02_Elements/Icons/ArrowLeft Back to Insight
Insights > Digital & technology

How Marketing Analytics Drives Decision Making in Health Care

6 minute read | June 2019

Today, the amount of health-related data is skyrocketing. According to IBM, it doubles every three years and will double every 73 days by 2020.

In the right hands, this information represents an expanding resource that can be mined for answers to some of our most pressing health issues. It can also be used to improve and refine marketing programs that enhance patient experiences and motivate people to take an active role in their health care.

Health care organizations of all types are at the forefront of this new era. Big data is creating enormous opportunities not only to improve patient outcomes and manage costs, but also advance marketing efforts. Organizations that can combine data, analytics and strategy will be able to implement processes that change the way they operate, for the better.

The most innovative organizations are already using data to help people live healthier lives. But the incredible volume and variety of this data introduces a new challenge: making sense of it. At the same time, health care is becoming “digitalized” through the adoption of electronic medical records as well as mobile, social media and cloud computing platforms.

As a result, health care is evolving rapidly—as many other industries are. This digital transformation will help organizations deliver better health, value and consumer engagement.

Four Attribution Takeaways for Health Care Marketers

The ability to capture, integrate and analyze this ocean of data across different audience segments is essential to deliver value. There are new tools that help practitioners, researchers, caregivers and marketers discover and apply their analyses in innovative ways.

But some organizations are unprepared to take advantage of this transformation. Health care marketers note that it’s early days for many who are just beginning to modernize operations and track progress with sophisticated analytics. Others are using tech to drive consumer behavior change in the new health care environment.

In a recent webinar, premier health care services company Kindred Healthcare described how it uses analytics to make sense of its data and advance its business goals.

Kindred Healthcare, a Fortune 500 health care services company, is on the forefront of marketing analytics in the health care space. Based in Louisville, Ky., the company has 86,400 employees providing health care services in 2,475 locations in 45 states, including hospitals, sub-acute units, home health, hospice and rehabilitation units.

In the webinar, Enterprise Marketing Manager Samantha Radford shared the goals and obstacles Kindred Healthcare faces as well as its approach to analytics.

Radner described Kindred’s four marketing and advertising objectives:

  • Assist patients and families in navigating health care so they can make more informed decisions and access the care they need and deserve.
  • Grow referrals and admissions across the system.
  • Leverage cost efficiencies to increase ROI.
  • Increase qualified calls to the contact center.

Here are four attribution takeaways for health care marketers from Radford’s presentation.

Takeaway 1: Focus on a Single Call to Action

A majority of Kindred’s advertising campaigns drive prospects to a single call to action (CTA): “Reach out to the Kindred Contact Center.” The center is a free service staffed 24/7 by registered nurses who are on-call to answer health care questions. The center has helped Kindred become a trusted resource for consumers throughout their health care journey.

While its ad campaigns have successfully increased qualified calls, driving prospects to a single CTA has had other benefits. “Having that narrow focus allows us to do a lot of tracking and measurement from analytics perspective,” said Radford.

Kindred’s agency of record, NDP, uses a multi-touch attribution platform that allows it to understand the customer journey to that CTA. “We can now understand the true contribution that display, paid social and other digital channels are making to the business. Even if they’re not the very last click that someone takes in their customer journey, we know that it was a very important first or middle step that they were taking that would ultimately end up in a call into the Kindred Contact Center,” said James Colvin, Marketing Analytics Lead at NDP.

Takeaway 2: Know Your Challenges

Radford acknowledged that Kindred faces multiple obstacles to its marketing and advertising goals.

  • Health care is complicated and the post-acute care industry is largely unknown and often misunderstood.
  • Kindred’s business is complex. It offers varying services that are different in every market across the country. This adds layers of complexity in messaging as well as reporting and measurement.
  • The company has many audiences: B2B, B2C, as well as patients with greatly varying needs.
  • Analytics isn’t “one size fits all.”

Takeaway 3: Adopt a Multi-Faceted Approach

Because Kindred’s footprint is large and complex, marketing must report into several internal stakeholders on outcomes of advertising campaigns, each of whom wants to see different KPIs.

To meet these needs, Kindred has established a multi-faceted analytics approach that allows it to look at results from many different angles so that marketing can get specific reports to the appropriate individuals.

Its approach is three-fold:

  • Marketing mix modeling to measure ROI and guide future advertising investments and market selection.
  • Multi-touch attribution to monitor the consumer journey in real-time in order to optimize digital and broadcast plans.
  • Monthly campaign reporting to track performance and make optimizations as needed.

This solution allows Kindred to make optimizations both on the macro and micro level by cross-analyzing market performance with advertising performance.

“One of the benefits of using multi-touch attribution is being able to see the full customer journey and not just being siloed into each digital media channel. We got a much better idea of how many times we needed to touch someone with digital advertising and a more global view of how we should cap the frequency,” said Colvin.

“That allowed us to go farther with every dollar spent in our display campaign because we were able to increase our reach knowing that we weren’t decreasing the efficacy of the campaign.”

Takeaway 4: Use the Right Tools

The webinar ended with a question about whether adding more tools was the right move for marketers scrambling to manage expanding martech stacks. While the speakers agreed that there are a growing number of tools available, Radford noted that partnerships allow the company to connect all the dots.

The tools that “rise to the top” in usefulness are those that act as hubs—consolidators for data—then digest and provide insights that help marketers improve performance. At Kindred, the multi-touch attribution platform has become a central point of reference because it gathers data from all touchpoints, allowing the team can see the ones that matter most to the organization.

The Future of Attribution in Health Care

Digital tactics are transforming health care, including how organizations deliver care, value and consumer engagement to their audiences. New tools and holistic attribution approaches are helping practitioners, researchers, caregivers and marketers discover and apply answers to some of our biggest questions in innovative ways.

To learn how to get an accurate view of performance and achieve shared goals, download our ebook Measurement for the Digital Era: Strategies for 5 Key Marketing Roles.

Continue browsing similar insights

Our products can help you and your business

  • Consumer & Media View

    Access syndicated and custom consumer research that will help you shape successful brand, advertising and marketing…

  • NCSolutions

    Maximize CPG advertising effectiveness with data to better segment, optimize and enable sales-based outcomes.