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SIGMA Marketing: Four Ways Healthcare Marketers Can Better Engage Customers

SIGMA Marketing Group, the customer intelligence-driven, direct and digital marketing services firm, shares four key steps healthcare marketers such hospital groups and insurers can take to better connect with their consumers across channels in this new era of insurance exchanges.

One of the biggest challenges facing healthcare marketing teams today is to create a new capability to market directly to consumers; to organize teams, resources, data and technology around what matters most - how potential customers and members are engaging with them at all levels, and across all touchpoints.

Many healthcare marketers are struggling with building new capabilities in multichannel campaign planning, design, execution and measurement. Too often, member or customer campaigns are limited to traditional direct mail, with perhaps some email marketing, while other channels are under-utilized, partly because of organizational silos and lack of skills and tools for managing digital, web, and mobile interactions.

"We recommend that healthcare marketers start with a basic understanding of how their customers are engaging with their brand across a minimum of two channels and then build out from there," said Tim Tully, practice leader in the healthcare and consumer markets. "What do members look like overall, what are the key audience segments, and how do they interact in a specific channel like digital? Marketers need to dig into their data to learn the differences in behaviors and customer value. This is the only way to begin to get the insights needed to make improvements, foster engagement and improve results over time. Here are three keys to making this happen."

1. Create a multichannel customer engagement roadmap Does the channel and marketing team have a roadmap to follow to improve engagement across channels with customers over time? Are they tracking the right analytics, both online and offline, to make the right adjustments to improve the user experience? Do they understand that some members are more valuable than others and may require different contact methods?

2. Develop customer engagement profiles What types of customers are actually engaging with your healthcare organization over the web versus those that are not? Some marketers may think that most web users are inherently younger than those that don't engage through that channel. However, for one client, SIGMA determined that for some segments they were actually older - and by identifying where this segment was having trouble during their web experience, SIGMA saved significant expense in customer service handling costs

3. Deploy actionable insights that enhance marketing and campaign strategy Review what's being measured so that results can impact the member or customer experience. For instance, the goal may be to create greater adoption of members servicing via the web as well as improving the user experience and satisfaction levels - two distinct measurement strategies requiring different approaches.

4. Bring Science into the Marketing effort to improve the customer engagement experience Healthcare marketers need to create an organization where they can start to test multichannel marketing efforts and learn how to steadily improve customer engagement experiences. Too many organizations today still operate in silos where web or digital is managed separately from the call center, direct mail and email - and no testing is deployed to improve results. Healthcare companies that move aggressively to integrate all channel activity in a test-and-learn environment will improve retention and satisfaction scores dramatically.

About SIGMA Marketing Group

SIGMA Marketing helps clients like Citizen Bank, Xerox, Nationwide, and AAA engage with their customers through Analytics + Strategy + Technology. We turn data into customer intelligence and innovative marketing solutions -- online and offline -- with direct and digital solutions that focus on multichannel marketing strategies, data and technology integration, web analytics and sales enablement. SIGMA builds long term customer relationships and drives Marketing ROI. Visit us at www.sigmamarketing.com and at our Fifth Gear Analytics blog: http://fifthgearanalytics.com .

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