Marketing to physicians in the near future will be like something out of a sci-fi movie. RampUp2017 was an intense two day experience highlighting the cutting edge of MarTech. The focus of the event was using data to solve for identity (a.k.a identity resolution) in order to create a personalized experience for the individual customer. Using data as the foundation for understanding the customer journey will move brands away from selling the product and into developing relationships with customers. When we understand who we are marketing to, we can stop marketing to channels and devices, and start marketing to people.
In physician marketing, we have already begun to identify individual physicians in order to display banners, send emails or even alert them to content resources in their social media feeds. But now, imagine not just displaying a generic brand banner or content alert, but a personalized message just for that specific physician, based on the place they are, the moment in time, and their current interaction with your brand. This is called a “curated experience.” And it can now be done with sophisticated technology and automated data analysis.
Here are the steps for getting your house in order and getting ready to create curated experiences:
1. Get your data into a proprietary database that you own and can access with reporting. OR work with a vendor who maintains a database of your potential/current customers and can provide you with physician level data and can monitor the activity with your brand. This essentially means consolidating all physician data into a centralized database to help make your data more efficient, and in turn, make the customer experience more relevant.
2. Solve for identity – Identity is a continuum that is evolving and changing. Data points may change along the way as you begin to develop an understanding of each customer’s journey. Here are some points for your analysts:
- Assess identities – align identities to use cases – research the customer journey, don’t just dump variables
- Build and manage profiles – clean and organize data, dedup, append new data, augment 1st party data with 3rd party niche data
- Continually measure and take readings to verify by using data from active marketing campaigns, optimize customer profiles along the way so you get a better understanding of the customer
- Optimize and enhance campaigns as well as customer profiles as you learn new information and build new segments
3. Develop “use cases” – these are various situations in which physicians will interact with your brand or be predisposed to interact when exposed to your brand. Here is a simplified example of a use case for a physician attending a professional conference:
- Physician registers for conference (months prior)
- Physician begins to get in mindset for conference – makes travel arrangements, begins to look at agenda and see which sessions he might like to attend (weeks prior)
- Physician travels to the conference
- Physician registers for the conference at the event, receives updated agenda and goody bag
- Physician attends sessions (takes notes / tweets / asks questions / prepares for next session etc.)
- Physician attends lunches, breaks, dinners, networking sessions, eating, downtime, looking at cellphone, handles personal or work issues that have come up while not at the office
- Physician is tired and goes to his room to unwind, even maybe review notes of the day
- Physician travels home
- Physician applies learnings to his practice
4. Where does your brand fit into the use case? Fit in points where your brand can help your physician on this journey. Provide a cell-phone plug in the goody bag, emails highlighting sessions he couldn’t attend, tweets during each session with most salient points, an online content center where physicians can go to read more in-depth articles written for each session, hand sanitizer after lunch or during networking, maybe directions to a good restaurant in the area. In other words, develop a map of the customer journey and decide on the moments when marketing your brand would be correct and acceptable. When it all comes together, a unified customer identity means true omnichannel marketing.
5. Develop creatives and content. Decide how personalized you want to get, develop creatives and content around the different moments in the customer journey. Analyze data you know about the different physicians attending the conference and put them into buckets, segment them. Develop individualized creatives for specific types of people. For instance take this simple example, age can play a role in the way people digest information. Millennials will be more apt to be on their cell phones, reading emails and doing other research while attending sessions – these are the people to hit with email, maybe get them to an online content center with write-ups on the sessions. Senior physicians may be more apt to take notes and pay more strict attention to what is happening in the session at that moment – maybe for this segment give out journals to keep notes in. And how special would it be if they received a personalized note in the journal – indicating that you know who they are and you are making a connection with them personally? Knowing your physicians and their needs can only happen with the data you have previously collected and analyzed in your centralized database.
How much money does the pharma industry spend on blasting out banner ads to physicians? Wouldn’t it be wiser to know who you are trying to reach and give them a more personalized message that helps you to develop a long-term relationship rather than just sell product? Pharma is in the business of helping people. Think about living the motto of improving health outcomes – improve the relationships with the people that you want your company to be involved with – reach the physicians that you want to prescribe your medication by making personal connections with them.
6. Challenges – Physician identification is a relatively new technology, there are still bumps in the road and challenges.
- There is the possibility of fragmented identity – not connecting the dots between different profiles of the same person.
- There are too many technology tools to choose from. It’s sometimes impossible to try each one and choose what will best meet your needs. You can handle this by talking with others in the industry to get a feel for what is out there and what may work for your situation. Online research can be helpful, as well.
7. Data Stewardship – Be sensitive to the level of information you are collecting, how you are using it, and permissions you are obtaining to use it. Collecting a social security numbers is quite a bit different than collecting and acting on purchasing history. Think about your level of creepiness.
8. Examples. Here are some futuristic examples of marketing going on in the consumer industry right now:
- Using location data on known customers to serve billboard ads on the fly as people drive by.
- Sending automated direct mail pieces based on behavioral data – overlaying programmatic with direct mail.
- Using neuroscience (EEG, CoreBiometircs, Eye Trackers, Facial Coding) to determine what messages will grab attention, engage emotion, activate a memory center, leaving a trace memory which will drive behavior in the future.