Geomarketing for IVF Clinics: Win Patients, Bind Referrers


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MedITEX IVF is the number one worldwide fertility database management system.

Designed by experts for experts it provides an easy to use central information facility allowing clinic-specific customisation. It manages, documents, and helps coordinate all procedures and workflows of any Assisted Reproduction business from small private units to academic and group clinics. Our growing network of local professional partners ensure the highest quality of support is available to you speaking your language in every sense.

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Geomarketing for IVF Clinics: Win Patients, Bind Referrers

  1. 1. Geomarketing for IVF Clinics: Win Patients, Bind Referrers Michael Schindler, CEO © 2013, MedITEX – Medical IT Expert,
  2. 2. Hospitals are seen as the central institution of health care, the centre of medical progress and last but not least an important factor in today‘s economy. The reproductive medicine and its neighboured specialist fields, are young fields of activity where fast progress is going on. This means a huge challenge for clinics, scientists and the society. A high standard of performance is to be guaranteed. But: High quality Leeds to high costs, Involved for guaranteeing that level of performance. Due to numerous changes in the healthcare system and the political environment, hospitals are facing a growing competitive pressure. So a need for orientation to market economy arises, aiming the improvement of cost effectiveness, of the service provision at the service provider. This is why there is a need for professional promotion of good services which enables the IVF clinic entering in a good market position facing competition with others. This strategy has to guarantee and ensure the future and long-term success. In this session I would like to present you a further possibility which maybe is not yet known a lot – Geomarketing.
  3. 3. Motivation  Hospitals are seen as … … the central institution of health care, … the centre of medical progress and … an important factor in today‘s economy.  The reproductive medicine is a young and growing area of work where fast progress is going.  Therefore ... … a daily challenge for Clinics, Scientifics and the Society, ... a high standard of performance is to be guaranteed, ... high costs arise and ... the competitive pressure grow.  This is why ... ... there is a need for orientation to market economy and ... there is a need for professional promotion of good performance
  4. 4. What is Geomarketing?
  5. 5. What first comes to our minds when reading the term Geomarketing is the composition of the two single words „Geo“ for Geography and „Marketing“. First I would like to clarify what the term Geomarketing stands for. In English speaking countries often the term „Business GIS“ is used. Both terms can be compared, nevertheless there exist slightly differences. It goes without saying that it is based in the marketing department.
  6. 6. [ Geographical ] Marketing Mix
  7. 7. Just as in the consumer market also the clinic marketing counts 4 different tools which are the following: Service - The offered services in the health care sector. Consideration - Most commonly we do not use the term price here as, in most cases the price has been fixed beforehand and it is more about the utilization of a clinical service. We differ between the so called core services and optional services. Access - Access to the performance which means the physical accessibility of the clinic and communication regarding the offered services. And last but not least Promotion - This tool serves for presenting the three before named areas to the public, which is, in our understanding the patient and the referrer. The combination of these four tools is called Marketing Mix. Geomarketing is a special point of view that presumes that the market is spatial and therefor company key figures can differ depending to the region.
  8. 8. [ Geographical ] Marketing Mix
  9. 9. This is how common marketing is supplemented by the spatial point of view. Doing so a huge range of new fields of applications is created.
  10. 10. [ Geographical ] Marketing Mix
  11. 11. We do not just ask „Who is our patient?“ but in the future will also ask “Where is my patient from“ or “Where do my patients come from?” or better said “on which channels or route the patient is brought to my clinic?” As a conclusion we can summarize the following: Geomarketing is the term for planning, coordinating and controlling patient based activities using geographic information systems. Methods are used that create a spatial reference of the stored data, analyse it and are able to present them visually.
  12. 12. Geomarketing in the beginning
  13. 13. The sources of Geomarketing can be found much before computers and software programs conquered the world. In former time it especially used to be a special discipline of the industry and big sized companies and groups. Back then they used paper made maps and coloured pins and pieces of strings. On those maps they defined areas like the catchment area of companies or shops or the visualisation of market activities. This has been the most successful possibility for learning which are the remaining gaps on the maps that have to be addressed. Nevertheless soon the possibilities of that method were limited. As you can imagine there is a lot of effort needed for creating such a map including the above mentioned data. Additionally there are few possibilities for a flexible presentation of external data which then had to be used using additional lists for analysis.
  14. 14. Fields of application • Patient Relationship Management „Where are most of my patients from?“ • Location Planning and Expansion Planning „Where is the best location to open a second practice or branch?“ • Referrer Marketing „Where are my referrers located (and where not)?“ • Patient acquisition „Where is local promotion worthwhile?“
  15. 15. There are a lot of application fields for Geomarketing and right now I just would like to name some of those in representation of all the other respective fields of application. Let‘s start naming the Patient Relationship Management. Where are most of my patients from? It is logical that a patient that shoulders a long way to see the doctor is most likely to highly appreciate the doctor‘s work. Thanks to Geomarketing analysis we can show in a very detailed way where our patients are from and having our conclusions from that data A second field of application are organisational analysis like for example for the location planning or the expansion planning. Maybe someone would like to open a second practice or branch. So the question that arises is the following: Where is the best location to open a second practice or branch? When talking about application fields of Geomarketing in the field of IVF we may no forget to talk about Referrer Marketing: Where are my referrers and which patients do they send to see me and where not? Are there possible geographic gaps on the map that I could cover in the future? As a last example for the numerous fields of application of Geomarketing I would like to name Patient acquisition: Here a target group analysis is highly recommended. Question is: In which area local promotion is worthwhile?
  16. 16. Target groups
  17. 17. The target group of all activities is the group of customers. In an IVF clinic there are three different groups of stakeholders being included when talking about customers: •The patient - as the one receiving the performance •Health Insurance / Governmental Funds - as the ones covering a part or all of the costs involved •The referrer - who highly influences the patient‘s „buying decision“ Hardly any IVF clinic regularly analyses why regional doctors do not or not longer refer patients to their clinic. Consulting managers often notice that „Those clinics do not even realize if a referrer stops referring patients. They hardly know anything about the structure of the referrers!“ Most clinics rely on the personal relation between the referring and the attending physician. Please don‘t get me wrong: of course this is also very important. But once we are talking about marketing and market competition it is not quite recommendable just sticking to personal relationship as a marketing tool. In today‘s practical presentation of Geomarketing I will just stick to data of patients and referrers and focus on these two area.
  18. 18. Basic requirements
  19. 19. Let us switch to the practical part of this session. As we will just realize a short journey to the field of Geomarketing today I will try not to go too much into detail. My aim for today’s presentation is giving you a general idea and understanding of how Geomarketing basically works and which are the most essential requirements for it.
  20. 20. Basic requirements
  21. 21. Let’s start talking about the basic structure of Geomarketing: The basis for each and every successful analysis is very well structured data. So data from our target groups (like patients or referrers) have to be collected. Almost every IVF clinic is already using a certain software for documentation and collection of relevant therapy data. Should this requirement not be covered till know it has to be implemented. We do not just talk about quantitative key figures but also about qualitative ones. While interacting with our customers their addresses have to be checked and eventually adjusted on an on-going basis. Therefore strict discipline is required as well from the management as from the staff.
  22. 22. Basic requirements
  23. 23. For the next step we need the so called Geo Coordinates. The process you can see on this slide is also called Geo Coding. The term Geocoding stands for the issuing and assigning of geographical coordinates to an address. Afterwards the coordinates will be stored in the database next to the address. I have prepared a little example for you.
  24. 24. Example Geocoding
  25. 25. Lets just choose this hotel’s address for realizing the example. The address is similar to those addresses stored in our IVF database. Most commonly it consists of street, house number, postal code and the city. If this analysis is to be realized less personalized and the catchment area is not too big we also can use the post code in combination with the city.
  26. 26. Example Geocoding
  27. 27. We hand the data over to a so called Geocoder. A Geocoder is a special software or web service that realizes the confirmation of the address. As a result we receive the geo coordinates in the parameters latitude and longitude.
  28. 28. Example Geocoding
  29. 29. As you might imagine there are numerous providers of the most diverse Geocoding modules. There are a couple of free providers and also commercial solutions. Before effectively using it a couple of aspects have to be taken into consideration such as data protection, licencing, usability and so on. If you like to please feel free to retry this example as I have used the free Google Maps Geocoder. Just insert the address in your internet browser. The first part of what you should insert the same while just the orange marked text is to be changed using the new address. always remains
  30. 30. Example Geocoding
  31. 31. Promptly Google Maps API delivers a text file which for some might look quite strange or confusing. If you have a closer look at the structure you will see the entry for the location and the consecutive values for latitude and longitude.
  32. 32. Example Reverse Geocoding
  33. 33. By the way: The reverse way to the transformation of geo coordinates into an address is called Reverse Geocoding. We also can verify this using the same example and indicating both of the beforehand stated values directly in the Google Maps search. Once again promptly we receive an answer and this time it is a map and the marked address including information like street, house number, post code and city.
  34. 34. Basic requirements
  35. 35. Let’s get back to the idea of the basic structure. After having completed all data with geographic data we can now start analysing and visualizing. Therefore two steps have to be done: 1.We have to work on reasonable questions or complex queries that is geographically analysed. A simple example is the question: “Where are my customers from?. For that we would realize a query on our patient master data. As a result we will obtain a list of all addresses that not necessarily need to have a link to the personalized data. 1.For visualizing it on a map we need a so called GIS – a Geographic Information System. We hand the data over to that system and let it prepare it visually. Just as it is the case for Geocoding modules there also exist different free and commercial software and web services.
  36. 36. Practical examples with MedITEX IVF
  37. 37. Now I would like to show you some praxis examples and maybe you will find some impulses for someone attending this session. As basis software the marketing module of the MedITEX IVF product portfolio has been used. It is perfect for this examples as all relevant data is stored centrally in the database.
  38. 38. Geocoder Practical examples with MedITEX IVF
  39. 39. First of all I would like to show you how simple the usage of the Geocoder is. Here you can see a screenshot from the programme MedITEX MaMa – MaMa stands for Marketing Manager. 1. In our database we chose the data for which we would like to receive geo coordinates. It is logical that just data that also includes address information is used. 2. From the chosen data we select, which attributes shall be used for the geocoding. 3. Afterwards we can start the Geocoder. In the background it will add the coordinates to the data.
  40. 40. Geocoder Practical examples with MedITEX IVF
  41. 41. Just to give you an overview of the complete process here we have a look at the background. There for each address also the coordinates are stored with latitude and longitude. You see this on the screen with the two columns. By the way: You do not have to repeat this steps every time, as, in the best of the cases, when creating or changing an address the Geocoder will be started automatically and the data will be linked automatically, too.
  42. 42. Where are my competitors? Practical examples with MedITEX IVF
  43. 43. Okay so let’s get some analysis done! So we have the possibility of plastically presenting you what is Geomarketing. Let’s start with a first simple analysis: Where are my competitors located? You might ask how you can get the data for this analysis. The answer is just as simple: In most countries in the internet you already can find lists of IVF centres in directories. So I just have to feed my database and after having geocoded promptly there will be a visualisation available.
  44. 44. Where are my competitors? Practical examples with MedITEX IVF
  45. 45. In the most ideal case I also will have the possibility of adjusting different zoom levels in order to realize analysis for example for a special federal state or a special region. On this map we can see our own clinic, namely the red one and all neighboured clinics which are all the blue ones. So now we come to the first target group: Our referrers.
  46. 46. Where are my Referrers? Practical examples with MedITEX IVF
  47. 47. Here you can see an example for the visualisation of all my referrers in the broader surroundings of my clinic. You can see the clinic as the red symbol in the middle of this image. Although we do not yet analyse a lot of different data we receive a first impression of the catchment area of our clinic.
  48. 48. Where are my Referrers? Practical examples with MedITEX IVF
  49. 49. Let’s now go a step further in analysing the data. For doing so we zoom a bit closer to our IVF practice. Now we would like to know how exactly our network of referrers works. Therefor we need data regarding our patients.
  50. 50. Where are my Referrers? Practical examples with MedITEX IVF
  51. 51. Now we can see both data integrated in one single map: Our referrers and our patients. Thanks to geocoding I can bring any mass of data in a relation to an other by the system. and let it be presented visually
  52. 52. Where are my Referrers? Practical examples with MedITEX IVF
  53. 53. Following that analysis I easily can see my main catching areas which you can see in the green areas on the map. But you can also notice in which areas around my clinics there still exists unused potential or where maybe relations to the referrers are not quite well yet. The gained information can than be used for the referrer marketing or patient acquisition. One practical tip by the way: It would be worth storing the information before and after having realized special marketing activities for also having a visual result whether those activities have been worth it.
  54. 54. Where are my Patients from? Practical examples with MedITEX IVF
  55. 55. Of course you also can get the visualisation of how far your patients are travelling to see you. In this example another time you can see a map of Germany where this data is shown.
  56. 56. Treatment and Kids born Practical examples with MedITEX IVF
  57. 57. Here you can see another presentation that also shows all the powerful possibilities that exist: According to my data I will let me present the visualisation In this case I have used the filter for IVF, ICSI and Cryo. of all realized treatments and patients.
  58. 58. Treatment and Kids born Practical examples with MedITEX IVF
  59. 59. Just by one additional click I can verify whether there has been a birth. As you see: The number of possibilities for analysis is almost limitless.
  60. 60. Conclusion  There is a need for a market economical orientation  Geomarketing complements traditional Marketing by adding the geographical point of view  There are many interesting applications for analysis of different target groups  Anyone can have simple access to Geographic Information Systems  Practical examples using the MedITEX Marketing Manager
  61. 61. OK – let’s have a short summary of what we have learnt in this session: There is a need for a market economical orientation. Geomarketing complements traditional marketing by adding the spatial point of view. There are many interesting applications for analysis of different target groups. Anyone nowadays has easy access to Geographic Information Systems. And last but not least we have seen some praxis examples using the software MedITEX Marketing Manager (MaMa). I really hope that for those never before having been in touch with Geomarketing. I have been able to give you a general overview and that for those amongst us that already have been in touch with it I was able to give you some new input. Of course I and the whole MedITEX Team will be at your complete disposal! We are looking forward to support you by consulting you and using our product portfolio when it comes to the topic of Geomarketing.
  62. 62. Thank You! Michael Schindler MedITEX – Medical IT Experts