These days, most of us are utilising automation in healthcare marketing and scheduling at least some of our tedious tasks.
If you’re a freelance medical writer, you might be scheduling your social media posts and newsletters.
If you’re an employee, your organisation might already have some automation set up, like welcome emails, birthday emails or cart abandonment.
Automation in healthcare isn’t just about scheduling manual tasks and saving time – it’s about delivering highly targeted messages to the right audiences in the most effective way.
Automation can be challenging to implement in the healthcare industry, where consumers of healthcare products and services are dynamic and diverse.
Still, there is a unique opportunity to develop customer trust, confidence and loyalty through automating certain healthcare communication tasks.
Examples of automation in healthcare marketing
The most effective automation is highly targeted for maximum effectiveness.
You can automate your healthcare marketing (email, social media, text messages, ads) based on:
- Actions – send welcome messages when people register, follow-up emails asking for feedback on a service and re-engagement emails to clients you haven’t heard from in a while
- Consumer preferences – send targeted messages to users who have shown interest in (clicked, shared, viewed) particular products, services or health topics
- Patient journey stages – send specific messages depending on where a patient is during their healthcare journey, from diagnosis to treatment, and surgery and follow-up.
The benefits of automation in healthcare marketing
Automation has the power to:
- Increase client engagement – segmentation allows for a more targeted message, leading to greater audience engagement
- Boost sales – targeted marketing gives you a better chance of selling the right product to the right customer
- Reduce time spent on marketing campaigns – by automating manual tasks you can save time as well as money
- Increase customer satisfaction – automation in healthcare marketing also allows you to predict future behaviours of your customers, based on their web activity such as how long they spend on a webpage as well as the type of web content they view; based on this information, you can set up future messaging/action that targets the next potential behaviour, from booking the next appointment with their healthcare professional to sending an email enquiring into a product or service
- Boost brand loyalty – automation enables you to ensure consistency in your messaging, which builds brand trust.
The benefits of automated communication during the patient journey
Automated messages have the potential to enhance a patient or customer’s journey and improve the quality of life for that person during their treatment and recovery period.
Automation ensures people aren’t overwhelmed with too much information which can reduce adherence.
Instead, information can be communicated at specific times during a person’s health journey, from discussions around treatment options, to what to prepare for surgery, what to do during recovery, what additional treatments might be needed – such as physical therapy, as well as when to schedule follow-up appointments.
How to get started with automation
According to a 2018 review, the following factors are key to a successful marketing automation strategy:
- Review your current marketing and business processes – don’t be afraid to critically evaluate your current processes and look for more automated, time-saving options
- Scope out which automated marketing tools your business will need to meet its goals – some common automated marketing tool providers include Hubspot and Marketo, or Buffer for social media and MailChimp for email
- Produce relevant and time-specific content for your customers – make sure you take the time to analyse the effectiveness of your campaigns; this not only gives you ideas for improvements to increase engagement, but it also offers opportunities to create new leads
- Be patient – it can take time to see the benefits of your automated marketing strategy.
Are you utilising automation in your healthcare marketing? Let us know in the comments.