How to Justify Marketing Spend in Healthcare

By Ray Baird

Just as healthcare has undergone a revolution, so has branding. It has been infused with technological advancements and analytic tools that help executives answer critical questions about branding investment.

Healthcare executives and marketers are experiencing unprecedented pressure to justify marketing spend and provide strategic clarity for marketing and sales initiatives.

So, it begs a couple of big questions. What should executives measure and track as it relates to brand performance in healthcare; and what new technologies and analytic tools are being used to prove ROI?

Here’s how progressive healthcare executives are being empowered with modern marketing approaches.

1. Brand Performance Indexing

This first step starts with a quantitative online market survey conducted with customers and non-customers to benchmark your brand against the competitive set.

With advancements in technology and analytics we developed the Brand Performance Platform, making it possible to create an index rating (the BPP Index) to monitor brand effectiveness.

2. Buyer Intent

While the BPP Index is critical to monitoring and guiding your strategy, understanding buying intent and the drivers of preference are critical to understanding how strong your brand is relative to the competition.

This real-time report will allow you to gauge your true competitiveness and guide short-term marketing strategies.

3. Attribute Tracking

Establishing and prioritizing brand attributes are at the cornerstone of your healthcare value proposition and content strategy.

Analyzing brand attributes by segment (buyer types) should be assessed quarterly or bi-annually. Brand attributes should be prioritized and incorporated into your key words strategy to underpin your content and CMS analytical approach.

4. Conversion Rate Optimization

With a solid understanding of the buyer intent and brand attributes, you’re now in perfect condition to increase sales conversion rates by developing content-based campaigns that will not only resonate with your audiences but also establish leadership.

The trick here is to make sure your CMS (like HubSpot) is optimized and reporting conversion effectiveness. Without this system in place your marketing efforts will be unfocused and, ultimately, ineffectual.

This is where most marketers fail to bring these two disciplines together. The last step in this system is to tie your sales system (like Salesforce) to your CMS to ensure a closed loop system, integrating sales performance. You’ll be amazed at the results and what you can learn. This is the definition of modern marketing, and if you don’t have a well thought-out plan to achieve this level of accountability, you’re in a vulnerable spot.

5. Customer Brand Experience

So often organizations leave out this most important feedback loop. The customer brand experience can be assessed with quarterly surveys, “blind shopping” and, most importantly, a complete understanding of the effectiveness of your brand at each touch point.

Touch Point Mapping can also help organizations visualize and drive the ultimate customer experience.

Is your organization taking advantage of the latest technology and analytical approaches to drive and measure brand performance? Do you have a plan to become a modern marketing organization?

If not, you may want to start by considering our top 5 recommendations.