7 min read

From Email To Omnichannel: Transforming Campaigns Into Scalable Digital Marketing Strategies For Enhanced Engagement

In healthcare and beyond, today’s companies find themselves in a pivotal moment: keeping up with shrinking patient and member attention spans, navigating regulations, and implementing meaningful, personalized experiences. Whether guiding patients through their health journeys or delivering crucial information from care teams, the key lies in the adoption of a robust marketing communications strategy coupled with scalable, modern data and analytics solutions. 

Improving Engagement Through Patient-Focused Strategies

The challenge lies in providing a seamless and cohesive digital experience for patients and members across various touchpoints. The patient may receive email reminders and pre-visit text messages, access member portal content, or contact their healthcare provider on any number of devices. Each of these interactions should feel like part of a unified experience. 

Now marks the opportunity for healthcare companies to revamp formerly siloed marketing and communication strategies. In an era where personalized, data-driven content is the norm, healthcare companies find themselves with the opportunity to innovate, not just for their own benefit but for their patients and members as well. Embracing a comprehensive approach to outreach and digital communication becomes instrumental in exceeding expectations and delivering value to everyone involved in the care ecosystem. As the healthcare industry undergoes transformation, agility and adaptability are key.

Common Challenges for Healthcare Marketers 

There are many reasons to begin the journey to modernize your marketing communications and engagement strategies, but most of them hinge on these common challenges: 

Rapid outgrowth of legacy digital marketing strategies

  • Being outperformed by competitors 
  • Decreasing retention rates
  • Missing capabilities of modern platforms (ex: AI, automation) with better engagement and data capabilities

Disconnected single-channel strategies 

  • Need for centralized campaign generation, beyond just email and SMS
  • Inconsistency in communications causing confusion or frustration
  • Higher than average call center volumes
  • Desire to create more cohesive, consistent messaging and orchestration across channels

Ineffective communication due to lack of personalization

  • Generic messaging leading to low engagement
  • Lack of or underutilization of member/patient data
  • High level of dissatisfaction in feedback surveys

For years, marketing and comms teams focused on strategies for individual channels. Email campaigns, social media content calendars, SMS messages, and more were separately planned, managed, and maintained—causing overlapping, inconsistent, and sometimes even overwhelming messages. As more and more digital and physical channels have evolved, so has the necessity to integrate strategies, leaving many organizations playing catch up. 

Luckily, we’ve seen clients master the transition from simple email newsletters and workflows to fully integrated omnichannel campaigns. It's about breaking down the barriers between channels and creating seamless, individualized experiences. An omnichannel engagement strategy bridges the gaps of the previously fragmented experience, allowing patients to receive reminders, take steps to improve their health with personalized recommendations, connect with their care teams, get answers to questions, and receive timely support. 

Key Considerations Before You Begin

Maturing your engagement strategy means expanding to consider all of your communication channels, as well as centralizing campaign generation. Effectively utilizing the rich data you have, or expanding your data strategy will be essential to powering personalized experiences. Be sure to also consider important security, legal and regulatory requirements. The process requires detailed activities and planning, but the end results are well worth the effort. 

3 Steps to Maturing Your Marketing & Engagement Strategy  

Step #1: Revamp the Foundational Strategy:

  1. Understand your patients and members: Map their journeys and touchpoints, identify gaps and opportunities, and build foundational personas to guide the patient-centric strategy. 
  2. Enhance communications for all channels: Regardless of the method or channel, the experience should be seamless. Messaging should feel personal and helpful. 
  3. Centralize campaign generation: By managing campaigns and patient outreach in a central location, you enable cohesive, consistent communications for all channels.

Step #2: Expand Data:

  1. Utilize first-party and zero-party data: collect and leverage effectively, while adhering to regulations.
  2. Integrate information across systems and harness data to drive patient-centricity and operational efficiency.
  3. Provide helpful content and guide patients and members through the journey, capitalizing on prime moments with an effective segmentation strategy.
  4. Personalize to ensure relevancy and build trust, helping patients feel a connection with you. 

Step #3: Implement Effective Technology: 

  1. Technology selection: Choose from a variety of enterprise marketing technology solutions for CRM, data, and related systems, selecting the right modern platforms with the necessary features and compliance for your organization’s unique needs. 

Elevating Engagement with a Personalized Strategy

The ideal strategy enables you to contact the right customers through the right channels in the right way at the right time. An omnichannel engagement approach can comprise personalized, educational, and motivational content to empower and support patient well-being. The right strategy connects with patients on a deep level, building their trust, and empowering them to actively participate in their health journey.

Foundational Data for Personalization 

Given the deeply personal nature of healthcare, creating a personalization strategy is key. Your strategy should focus on evoking a one-on-one connection and identifying ways to build trust and confidence with the patient. By leveraging all your data streams, including first-party and zero-party data effectively, you can implement personalization to provide relevant content, reach out at the right moments, predict behavior, and ultimately increase engagement. 

Customer data profiles contain valuable information that can be used to personalize, tailoring content to be helpful to the individual based on what we know about them. They’ll feel like you see them as more than just any patient: you see them as an individual. Keeping in mind the important legal and regulatory requirements, data such as electronic health records, preferences, analytics, and past interactions can be used to inform the content, timing, and method of connection to best serve the patient. 

Mapping the Customer Journey

A truly omnichannel marketing communications strategy considers every touchpoint in the patient journey. By determining the most important touchpoints and milestones, the strategy targets the best moments to engage and considers the additional content and messaging the patient may be receiving through other channels. Exercises like Customer Journey Mapping create a foundation for planning and executing unified communications. Map critical touch points to corresponding content and channels. Organizations with complex or siloed systems may even need to start with an audit of their existing communications—organizing content, campaigns, audiences, channels, and types—to identify overlap, gaps, and opportunities for the new strategy. 

Efficient Campaigns Powered by Segmentation

Segmentation solves for the intricacies of crafting specific journeys for multiple use cases. Start by developing personas or using traditional segmentation methods. With the newly expanded journeys and segments, you will ensure that every interaction—from scheduled campaigns to triggered messages to action-based notifications—feels cohesive to patients. By mapping the entire content flow for each segment, a complete and seamless experience is enabled. This also allows for enhancements like catered message timing and harnessing moments for relationship-building throughout the journey. 

Content Strategy: Prioritizing Content Relevance & Helpfulness 

Delivering valuable, relevant, and educational content is vital for keeping patients and members engaged. Creating content that addresses their concerns and provides educational information, is helpful in managing their wellbeing. Providing informative content not only fosters engagement but also establishes your communications as a trusted source of information. Atomic content comes in handy for omnichannel strategies, enabling consistency through single-source structured content. The patient not only gets the right type of content whether they’re on a mobile device or their desktop, on a website or in an app—they also benefit from a cohesive experience. 

Outcomes & Benefits

Modernizing your digital marketing strategy can result in increased satisfaction, operational cost reduction, growth opportunities, and the introduction of innovative business and operating models. For healthcare companies, omnichannel engagement benefits can include streamlined workflows, personalized patient experiences, and higher patient retention.

Unleash the Power of a Scalable Digital Marketing Strategy Today

Our expert digital strategy and technology consultants have played a pivotal role in transforming our clients’ digital marketing landscapes. For example, one of our clients saw a 7% increase in engagement and a $12 decrease in cost per action within the first month post-delivery. The implementation not only addressed immediate challenges but also positioned the client for sustained growth in a dynamic environment. 

Ready to start your digital marketing transformation? Get in touch with our experts today.

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