A marketing strategy that includes technology tools is essential for almost every industry, including healthcare. More than ever, hospitals and insurers have to work hard to communicate with patients and members in a personalized manner to provide relevant information. With so many options available to them, consumers can easily move on to a new provider, so keeping them engaged is crucial.
For most types of organizations, creating a marketing technology infrastructure would involve choosing from the more than 7,000 marketing technology solutions available and integrating them into their company’s existing systems. However, healthcare organizations have an additional challenge in that they must safeguard protected health information to remain within industry security guidelines.
Effective and personalized marketing programs need data to work, so healthcare organizations must ensure that any tools that they use will not jeopardize data security. While this additional barrier could limit the number of martech tools that a healthcare company can use, that doesn’t mean it can’t still build an effective healthcare-friendly martech stack.
We’re going to help you develop a healthcare-focused martech stack and provide some examples of martech tools that are used by healthcare marketers.
Forming your martech stack
While there are an infinite number of ways to organize a martech stack, we’ve chosen to design our example around three broad categories that are of particular relevance to healthcare marketers.
In their handling of personal health information (PHI), healthcare companies are gatekeepers to the most sensitive data and therefore have a responsibility to adhere to a high standard of security.
The categories we’re tracking are from the Marketing Technology Landscape (aka Martech 5000) from the Chief Marketing Technologist Blog. We’ve included a few examples of tools in each category that have a healthcare focus or whose vendors have clear documentation about health privacy compliance.
First things first: Get your data in order
Before you can create any of your dream campaigns or improve upon your digital patient experience, it’s critical that your data is collected, organized, and stored in a reliable and private fashion. Think of your patient data as the foundation of your marketing stack, none of the beautiful architecture you have planned is possible without a solid base.
When looking to route raw data to where it needs to be marketers should consider tools like MetaRouter, a secure data integration tool that gives users full control of their data flow. This data engine allows you to deliver non-PHI data to third-party partners, giving you more freedom to use martech tools that don’t necessarily have a HIPAA policy in place while staying completely compliant yourself.
Once you’ve selected all of your relevant data sources such as CRMs, transactional databases, and behavioral databases, you’re now ready to select a central intelligence hub for this data to be routed, typically a Customer Data Platform, or CDP would be best suited for the task. Blueshift’s CDP component can receive data from companies, like MetaRouter, and unify all the different sources into what we call Single Customer Views — these then inform any messaging sent out by marketers.
Next up: Intelligently orchestrate your coms
Now that your data has been unified and organized properly, you can begin to build out campaigns for your patients. This requires a secure, sophisticated marketing platform that can build custom journeys across all your channels.
Blueshift doesn’t just stop at data unification. Their platform runs the Single Customer Views through AI and Machine Learning algorithms to build 1:1 patient journeys that respect privacy while also elevating your brand experience.
It’s also important to loop in all of your content at this stage in building journeys, and platforms like Drupal, an open-source content management system, can help with this. It is popular among hospitals and healthcare organizations because it has thousands of customizable modules including those that can securely connect with electronic health record (EHR) systems.
Finally: Execute secure, personalized patient experiences
Tools in this category are often your first touch with potential users, clients, patients, etc. Channel marketing, advertising, and promotion tools don’t necessarily require PHI (personal health information) to function, but having more data will inform how you develop targeted content through these platforms.
Mailgun, a leading email delivery service, has extensive experience helping healthcare companies get their marketing emails in the inbox. Mailgun’s HIPAA BAA addendum and more information can be found here.
Google Ads, Google’s advertising platform, helps you find individuals who have a stated interest in your product or service. While Google does have HIPAA-specific documentation for Cloud and G Suite, Google Ads restrictions are centered around personalized advertising. Ads that use PII or exploit an individual’s health condition are prohibited.
SEO is extremely important when marketing to new or prospective patients. Moz is a set of tools that helps marketers with search engine optimization (SEO). This platform will help you build content and improve your website to improve your web and search presence.
For social media marketing consider using Hootsuite, a top social media management service that allows users to monitor conversations across multiple social platforms from one dashboard. The vendor has several hospital systems as clients and provides clear information about its healthcare-focused compliance policies.
While developing a martech stack or developing a healthcare regulation-compliant data integration system may seem out of the realm of healthcare marketers, it doesn’t have to feel that way. The growing number of tools available is making it easier to stay relevant to the healthcare consumers that they serve.