Sure, since the beginning of time, our mothers have told us how special we are. However, in today’s era of customization ability for everything from our vacation, our shoes, our homes, and our broadcast programming, today we think we are more special than ever. As consumers, we don’t just expect tailored experiences, we demand it.
For example, when I check into a hotel I expect them to know my preferences: the floor I wish to be on, my shoe size for my workout gear, the newspaper I want in the morning. When I get in the car in the morning, XM radio is cued to the channel to get me to work. When I get home at night, my DVR has taped all my favorite shows that enable me to create my own personal broadcast network.
So, why, when I go online looking for health and wellness information, am I being bombarded with ads that are not relevant to me? Last time I checked, I am not going through menopause, suffering from dementia, or looking for seasonal birth control. So, I have to ask…don’t you know who I am?
Marketers today talk about being “customer centric,” or “putting their customers first.”
We all know that customization is the trend and it is what our audiences expect. However, it is even more critical in the area of health and wellness. We need to move from “hitting them” at the right place, at the right time, with the right message to understanding what that consumers needs at the specific time and join them in the moment.
The patient journeys in oncology, psoriasis, and mental health are far more complex than deciding what new handbag to buy or where to take the kids on vacation this year. We have the tools as marketers to be much more relevant than we have been in the past, provide value in those moments, rather simply telling our audiences to “ask their if (insert any pharma brand)…is right for you now?” We need to move from dummying our communications down to the lowest common denominator to reaching the most people to being specific as we can at the moment to the right person.
Three steps to specificity:
1. Gather better customer insights. Truly get to know your patient audience. What are their needs across the entire patient journey? vs. asking where they think your brand can play. Uncover the white space you can own through mining search queries among your patient and physician audiences. Use these insights to create truly tailored experiences to what they need at key moments and in key channels. If all your communications look alike and match like a nice set of luggage, you are doing something wrong. The communication your patient needs at the point of care is different than what she needs on HealthLine, and is different than what she needs when watching the “Today Show.”
2. Forget what your competition did last year. Face it, media is changing faster than advertising. How consumers choose to engage is changing daily. How the competition leveraged channels last year, may not be relevant today. Keep up with your customer not your competition. Question your media allocation; if it is a pick-up from last year, you’re missing something.
3. Leverage data to be more relevant. Your customer expects it. As marketers we have the tools to truly understand our audience, where they are, and what their needs are. Expand your publisher consideration set to data providers that can help you engage in the moment. Be more specific and hopefully create an experience that doesn’t leave your audience asking, “Don’t you know who I am?”