We recently got involved in a brand new healthcare marketing event called TILT. The idea was born out of what Tania Rowland (founder, Divergent Consulting) saw as a gap in the healthcare marketing sector. In other words, we didn’t see these sorts of conversations, forums and education happening anywhere else. So we went about putting together the inaugral event at Auckland’s “innovation precinct”, GridAKL.
We shared Tania’s philosophy that in some cases healthcare is lagging begind in its adoption of truly innovative marketing. We therefore wanted to get involved with making TILT happen. We developed the brand/identity, helped to plan the event’s content and supported with its promotion and marketing.
The event its self went beyond both ours and the attendees’ expecations. This wasn’t down to what we had done as hosts, it was what the fantastic line-up of speakers brought and the energetic participation of the attendees.
To name a few TILT tackled topics such as VR, AI, automated marketing, customer personas, social media and customer centricty. We had speakers from the likes of Southern Cross Health Society, IBM, Medicine X, Tech Futures Lab, Corvecto and Catchi.
The beauty of the event was bringing together technology thought leaders – most of whom work across a range of industries – with healthcare marketers. This led to some great discussion around how some of these tools can (and are being) applied in healthcare. The discussion was also expertly moderated by GSK’s New Zealand General Manager, Anna Stove.
So what did we take away from this? Here are three themes that resonated with us.
Testing new ideas is key
It’s so often the case – particularly in larger organisations – that people want to launch a marketing campaign as a ‘big bang’ and get it spot on first time. This makes things almost impossible, particularly when you think about how many choices we have today, as consumers of content.
Instead, a more iterative, agile approach seems to be the way forward. Soft launch, monitor how users are engaging with your content and channels and make constant, small tweaks accordingly.
Cornelius, CEO of Catchi, pointed out that Amazon has never actually fully redesigned and relaunched its site – instead it constantly make changes, based on how users are navigating it.
For me this was a great lesson for healthcare, particularly those targeting and engaging with patients on a regular basis. Predicting someone’s digital user journey when they’re trying to find out about a condition they or a family member has just been diagnosed with is not easy. Yes, it may well start with Google, but with access to so much healthcare information out there now, who knows where they will go from there?
Personalisation versus automation in the consumer journey
We know that digital personalisation improves user journeys. But a really interesting application of this to health came up at TILT. Cathryn from Medicine X – a business that helps to tell healthcare stories – pointed out that when it comes to finding out about symptoms and treatment options – i.e. at the early stages of a patient’s health journey – people often like to remain anonymous and not have to talk to anyone. We’ve all got so used to punching symptoms into Google, rather than going to see a GP.
At the other end of the spectrum, when patients are taking medication, or on a treatment regime, they prefer a level of personalisation. Whether it’s being able to access health records online or getting reminders to take medication or visit a specialist, this is where a more personalised experience is preferred.
So for healthcare marketers, it’s a case of carefully weighing this up when developing content and channels for different parts of their audience’s journey. What’s also key is building user surveys/interviews into this, to really understand on a qualitative level, what they want and when.
Digital acceleration isn’t slowing, it’s speeding up
I said early in this post that healthcare is lagging behind in some aspects of innovative marketing. Often a suggested reason for this is the level of regulation the industry faces and the many hoops healthcare organisations have to jump through, just to publish an article or print a leaflet.
But the fact of the matter is that as the use and adoption of digital continues to accelerate at a rate of knots, consumers demand a level of seamlessness when it comes to being engaged with. So for healthcare, it’s not about ‘what is the next big thing’, it’s ‘how can we start using it now?’.
In attendance at TILT we had representation from TAPS (Therapeutic Advertising Pre-vetting Service). This allowed for discussion between tech experts, healthcare marketers and someone that was able to say what was and wasn’t possible from a regulatory standpoint. This showed that for healthcare to really step up, it needs to be having these sorts of conversations internally. The marketers bring the customer insights and understanding of the brand, the tech experts bring the innovative know-how and the regulatory individuals/bodies are able to almost ‘referee’ the conversation to make sure it’s on a compliant track, right from the get-go.
To find out more about TILT and get involved in the community, go to tilthealth.nz and wait for the ‘Join the TILT community’ pop-up.