04 Oct 2019

Personalisation in digital marketing

Personalisation in digital marketing is a strategy that organisations use to deliver a tailored experience to each user, often by way of showing content most relevant to that user based on data collected over time. 

How do you do this? By collecting data around things like:  

  • Purchasing history
  • Search terms (Google)
  • Click behaviours
  • Newsletter subscriptions and preferences
  • Social media activity 
  • Log-in preferences

Personalisation presents exciting benefits for both individuals and businesses, as it can allow businesses to provide the right service at the right time. In a healthcare setting, it can be a powerful strategy to facilitate a better experience. That being said, it does need to come with certain considerations around privacy and patient sensitivity. 

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the ways that organisations in health can successfully implement personalisation into their digital strategy.

 

How personalisation can improve the customer journey 

In healthcare, patients don’t want to feel like just another number. Personalised healthcare solutions offer a unique opportunity to streamline your patient’s experience with your brand and demonstrate that you care about them. As a healthcare practitioner, it’s important to incorporate these platforms and considerations into new models for patient care. 

According to research from the University of Texas, personalisation is an effective way to cut through the noise and information overload; curated content can give your prospects precisely the information they need, when they need it.

 

Give your patients a personalised email experience 

There are a few ways you can use emails to provide personalised customer service, shaped around their individual needs. A great way of showing your customers you care and simultaneously prompting another booking is to touch base with your patients after a service with relevant services or products. 

For example, after an appointment with a physiotherapist, you could email patients about their injury or recovery, as well as: 

  • Available times for group classes mentioned during the appointment
  • Link to an article or video to explain recovery exercises
  • Provide the name of product or information on a particular piece of exercise equipment.

Personalising emails means taking information you have on that patient and delivering relevant content, as opposed to sending generic emails that are less engaging. 

If your clients opt into an email subscription, this is a great opportunity to ask them questions to ascertain what content will be more interesting or relevant to them.

 

Provide a unique in-person experience 

Using data gathered in-person (from your clinic, for example) or online is an opportunity to personalise patients’ next in-person experience. For instance, a doctor’s surgery could flag if a patient indicates that they work on Mondays and Tuesdays, remembering to not suggest those days for future appointments. 

Staff can also add notes to your client management system (CRM) to create reminders for staff to follow-up with the client next time they speak to them. This knowledge of patients throughout your organisation can increase familiarity and trust. 

For example:

  • Making a note of when a patient might be returning from a trip and asking them how the trip was
  • Taking note of anything mentioned about a patient’s family, so you can follow up and ask questions, such as asking how their child is going with their asthma treatment. 

These techniques aren't new, and are on the more manual end of the personalisation spectrum. However, they can be paired with more automated techniques (MarTech), which we will cover in the section below.

 

Utilise MarTech 

MarTech, also known as Marketing Technology, refers to the tech tools and software used to carry out marketing activities including personalisation.

Let's look at some of these platforms and tools - 

  • Analytics tools to gather and visualise browsing and click behaviour data (think Google Analytics)
  • Email (eDM) platforms to manage user preferences, and gather data around email views and clicks (eg. MailChimp)
  • eCommerce platforms often offer visualisation and data around users buying behaviour
  • More complex tools including platforms that extend the functionality around indexing and querying product databases - to show more relevant search results and related content

By using automated data gathering tools, you can serve a more personalised experience to users by delivering the right content to the right audiences. By collecting data around users browsing, searching and buying preferences, we can build a picture - either of an individual, or at a group / behaviour level. 

Using information gathered on users, we can ultimately deliver more targeted marketing campaigns. Some examples of this are -

  • A Facebook user seeing advertisements for dental check-ups or teeth whitening services on Facebook after having visited a dental surgery website
  • A visitor to a bank website might see information and content around home loans on the home page if they have been using Google to search for home loan advice
  • The contents of a monthly email from a local library may include upcoming events for school holidays activities if the user ticked the children / youth news option in their subsciption preferences
  • DIY articles around decking could be promoted to the front page of a hardware website to a user who has previously searched for deck oil to help them complete the project

 

Use your patients’ preferred channels for communication

Some people like picking up a phone to manage appointments, others prefer to do it all online. To provide a more personalised experience, you need to consider how patients want to engage across different channels.

For instance, a survey on Becker’s Hospital Review found that 71 per cent of ‘Millennial’ patients would prefer to use technology to book appointments and manage health data and preventative care. Whereas an older demographic or those with low literacy may prefer to come in to see you in-person – highlighting that you can better engage with your audiences through personalisation.

 

Striking a balance between personalised services and patient privacy 

Digital innovation has the potential to generate significant benefits for patients. As the healthcare industry moves towards a more patient-centric model, this digitised environment comes with a range of implications.

Healthcare organisations and practices must balance delivering personalised services with their obligations to keep patient and staff data safe and secure. If you gather patient data, it’s important to ensure that it’s only general information that helps you provide useful content and deliver a better service.

 

Key takeaways 

  • Personalisation is a digital marketing strategy that provides tailored content and services to consumers by using data collected over time 
  • Personalisation can improve the customer journey 
  • It can be achieved through in-person and online experiences, and
  • Ranges from manual techniques through to the use of automated marketing tools. 

 

Tadashi understands the key considerations that must be made by healthcare practitioners. We can help you build the right personalisation strategy. To discuss our digital solutions in healthcare, get in touch with us today. 
 

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