A “prescription for success in 2012”: How to install change management in healthcare

The slogan of the fourth edition of the Stichting Marketing Health Care congress promised a very inspirational content rush. Let this be just what the healthcare market needs at the moment – a wind of change.  Let’s take a look at some concrete learnings for the HealthCare Marketer. We’ve summarized some of the learnings below. Check them out:
The new HC marketer is creative & invests in smart (online) communication
As the House of Marketing summarized, the marketing departments in the sector are quite hesitant in different perspectives. There is a high awareness that the patient’s influence as a HC stakeholder shows the highest growth of all – yet they are hesitant to undertake actions towards patients. They rather focus on administrative challenges (dealing with legal restrictions, with the increased pressure from social security) than on dealing in a creative way with the empowered patient. This also shows from their marketing plans: combination of traditional channels (sales rep, PR, congresses) & online channels. The HC marketer is trying to engage in the online media world but not in a confident way: only 71% of health marketers is planning to use online as a marketing channel in 2012 (let’s be honest: this should be higher!).
Moreover, when asked what they will do online, 66% mentions they will invest in the corporate website, which is not very engaging. We can conclude that today’s HC marketer is not ready yet to explore the legal boundaries of online communication. It would be a great start to invest as a pharmaceutical company in Search Engine Optimization as to grasp the opportunity to service a patient typing in a disease via Dr. Google.
The new HC marketer knows how to have an impactful conversation with different patient segments
Magali Geens, our own InSites Queen of Health, came up with undeniable evidence of the empowered ‘patient’ (or should we say: modern health consumer). She also points to an interesting stakeholder & ‘pawn’ via which the HC industry can engage with this patient: the HCP! Upon reuniting their forces, they can truly start thinking of facilitating & joining the conversation with this patient.
To do this in a relevant way, Magali introduced us to 3 recognizable patient segments. Keeping these in mind helps the HC marketer to start/facilitate a patient conversation in an impactful way. Who are they: the healthy laidback – in need of support of a natural healthy lifestyle. The health expert –  looking for detail & even scientific proof. The hedonist of life – asking for minimal disturbance by unhealthy factors. Contact us in case you want more segment info! Check out the presentation on SlideShare below:
 

 
The new HC marketer considers the cost-effectiveness of current & new products.
Lieven Annemans, VUB & UGent Professor, warned us all: the HC market is close to an explosion – considered from a health economical point of view. Main cause is the increasing cost of (new) HC technologies – so let’s not blame it all on the aging problem! Lieven prepared some concrete recommendations for our ‘future’ & loooong-expected Belgian government: define the health objectives for our society (proposition: maximize health within available resources & with equal access for all), focus on prevention, revise how HCPs are paid & install a cost-effectiveness framework to follow up on all HC technologies & products.
The new HC marketer understands the importance of a clear & attractive package
As an expert in understanding the impact of visuals cues, Rogil confirms that, like a consumer, a patient is driven by emotions. Even 70% of OTC decisions are taken at the PointOfSales! A HC marketer has 3 concrete tools within the pharmacy to improve his/her product. First of all the product package: Rogil shows that there is a clear link between package clarity & product effectiveness for example. In second instance, in relation to the previous, one cannot underestimate the value of category management @ the pharmacy. So provide a pharmacist with instructions & displays as extensions of products. Last but not least, the pharmacist him/herself is an important decision driver. Rogil found out that in 56% of the cases, patient based his decision on the recommendation by the pharmacist.
The HC marketer turns the Net Promotor Score into an actionable Net Promotor System
I have a Net Promotor Score of 20%’ – so what!? Indeed, this score does not have a ‘stand-alone’ value: actions should be taken upon it & one should at least know what drives NPS! NPSystems are a powerful way to become more customer-centric, to accelerate growth & to track progress. We learned that this is possible as well in a top-down manner (e.g. Philips: quantifying the link between NPS & the market share – & creating additional KPIs around NPS scores: product related/service related/… ) as in a buttom-up way (engaging with consumers: having a conversation with promoters but definitely with detractors).
I wrot this blogpost together with my wonderful colleague Saartje Van den Branden.

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