How to Embrace the Future of Healthcare Marketing

Filed in Marketing Ideas on August 7, 2017 by

Today’s consumer has a great deal of control over their healthcare journey. Have a pain in your side, or a cough? You hop online, research a potential diagnosis and potential medical devices, remedies and even medications from there. Need new healthcare coverage? The research is just clicks away. The consumer decides how, when and where they engage in conversation with a brand or provider. Many refer to this new age in healthcare as the Age of the Patient.

How to Cope: Healthcare marketers need to leverage context-driven communications

Not only are consumers dictating how they want to be marketed to, but more organizations are holding marketing directly accountable for contribution to revenue. How do you meet the needs of both?

The Answer: By blending the “Art of Marketing” with the “Science of Marketing,” or in other words: the need to better understand how to apply data science to more precisely target customers, better track effectiveness and show return on marketing investment.

The future of healthcare marketing is a mix of art and science: data drives context-driven communication that speaks directly to the tech-empowered patient.

Healthcare marketers can use behavioral and demographic data to provide context-driven, personalized and well-timed communications that support the consumer’s desire to participate in their health. When the orchestration is done right, not only do healthcare providers of every variety profit, but individuals improve their personal health. Everyone truly wins.

How A Med Tech & Services Company Embraced the Age of the Patient

The world’s premier medical technology and services company sought an efficient way to embrace the new age. The company, an Oracle Marketing Cloud customer, was one step ahead of many healthcare organizations because they recognized the importance of using multi-channel marketing to better connect with consumers. Consumers conducting their own healthcare product research seek educational materials and samples before making a decision that directly affects their well-being. The company identified this and enabled product sample and educational content requests on their website.

However, they lacked an internal infrastructure that could fully take advantage of the opportunity at scale. Beleaguered by operational inefficiencies and high overhead in terms of money and resources, they were experiencing:

  • Up to a 45-day turnaround to execute a sample send
  • Waste of rep’s time to manage orders with distributors, packaging and shipping
  • Very high cost per sample
  • No campaign reporting or tracking available to measure success
  • No scalability
  • No ability to measure ROI

These issues not only affected the company’s bottom line, but also greatly compromised the customer experience. If a consumer requests a product sample, but don’t receive it for up to 45-days, they’ve likely already moved onto a competitor.

“We had valuable people spending 20% of their time packing boxes instead of marketing or selling.” – Global Marketing Operations Manager

In an effort to slash marketing program costs, boost operational efficiency and enhance their customer experience at the same time, the company turned to PFL’s Tactile Marketing Automation® solution.



This solution integrated into their existing marketing automation platform, Oracle Marketing Cloud, to allow product samples and collateral to be triggered and fulfilled as part of the marketing automation workflow. Upon an online form submission for a sample, the sample would automatically be sent to the consumer. PFL handles the entire back-end fulfillment. That sample could even be personalized to the consumer with their name and the information of the rep that owns the lead.

Having the sample send integrated into the digital workflow also enabled a delivery notification to be sent to the rep who owns the lead, so they can place a perfectly timed follow-up call or email, making sure they can address any questions the lead has about the sample.


Once they got on board with Tactile Marketing Automation, they saw:

  • 95% reduction in sample delivery time
  • 80% cost reduction per sample
  • 20% increased time availability for sales reps
  • Up to 100% delivery and follow-up rates
  • End to end reporting and tracking
  • Inventory control
  • Completely scalable
  • Measurable ROI

Aside from the benefits brought on by the solution, PFL was able to offer the company the full support they needed to make their campaign a success.

“The TMA system and integration is excellent, but the ongoing support and partnership of the PFL team is what really has made this a perfect solution for us. PFL is dedicated to customer success and helped [us] along each step in the process, from the initial marketing consultation, to project kick-off, to seeing the packages out the door.” -Marketing Operations Manager

The new approach helped the company streamline a process that previously required a magnitude of different touch points, draining them of both time and money. In addition to their savings, they were able to add transparency to their campaign—from inventory control to data metrics. Their field reps were also armed with insights on how their program was performing. The tracking and reporting features of the TMA solution enabled them to gather data on the performance of their physical sales activity in conjunction with their ongoing digital efforts.

The company’s experience marks an important change in the way we think about patients. To be successful, healthcare marketers must speak to their patients—not at them. As illustrated above, personalized and multi-channel experiences can and should be done at scale.

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