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Michelle latta supporting the consumer's healthcare journey

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  • 1. MediaPost Publications Printer Friendly Page 1 of 2<< Back to MediaPostSupporting The Consumers Healthcare JourneyMichelle Latta, Mar 15, 2011 07:21 AMHealthcare marketers have a unique advantage over other marketers. More so than in any othermarketing category, consumers -- especially people who suffer from chronic health conditions orare struggling with long-term illnesses -- seek out health-related information. Digital media hasmade it so much easier for consumers to access information, advice and tips to help themunderstand and manage their ailments, while giving them the privacy they desire in dealing withtheir concerns and fears.A report released by Accenture in November 2010 indicated that two-thirds of U.S. consumers seekmedical advice via the Internet and social media. Additionally, a March 2010 E-Marketer reportindicated that 49% of women and 38% of men consider online their first source for healthinformation rather than a physician. We should expect those numbers to continue to increase withthe proliferation of smartphones, which give consumers 24/7 connectivity. That same study advisesmarketers to overcome trust and regulatory issues, simplify content and connect with consumersvia customized, targeted, support to help them take charge of their health.The critical factor a healthcare marketer must recognize is that recovering from an illness orlearning how to best manage a chronic health condition is a journey. Its actually the thing thatgives healthcare marketers their advantage. It puts us in the unique position to become theconsumers guide on that journey -- or minimally a partner and ally. The most effective healthcaremarketing programs Ive seen incorporate a CRM component designed to help consumers on theirpaths before and after the point at which a product or service is administered. The brands thathave implemented the most successful programs have found ways to walk alongside the consumerin his or her journey.Sharing the JourneyThe PoliCare line of denture care products is one example of a marketing program that looked wellbeyond the functionality of the Poligrip and Polident products to engage denture wearers. ThePoliCare website is designed to engage targeted consumers beginning when theyre consideringwhether dentures are the right choice for them. It then helps them deal with the physical andemotional implications of the procedure itself, to the time after recovery when the patient mustbecome comfortable talking and eating with new "teeth," to the ongoing cleaning and maintenanceof the dentures.Lap-Band is another example of a strong healthcare marketing campaign that provides support forthe patient from the period of consideration to the procedure itself to living with the device.Through the  website, which serves as the hub of the campaign, consumers can read Lap-Bandsuccess stories, see video testimonials, learn about insurance and other payment options, find asurgeon or connect with other Lap-Band patients on Facebook, Twitter and other social mediaplatforms. Lap-Band leaves no stone unturned along the target consumers and, ultimately, thepatients journey.http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.printFriendly&art_aid=146379 3/16/2011
  • 2. MediaPost Publications Printer Friendly Page 2 of 2Mapping Out Your RouteIf youre looking for ways to create a stronger connection with your customer throughout his or herhealthcare journey, here are a few things to consider:  Remember that there tend to be both emotional and physical implications to any long-term illness or chronic condition. Make sure you understand and address both sides of the coin.  Think about all phases of the journey from their initial research, to the selection of a caregiver, to recovery.  Use contextual based advertising to intercept them when theyre researching and looking for solutions.  Lastly, find ways to support the communities that support them. If one doesnt exist, then consider creating one.http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.printFriendly&art_aid=146379 3/16/2011