routine care, you need the right tools to build an engaging relationship with them. An integral tactic of your patient acquisition campaign toolbox must include customer relationship management (CRM). Using a CRM to manage your interactions with patients allows you to establish and build long-lasting relationships because it enables you to target an audience and measure its actions in granular detail so you can interact with them accordingly.  

With the ability to analyze customer information in your hands, you can make your outreach smarter by  anticipate patients who are at risk, have a need, and are most likely to interact with your messages. Patients expect personalized engagement because that’s what they get from other industries. Rise to their expectations by being proactive with your communications. And be rewarded with engaging relationships with them because you’re showing them you know what they need, maybe even before they do. 

Then stay in front of patients by incorporating multi-cycle, multi-channel campaigns that run over an extended period to convert prospects and patients. You’ll reach up to 95% of targeted members on their preferred channels. It also gives patients a better experience, increases engagement, and saves your marketing budgets. 

Leveraging Consumer Data 

Health system marketers will need to look beyond the data they have to get a fuller picture of the patients they’re trying to bring in. To best inform personalized marketing strategies that help achieve your goals you’ll need consumer data, including SDOH and analytics tools, to target prospects and patients accurately.  

After collecting personalized data, use it to communicate with people you can truly impact such as those who need your high-value service lines like cardiology, oncology, and women’s health. Gaining insights about your target audiences with SDOH and consumer data will also help hospital systems address barriers in underserved communities.  

Hospitals and health systems can play an essential role in addressing these health and wellbeing disparities in underserved communities—to get closer to health equity. Leverage this powerful data to identify community needs, promote relevant resources, and close gaps in care like transportation, food access, or getting housing assistance. 

However, it’s not just knowing the audience that’s important, it’s how we message them. This is where multi-channel, multi-cycle campaigns have absolute power to re-engage patients; for example, using three text messages to re-engage patients who missed annual mammograms. The more often these individuals get messages from you reinforcing that it’s time to return, the more likely they are to come back in for care.  

Build Your Brand  

Hospitals are hurting and need to find ways to integrate brand awareness into patient acquisition and retention strategies to drive growth that will make up for years of lost revenue. Buying ads in local publications, on radio stations, and promoting your services at local events can be one way of building your brand as a community partner.  

Consider a re-engagement marketing campaign focused on existing patients who need to catch up on recommended screenings and delayed appointments to bring volume up. And a campaign explaining why deferred care results in long-term health consequences and running it over an extended period can convert prospects and patients while reinforcing your brand as a trusted health resource. 

However, when thinking about more traditional approaches for your marketing strategy, make sure you have the targeted approach of a CRM to complement outdoor, radio, and TV ads. Not only will a healthcare CRM allow you to track the impact of your campaigns to show your ROI more effectively, but you can also target audiences with your messages before they may be thinking about it when they see your ad.  

Are you ready to supercharge your marketing growth strategy?  

Partner with Virgin Pulse to get the tools you need to turn those headwinds into wind at your back. At a moment when hospital systems struggle with the ongoing impact of the pandemic, now is the time for marketing teams to shine. Patients are ready to come back, so capitalize on their eagerness by letting them hear from you as the trusted provider they expect.  

We can help you by doing all the heavy lifting of building engaging relationships with patients, leveraging consumer data, and building your brand. A healthcare communications platform like ours powers your marketing strategies with predictive models to attract the right people and the ability to measure how much volume it drives through data analytics.  

Ready to see how Virgin Pulse is helping health system marketers create marketing growth strategies, increase patient volumes, and drive service line revenues? Request a demo.

Additional Resources:

Healthcare Marketing Guide

Patient Engagement Playbook