Posted By Coffey Communications on 10/04/2021

How to align with the patient journey through compelling content

How to align with the patient journey through compelling content
“If marketing has one goal, it’s to reach consumers at the moments that most influence their decisions.” McKinsey Quarterly. Consumer Decision Journey. 2009

Brand loyalty can be fleeting—including for healthcare. Nearly half (45%) of consumers report that they have already changed their healthcare brand preference, and 62% expect their brand preferences to change once the pandemic has ended, according to the NRC Health 2021 Healthcare Consumer Trends Report. What does this mean for healthcare marketers? Reaching your healthcare consumer with the right message in the right channel at the right time is even more critical for maintaining brand loyalty in 2021. 

It's about:

1. Meeting people where they are in their personal health journey.
2. Serving up content that's relevant, timely and valuable.
3. Moving people toward a desired outcome, which includes keeping you as their healthcare provider.

How patient journey content connects and delivers

Healthcare marketers can use a patient journey model to solve problems, ease the way for consumers and inspire action. This type of content can:

  • Encourage awareness, education and shared decision-making.
  • Engage people early in their care journeys—or at key stages such as symptoms, diagnosis, treatment or recovery—to turn to you for expert care.
  • Highlight service lines, programs, resources and other solutions.
  • Influence health behaviors, self-care and self-efficacy.
  • Improve patient experience, compliance and outcomes, which encourages brand loyalty.
  • Promote disease management.
  • Provide timely calls to action—to call centers, message services, virtual assistance, telehealth, etc.
  • Reduce hospital readmissions.

Creating effective patient journey content

There's no single formula for planning the content components for a patient journey or health action path. It's about providing the right information at the right time, place and pace. That takes thoughtful editorial planning—and depending on the journey, an understanding of behavior change and disease management.

That said, here are four basics that can help guide the way:

1. Begin with the purpose. What problems are you trying to solve? What actions do you want people to take? For example, you might need to increase attendance at joint replacement surgery seminars. Or perhaps, as part of a disease management program, you want to encourage people to monitor their blood sugar levels or blood pressure at home.

2. Recognize different paths and potential obstacles. As you consider the journey, think about where people may start and what might get in the way of them reaching the desired outcome. Recognizing those entry points and hurdles can help you create content that engages, educates and empowers.

With the joint surgery example above, someone could just be beginning to explore the idea. They would need to know whether they may be a candidate for surgery, as well as the possibilities, benefits and risks. Another person may be well-informed, but anxious about what the recovery will involve.

3. Focus on the experience. You want to create an enjoyable digital experience that allows for consumer interaction and personal preferences. People can interact with integrated and dynamic content like microsites, chatbots, quizzes, decision tools, infographics, workbooks, videos, checklists, quick tips and text messaging.

To give consumers a positive experience with your content:

4. Track, revise, enhance. No content plan is complete without strategies for tracking data, reviewing engagement and making changes for continuous improvement.

Get started with an innovative partner

Would you like to create compelling patient journey content to engage your audience and move them to action, including choosing you as their healthcare provider? Let's talk about how Coffey can help—from mapping custom journeys to creating dynamic content. Give us a call at 888.805.9101 or email us.


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