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Health system marketers face their fair share of challenges trying to connect with consumers in today’s crowded health care market. With increased competition from traditional and nontraditional players alike, it’s more important than ever for hospital and health system marketers to deploy effective targeting strategies to stand out in an oversaturated marke

Connecting with niche audiences through micro-targeting is one of the best ways to break through a crowded space and drive growth in key health care offerings.

It’s why health system marketers are investing heavily in cardiology (51%), oncology (44%) and primary care (40%). Laser-focused targeting is highly effective at driving patient engagement and loyalty. It’s been proven that micro-targeted health care campaigns achieve higher engagement rates. For example, a survey by Healthline Media found that personalized health content led to a 40% increase in engagement compared to non-targeted campaigns.

Are you seeing the results you expected from niche audience campaigns? If not, it’s time to evaluate why and shift your approach.

Here are four strategies to help hospital and health system marketers evolve how they target and message to niche audiences.

1. Perform research to validate your understanding.

Understanding your target segments’ specific needs, preferences and behaviors is foundational to building a marketing program that drives results. Audience insights will evolve your messaging strategy in the right direction and allow you to build laser-focused consumer journey maps. The most compelling marketing communications are rooted in a messaging strategy that focuses on what matters most to your audiences—it addresses concerns that keep them up at night and aligns with their priorities. Don’t guess at your audience’s needs and preferences. Work to know them better through in-depth primary research. Use patient surveys. Probe deeper into patients’ perspectives with segmented group conversations. And ensure Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance by anonymizing all patient data gathered through research and removing all personal identifiable information (PII) before beginning the analysis.

2. Craft valuable content.

Content is everything when it comes to engaging niche audiences. Tailoring your content to address the specific concerns and interests of your target segments will significantly enhance engagement and work toward building trust and loyalty.

When it comes to content, one size doesn’t fit all. Ensuring your content program includes a mix of formats—video, articles, infographics and interactive content on social media—is the best way to drive engagement and interest in your brand across all your target segments.

Finally, make sure your content is meaningful. Focus on creating content that offers real value, such as tips for managing health conditions through videos from your clinical experts, updates on new treatments and services, and patient success stories.

3. Use different forms of personalization to break through the clutter.

Personalized communication can be a game-changer in health care, not just in driving engagement with your audience but also in terms of driving health outcomes. Ninety-seven percent of marketers experience an increase in business outcomes when they personalize their communications.[i] Additionally, according to a recent McKinsey report, consumers are more likely to refer friends and family to companies that personalize.[ii] It’s important to remember that personalization isn’t just about including a patient’s name in an email communication; it’s about targeting them with content that meets their unique needs while delivering the message when and where they are most receptive to receiving it.

Personalized marketing in health care can take many forms, including personalized emails, text messages and targeted media content, like digital programmatic advertising. While personalized marketing can be a powerful tool for driving patient engagement and improving outcomes, it’s important to do so while adhering to strict security and privacy guidelines. Patient data must be collected, stored and used following HIPAA requirements. Patients must also be fully informed about how their data is being used and be able to opt out of all marketing communications.

4. Prioritize and follow through on measurement and optimization.

Measuring your marketing performance shouldn’t be an afterthought. Set out early to develop a measurement plan that defines your key performance indicators (KPIs) and measurement cadence. Then clarify your reporting and optimization workflow and cadence:

  • Will you monitor performance weekly, monthly or otherwise?
  • Will campaign data automatically be pulled into a dashboard?
  • Or will reporting be done manually, and by whom?
  • Who will be accountable for identifying and executing optimizations?

A well-defined measurement strategy is foundational to analyzing and optimizing performance. It’s the only way to ensure you’re getting ROI out of your niche audience campaigns.

Engaging your patient growth audiences through micro-targeting is essential to gaining a competitive advantage in today’s health care market. By conducting focused market research, crafting valuable, strategic communications, and activating a consistent cadence of compelling content, hospitals and health systems can set themselves apart and build meaningful relationships with their target segments.





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