Big data is the next big thing for healthcare marketing. As the National Center for Data Driven Marketing (NCDM) annual conference Data Content approaches, discussions of big data continue to heat up in every vertical, not just healthcare. While a lot of the focus has been on patient health information (PHI) and aggregate clinical data, marketers can use big data to improve healthcare IT solutions and fine-tune the messaging used to market these products.
Privacy requirements may be one reason why healthcare lags behind retail, banking, and other industries in using big data. But healthcare IT companies need to realize that the big insights that come from big data can improve every aspect of the marketing process—and even create opportunities that may not have existed just a few years ago.
One of the biggest opportunities lies in market segmentation. Big data can help you identify important patient subpopulations that are underserved by current technology or that a competitor’s marketing campaigns don’t target. For example, if you market a diabetes management solution, you could use insights derived from big data to see how many diabetics are also vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free, or are interested in fitness activities like cycling or running. Let big data guide your media buys and inform your social marketing, and you might drive awareness for your product.
Big data can help save big money by avoiding care duplication and increasing rates of payor reimbursement. It also can help you cut waste in your marketing budget. Patient behavior and compliance data can show where your features or user interface need improvement or point out how to improve training or customer communication.
And what about predictive analytics? This field predicts unknown events by using statistics, modeling, machine learning, and data mining to analyze current and historical facts. Marketers who use predictive analytics to follow patients, providers and other stakeholders through the sales cycle will be able to make data-driven decisions to more reliably attract and retain customers.
Big data has the potential to increase patient access to healthcare. Upcoming market reforms should create new audiences for all sorts of healthcare products and services. With more patients covered than ever before, disease prevention and management solution providers need to gear up for an onslaught of pent-up demand.
How do you think big data will impact healthcare marketing?
Caroline Zelonka is a guest blogger for Kitterman Marketing Group. She is the former senior writer for White Space Healthcare Marketing and Publicis Dialog Healthcare Marketing Practice and has worked with Abbott, Baxter, Edifecs, LifeScan, Microsoft HealthVault, Ventus Medical, El Camino Hospital, Eisenhower Medical Center, and Swedish Medical Center.