*This post is based on information shared in a webinar co-presented by Stratasan’s SVP of Healthcare Strategy, Lee Ann Lambdin and TenAdam’s President, Jon Headlee. For the full presentation, watch the webinar.
Target Practice: Using Data to Focus Your Marketing
Most hospital and health system marketing and planning teams are familiar with the basics of strategic growth planning. This includes ensuring that your mission is favorable to growth, creating measurable goals, and developing a well-planned strategy for execution.
For more on this process, check out our 8 Steps to Successful Strategic Growth Planning in this blog post:
But even with a great strategic growth plan in place, success is not a guarantee. Oftentimes, teams get off track during the process of executing their well-laid plans. In fact, around 70% of failure can be attributed to bad execution rather than bad strategy.
When executing a marketing strategy, you can increase your marketing ROI and have a better chance of successfully reaching your strategic growth goals by ensuring a few key strategies are in place:
- Have a clear definition of who you want to reach with your marketing.
- Develop a data-based understanding of the characteristics of your target audience.
Make sure that your marketing plans are fact-based. More specifically, use micro-targeting to focus your marketing efforts on the Tapestry Segment and smallest geography feasible, saving money and increasing effectiveness.
Know Thy Customer
Knowing you want to stretch your marketing dollars as far as possible, it’s important that your marketing outreach be focused and data-based. Start this process by defining your campaign goals and determining the target audience you hope to reach with your campaign. You will need to keep this target audience top-of-mind throughout your marketing outreach.
To do this, select your target audience using Esri Tapestry Segmentation. There are 67 unique Tapestry Segments which are grouped into 14 LifeMode groupings. Each Tapesty Segment details characteristics and traits unique to your population, empowering you to effectively tailor your message to connect with the needs of your audience.
This is where micro-targeting comes into play. Micro-target marketing analyzes smaller geographies as well as Tapestry Segments, enabling you to target your geography as well as your message. Traditionally, hospitals and health systems have analyzed data at the ZIP code level, which can be useful, but is still much broader than the precision available through micro-target marketing.
Block groups, the smallest geographic unit currently reported by the census bureau, are smaller than ZIP code. Looking at your patient origin, demographics, and estimated market share by block group can show opportunities that may be hidden in ZIP codes. Key metrics (based on goals) are given weighted values and used with block group data to identify “high opportunity” groups. These can then be compared with market dominance data to pinpoint lost opportunities, thus providing a blueprint for more focused target marketing. Finally, each of these areas has a corresponding data-based Dominant Tapestry Segment. Focusing on these identified block groups (and their accompanying data) allows for the development of group-specific marketing.
Listening to the Numbers
Once hard data and careful analysis have shown you exactly where to market, it’s up to you to use this information wisely. Taking into account key demographics and Tapestry Segment characteristics, tailor your message for the intended audience. Suggestions for successful execution include:
- Market specific service line offerings to the appropriate micro-markets
- Adjust timing and placement of marketing materials to the lifestyle of the target audience
- Ensure the photography and design of campaign materials resonate with the target audience’s core values
- Purchase direct mailing lists available at the block group level
- Keep efforts targeted to avoid wasting resources and producing an ineffective campaign
Data can be very useful in increasing the effectiveness of marketing execution, especially when implementing micro-target marketing. The Zig Ziglar quote, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time” comes to mind. Not only can data highlight the appropriate target audience, it can help you reach that audience more effectively. Trying to appeal to an ill-defined or overly broad audience can weaken your marketing efforts, but focusing on the numbers narrows the focus. Use this clarity to target your approach and improve your marketing ROI.
Article by Lee Ann Lambdin, SVP of Healthcare Strategy for Stratasan